Ah, gin. The juniper-based spirit has shrugged off its reputation from the 18th century as the perceived contraceptive 'Mother's ruin' to become one of the nation's favorite tipples. With it, artisan distilleries have been popping up all over the world, appearing everywhere from California to Calgary.
What may surprise you, however, is that gin has some health benefits (this is of course, when drunk in moderation). You'll be surprised to hear that generations as far back as the Middle Ages were using the spirit as a form of herbal medicine. Take a look at seven of the health benefits of gin.
1. Junipers are super berries
The word 'gin' actually derives from the older English word 'genever' and the Latin word for juniper, Juniperus. Gin is the most natural spirit, as its main ingredient is the Juniper berry. The super berries are as jam-packed with infection-fighting qualities as they are warming, stimulating and disinfecting.
2. More gin leads to fewer wrinkles
You can switch up your anti-wrinkle cream for a bottle of Bombay Sapphire, as juniper berries are full of antioxidants and boost the regenerating cells in your body for smoother, healthier-looking skin.
3. Gin is a low-calorie spirit
According to Livestrong, gin is one of the least calorific spirits, with 97 calories per shot. The juniper berries come into action by increasing the number of enzymes that break down your food and help with digestion (which also leads to less bloating). Mixing it with tonic actually adds more calories (no matter what type), so keep it neat if you can handle it.
4. Gin can help you live longer
Juniper berries, like a lot of superfoods from that family, have whats called flavonoids. Flavonoids are great for preventing heart disease and improving your blood circulation as you get older. As I am sure you are aware, excessive drinking has the opposite effect and can lead to a lot more complications. Drink gin, like all alcohols, as part of a balanced diet.
5. It can help fight kidney and liver disease
Gin is one of the best natural remedies for kidney and liver disease. Juniper berries help stop water retention in your body, allowing you to pass more water than any other alcohol. The result? More harmful toxins and bacteria are flushed out your system.
6. It's really good for your bones
Gin's makeup helps to relieve achy joints and gout. Its alcoholic content, coupled with the effects of the juniper berries, can be an effective treatment for chronic pain and inflammations. Interestingly, gin-soaked raisins are especially good to prepare, as you can store them in a jar and eat them daily to see the benefits.
7. It can help fight off coughs
The oils contained in juniper berries can alleviate coughs by expelling the mucus in the throat, which helps to aid lung congestion. The awesome thing about gin is that it can be mixed with many different herbs and ingredients. Try concocting something with ginger, which will go a long way toward helping to soothe a sore throat.
Surprised to hear that the little dark purple berries have such prolific superfood powers? Your evening G&Ts can now be that little sweeter without even trying. All you need to do is put on a good podcast and leave that chore you were supposed to do tonight for another day.