Tequila has come a long way from its reputation as a wild night, dive bar, hangover-inducing spirit. It’s not just for Cinco De Mayo anymore! Now, it even has its own National Day (July 24th) and it is making appearances at upscale taverns and fancy parties. We all, of course, know that tequila makes you exponentially more charming and a great dancer, but do you know the tequila facts for your health? No, seriously, tequila can be healthy!
Knowing tequila facts for your health will help you enjoy your margaritas and tequila cocktails even more!
Before you pour that shot, it’s important to be sure you are drinking quality Tequila. Under Mexican law, tequila can only be made from the heart of the Blue Agave plant. It’s produced in just five appellations of origin in Mexico, and is classified by age as follows (from youngest to oldest): Blanco, Joven, Reposado, Añejo, and Extra Añejo.
The youngest, Blanco, is the purest since it has not developed the various sugars found in its older siblings. As always, moderation is key. However, if you want to enjoy a quality liquor with some potential health benefits, pour yourself some blanco to sip and remember these best tequila facts for your health!
Tequila Facts for your Health | Tequila is Hangover Free
Blanco tequila is one of the purest forms of liquor in the world. Sometimes referred to as “Silver”, it has not been aged in wood barrels and doesn’t contain the sugars that develop in the older varieties of tequila.
Sugar and chemical impurities are what give us that awful day-after headache. You won’t find that in blanco tequila; however, add the sugary margarita mix and you will have missed the point. Instead opt for skinnier, low-calorie mixers like seltzer and lime juice.
Tequila Facts for your Health | Tequila is Naturally Gluten Free
If you suffer from Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance, you can drink 100% agave Tequila without worry. If your tequila is made from 100% agave, it doesn’t contain any caramel coloring or additives like many other alcohols do.
Tequila Facts for your Health | Tequila is Diet Friendly
Trying to lose weight? Pure agave tequila is low in sugar and has only 69 calories per ounce. It is carbohydrate free due to the distillation process. Getting a little more scientific, the particular type of sugars found in tequila, called agavins, don’t appear to raise blood sugar levels and actually produce a hormone which is known to keep you feeling fuller, longer.
This is great news for anyone on low sugar, low calorie or low carb diet who wants a cocktail now and then. Just be sure to skip the calorie-laden mixes and sodas.
Tequila Facts for your Health | Tequila Might Elevate Your Mood and Relieve Stress
It is said that tequila, unlike all other alcohol, is an “upper” rather than a “downer”. Granted, since all alcohol (ethanol) is a depressant, this one probably isn’t factually true. But sometimes it’s mind over matter. If tequila makes you feel happier and less stressed, go with it!
Tequila Facts for your Health | Tequila May Lower Blood Sugar and Cholesterol
Going back to those agavins again, scientists have found that these sugars only found in tequila lower blood glucose levels and increase insulin production. Agavins also lower triglycerides which can ultimately lower cholesterol levels.
This might be beneficial even for people with type 2 diabetes. (But of course, always check with your doctor if alcohol is normally off limits for you.)
Tequila Facts for your Health | Tequila Numbs Pain
We have all heard of drinking our blues away. Tequila is definitely used to numb emotional pain, but did you know it can also numb physical pain? Tequila dilates your blood vessels, helping blood to move through your body more easily, which lessens aches and pains.
Tequila Facts for your Health | Tequila Has Been Used As A Cure for Common Cold
Doctors in Mexico in the 1930’s began prescribing tequila with some lime and salt as a cure for the common cold. There’s no sound medical research to back this one up, but it might be worth a shot. Pun intended.
Tequila Facts for your Health | Fructans are Good For Your Digestion
Don’t know what a Fructan is? It’s a naturally-occurring form of Fructose found in tequila. It has been found that Fructans help boost the amount of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in the body, in a way acting like a prebiotic, by helping out the good gut bacteria that exists in your body. This might make tequila a great digestif!
Tequila Facts for your Health | Fructans May Prevent Bone Loss
Scientists have found that mice fed fructans absorbed more calcium from their food and showed an increase in the bone-tissue-building protein, osteocalcin. Can fructans really prevent bone loss? Maybe. Supplementing with agave fructans might be one way to promote healthy bone formation. That’s certainly a reason to keep sipping your blanco.
Tequila Facts for your Health | Tequila Lowers Your Risk of Dementia
Drinking tequila, and other alcohol, in moderation can help reduce your risk of dementia. Light to moderate drinking stimulates your brain to release acetylcholine, a chemical important to memory. It’s not clear why, but smaller amounts of alcohol seem to be good for the brain while larger amounts actually increase your risk of developing the disease.
All said, don’t go switching your daily protein shake or green juice with a tequila and soda. It’s important to talk to your doctor before using tequila as a cure-all for any of the health conditions discussed here.
Dietary guidelines recommend that moderate drinking for women is up to one alcoholic beverage per day and up to two for men. So although tequila can be beneficial in many ways, drinking to excess can cause severe health problems.
Enjoy your tequila in moderation and stay healthy!