Summer officially heats up as the Fourth of July sets the tone for celebrations, cook outs, and summer festivities. We pack our parties with grilled shrimp, steamed crabs, homemade potato salad, garden-fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, and of course we can’t for the spirits.
With all this yummy eating and delicious food staring us in the face, how do we know what drinks are the healthiest? For those of us watching our waist lines, not sure what to order at the bar, or just don’t want the guilt. Here is a guide to help you choose the healthiest drinks and not feel guilty while you live it up a little this holiday.
Red or White?
Choose Red! Red wine contains antioxidants and resveratrol (a substance produced naturally by plants when they are under attack by pathogens.) Red wine is known to raise good cholesterol. While the antioxidants in the wine protect the lining of blood vessels to the heart, and may also prevent obesity and diabetes. “Resveratrol lowers blood sugar, reduces inflammation and blood clots, and helps to prevent damage to blood vessels,” says Mayo Clinic. Red wine may also reduce estrogen levels to help prevent breast cancer and again of course, all those antioxidants keep us looking younger!
Lagers, ales, or stouts? Of course, go for the darker beers. They are loaded with iron, boost the metabolism, reduce stress, prevent blood clots, and also help battle cancer. Don’t fret about the calories, darker beers tend to have less caloric value than other beers! A Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has 175 calories; a Guinness Draught only has 126, while a Miller Lite has 96. Why not trade up the extra 30 calories and add all the other benefits you get with the stout?
Liquor! Who will it be Vodka or Whiskey?
Whiskey it is! It has more antioxidants than any other liquor. Whiskey contains ellagic acid which is found in a lot of the fruits we eat. Ellagic acid is known for its anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting benefits. Whiskey also lowers your chance of having a stroke, developing diabetes and dementia, and decreases blood clots. Explains why all the Irish live to be a ripe old age!
Now you know the secrets of what to order at your favorite bar, what to reach for in the community cooler, and what to stock up on this week for your big July 4th celebration! Be safe and have a guilt free holiday! I’ll be enjoying my Pinot Noir, Guinness Stout, and Crown and ginger! Happy Fourth!