Bourbon is America’s native spirit — as actually declared by an act of Congress in 1964. In order for the drink to be considered bourbon, it must be distilled anywhere in the U.S., although 95 percent is made in Kentucky (via Fresh Mag). While the name is thought to be inspired by a former county in Kentucky, historian Michael Veach told Smithsonian Magazine that the spirit could have been named after the New Orleans entertainment district where it was popular. “People starting asking for ‘that whiskey they sell on Bourbon Street’, which eventually became ‘that bourbon whiskey.'”
Now that you’ve got its history, are there any benefits to drinking bourbon and other whiskeys? Surprisingly, the answer is yes! First, it’s important to note that health experts recommend women enjoy no more than one serving (two for men) of alcohol (for hard liquor, that’s 1.5 ounces) daily, per the official Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Overdoing it can have the opposite effect on your health — and no, you can’t save up drinks and have them all in one day (via Healthline).
Bourbon's health benefits
Why is bourbon a good choice? It goes way beyond the delicious smoky flavor. Unlike scotch and other whiskeys, which often come with caramel coloring, bourbon is typically free of additives (via The Whiskey Wash). And, in particular, when you buy a bottle labeled “straight,” it will be in its purest form. And while the additives don’t affect taste, they aren’t exactly good for you. Basically, they are the same chemicals they add to colas for color, and they may put you at a greater risk for cancer, per Nutrition Action.
More good health news for bourbon drinkers: It, like all whiskeys, can help your skin and hair. Plus, the beverage is a lower-calorie alternative to beer — having 97 calories in one serving, compared to 150 to 200 in a bottle of beer (via Bicycling). What’s more, enjoying six servings a week may reduce your risk of dementia, per a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The longevity boost doesn’t end there. Multiple studies showed a moderate amount of whiskey (no more than seven servings a week) lowers your risk of heart disease and heart failure, according to Forbes. Finally, thanks to the whiskey’s high levels of ellagic acid, an antioxidant that neutralizes dangerous, free-radical molecules, it can help you avoid cancer (via Medical Daily).
Sure, some of these benefits can be found in other ways, say, by eating certain fruits. But where’s the fun in that? Cheers!
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