As a #Nutritional Therapist I have always believed in a #healthy #balanced #diet, real #food (none of that weird rubbish full of artificial ingredients) and a little bit of whatever you fancy! (I do try to work with people so that the ‘little bit of what they fancy’ is worthy of their body and not the weird rubbish but that’s another blog)! My little bit of what I fancy is #GIN. Yes, gin, the alcoholic beverage – could I give it up for Lent? No and that’s what prompted this blog!!
Look Mummy - Gin!
What is it about gin that’s got me so hooked? I naturally crave #healthy foods, I genuinely do but my love of gin is fairly deep, my little boy often shames me in public by declaring in an abnormally loud voice “look Mummy Gin, you love Gin don’t you Mummy!” and even once “you are obsessed with gin aren’t you mummy!” Well, alas I am but if I had to have a vice I am glad it is gin. Now let me tell you why!
There are several health benefits to drinking gin, yes indeed there are but these health benefits are nearly all associated with the vital gin ingredient of juniper berries.
Healthy Juniper Berries
Juniper berries are a source of phytochemicals, a sort of supercharged antioxidant – juniper berries contain several phytochemicals; beta carotene, camphor, and tannins
This means that they have several health benefits, indeed historically gin has evolved from a form of medication and was distributed by chemists.
Its' medicinal use continued and the G&T we know today was born when Gin was added to the anti-malarial quinine for soldiers based in malaria prone countries.
Of course, today we know more about the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption so all of the health benefits I refer to regarding drinking gin refer to moderate consumption, now that is subjective and varies greatly from person to person!!
Reasons why your G&T is ‘healthy’
Gin is the most natural spirit, juniper berries, the key ingredient has infection fighting qualities due to the antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties of the phytochemicals
Along with the phytochemicals Juniper berries are full of antioxidants; these boost the regenerating cells in your body amongst other things this can help with smoother, healthier looking skin.
Gin is one of the least calorific spirits, now I tend not to worry too much about calories but if you’re worried about your weight then Gin is a good choice.
The juniper berries also help here by increasing the number of enzymes that break down your food, thus it is often referred to as a digestive aid. If you’re prone to bloating, then gin is your drink as this also means less bloating
The juniper berries contain flavonoids which are great for preventing heart disease and improving your blood circulation, so are many other things though, please don’t just drink gin, eat a rubbish diet and not move!
Juniper berries help stop water retention in your body, allowing you to pass more water than any other alcohol, that said you should still match an alcoholic drink to a glass of water!
Suffer from hay fever? According to Asthma UK, switching to gin in the summer months could help to soothe your coughs and sneezes!
What about tonics and garnishes?
Not everyone has a tonic with a gin but for me it goes best, but like most of the food and drink I consume I am fussy!
For me there is one big NO – artificial sweeteners. No, no thank you, not at all. A light tonic does not have to be filled with those. If you are worried about your weight or blood sugar please don’t be misled by artificial sweeteners, they confuse the body and can contribute to sweet cravings and weight gain. There are plenty of tonics available that do not contain them just have a quick glance at the label.
A Gin liqueur obviously has more sugar in it, I am not a fan of sweet things so find these easy to avoid. Some of the pink gins will have had more sugar added after the distilling process, so the calorie content would be higher and the drink sweeter. For me it’s ice, lime, cucumber or grapefruit slices depending on the gin.
As stated, the health benefits are based on the juniper berries and relate to moderate drinking as part of a healthy balanced lifestyle. Gin does fare well against other alcoholic beverages but should still be drunk responsibly!
Chin Chin all!
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Presenter on Early Years TV Food