4 Reasons Drinking Gin Is Actually Good for Your Health
Here at EatingWell, we love gin ... a lot. It's super versatile and goes great with honey and lemon in our Bee's Knees Cocktail, which is perfect for any season. Though drinking a gin and tonic may not protect you from the coronavirus, there are plenty of reasons to let yourself enjoy a cocktail. Here are a few science-backed reasons to enjoy gin in moderation.
Nutrition Information for Gin
Compared to other alcoholic beverages like beer and wine, one serving of gin is low in calories and in carbs. On its own, it contains no added sugars. The nutrition for 1 shot of gin (1.5 fluid ounces) is as follows:
1 (1.5-oz.) shot of gin:
0 g carbohydrates
0 g fiber
0 g protein
0 g sugar
May be good for your skin
Gin is infused with juniper berries, which are considered by many to be a "superfood," though the term has no formal definition. Juniper berries are packed with antioxidants that have health-promoting benefits ranging from skin health to protection from chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. A study in Antioxidants found that juniper berries even share some of the same antioxidants as tea tree oil, which is proven to promote healthy skin. Another study in Industrial Crops and Products found that juniper berry essential oil may have some anti-aging properties as well, which can help keep wrinkles at bay. Be careful if you're drinking gin and tonics in the sun, though: lime juice can irritate skin in the bright sunshine, potentially causing a condition called phytophotodermatitis.
Pictured Recipe: The Bee's Knees Cocktail
Can it lead to a longer life?
Gin being rich in antioxidants can help more than just your skin. Some studies show that the anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties in juniper berries can improve health and potentially lead to a longer life by improving blood flow and toxin removal from the blood. Not to mention, Julia Child was convinced gin was one of the secrets to longevity, and who are we to argue with that?
Preps your digestion
Gin is a popular aperitif (a drink served before a meal) in several cultures, which is believed to help prepare your digestive system for a meal. Indeed, drinking alcohol before a meal has been found to stimulate the appetite. In addition to getting you ready to eat, that pre-dinner gin cocktail may help you appreciate your food more. One study found that subjects who were given alcohol before a meal experienced greater response to the aromas of their food.
Diabetes-friendly alcoholic beverage
Spirits like gin typically have no carbohydrates on their own, making them a good drink option for someone who has diabetes. Gin is usually mixed with tonic water that is also relatively low in carbs, with only 15 g of sugar per 8-ounce drink. However, it is important to consider the mixers that you are adding to your gin drinks. Opting for mixers with no added sugar, or diet mixers that use a sugar substitute, can be a good option for someone with diabetes. Also, moderation is important for everyone, but especially for those who have diabetes, as excess drinking can lead to hypoglycemia (or low blood sugar).
To be clear, gin isn't a miracle food, and any alcohol should be consumed in moderation. But there are a few notable benefits from enjoying the juniper-flavored spirit. So pour yourself a glass of our Watermelon Gin Fizz or simply mix your favorite gin with tonic water—we'll cheers to that!