The Virtues of Vodka

“Vodka is just fun water.”

– Anonymous 

I’ve never been one of those people who is health-conscious. I certainly don’t like it when I’m unhealthy, but I’ve never consciously, intentionally, gone out of my way to be healthy, as a lifestyle. When I was in High School, I was athletic (got my varsity letters in swimming, wrestling, and crew) and have played golf my entire adult life (when younger, always walked the course; now, as an older guy, I ride a cart). Actually, to the contrary, I must confess that I’ve always been rather sedentary (love to read and write – difficult to do whilst moving about), enjoy my cigars, and eat whatever I damn well please. Whatever good health I have I subscribe to a general lack of worrying about things and good DNA.

And yet, not long ago I began wondering if some of my more liquid tastes might be more harmful than good, such as my love of coffee (give me a ten cup pot, and in three hours I’ll empty it), and that led me to researching coffee and my posts, “Caffeinate Me” and “Caffeinate Me – A Follow-up”, where I listed all the healthful benefits of that delightful beverage and the apparent genetic basis for my love of it.

In my researching I not only found it the number one consumed beverage in the world, but that other potables (in order of world consumption) that I also enjoy frequently (if not daily) are also healthy, and have also written about them: tea (#2 – “If Not Coffee, Then Tea?”) and beer (#4 – “On Beer and Health”), and found that in partaking of these I may actually be counteracting the negative aspects of my otherwise less-than-healthy lifestyle (you can read those posts to find how).

Wine comes in at #6, and as special and varied as it is, it will be a subject for digression at a later date. For today, I’ll share about the health benefits of a drink I have more than a passing acquaintance with, #7, Vodka.

• Weight Maintenance: Of all the hard liquors, vodka is the better for you, if for no other reason than the “brown” kinds (whiskeys, rum and the like) are much more calorie filled, even when taken straight, not to mention when mixed. And vodka contains absolutely no fats.

• Stress reduction: Reduces stress better than the alcohol-equivalent of red wine. A one-to-five combination of 100-proof vodka and tonic has been proven to lower response to stressors monitored on brain scans.

• Reduced risk of developing hypertension: Recent studies show significant improvement in patients with high blood pressure after receiving small amounts of vodka.

• Cardio-protective: It protects against heart diseases. Vodka has a dilating effect on the arteries which stimulates free flow of blood. Unobstructed flow of blood within the heart components prevents the development of major illnesses such as stroke and cardiac event. It also aids in promoting the amount of HDL (good) cholesterol within the body and prevention of plaque of the arteries and other related complications.

• Lowers high blood pressure: Recent studies have shown significant improvement in patients with high blood pressure after being given small amounts of vodka.

• Anti-inflammation properties: It can also help to treat disorders that bring about inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Additionally, research has shown that consumption of vodka in moderation can alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. 

• Improved Sleep: Not only will vodka help you to relax, but it can also help you get to sleep more quickly. Vodka has sleep-inducing properties that will make you feel drowsy after a shot or two, and it will calm your brain.

• Aids in digestion: May help to treat common digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome.

• Relieves tooth ache: Swishing a little amount of vodka around an aching tooth may be useful, letting some of the vodka get absorbed into the gums to reduce the pain in the infected area until you can get to the dentist.

• Oral hygiene: Vodka combined with cinnamon works as an effective mouthwash and cures bad breath.

In addition to its “interior” benefits to the mind and body, there are some “exterior” benefits, as well:

•  Antiseptic properties: Vodka has antiseptic qualities that really help in preventing the development of infections from instances like animal bite, and can sterilize any wound better than hydrogen peroxide.

And of couse, there is a rash of benefits in folklore that may or may not be true. 

All of which leads to the questions, just what is vodka vis-a-vis other hard liquors in the making, and which is the best vodka? C’mon, now, won’t do everything for you, do a little research on your own!

And finally, the usual disclaimers and cautions: I have no financial interests in said beverage (other than the amount of money I spend in purchasing and consuming); always consume in moderation; I am not an M.D., so consult with yours if you have any medical issues or questions. The information above has been gleaned from many sources and no warranty – explicit or implied – to the verity of the foregoing is confered.

– Bill


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