26 Aug Celebrate Smarter: The Best Clean Beer, Wine, and Liquor for Your Body
Fall is fast approaching, which means several of our friends are doing a post-summer “cleanse” to re-balance and re-calibrate before the new season. Oftentimes, cleanses dictate the avoidance of things like sugars, saturated fats and such – as to be expected. But they also call for abstinence from alcohol. Alcohol? What’s so bad about alcohol?
The biggest concerns with alcohol are threefold:
It often contains toxic ingredients, like…
- Pesticides – wine grapes are among the most heavily sprayed crops
- Sulfur dioxide – “sulfites” are a preservative that can cause allergic reactions and irritate asthma
- GMOs – vodka and beer often contain the highest level of GMO corn and corn syrups
- Animal products – such as gelatin or even fish bladder, listed in ingredients as “isinglass”
- “Natural flavors” – these are often extracts from natural sources like fruit, which are safe in small amounts but have been added heavily
- Artificial colors
- BPA – a known calcium-blocker that leaches from plastic containers into the beverage and can lower immunity or increase risk of certain cancers
- Arsenic – usually found naturally in the soil, but which is sometimes found at dangerously high levels in certain beverages
- Propylene glycol – connected to certain neurological conditions and found in some popular beer brands
It acidifies the body, contributing to lower pH levels and increased inflammation.
Many times, alcoholic beverages contain high amounts of sugar, not ideal for optimal health and wellness.
So, now that we know what we don’t want in our bodies, what alcoholic beverages are safe for us to enjoy? Here are a few simple tips to follow:
- Look for beverages packaged in glass containers, helping you to avoid harmful BPA from plastics (and more easily recyclable!)
- Choose organic when possible, as these options are less likely to contain sulfites. German beers are often a safe choice, as these undergo strict purity laws that prohibit added chemicals. Other safe options include: Sierra Nevada, Amstel, and Heineken, known to be free of certain toxic ingredients.
- Clear liquors are typically safest. Tequila is the “cleanest” beverage, harboring the lowest amount of toxins. Otherwise, look for “organic” liquors, and remember drinking it “neat” (i.e. without any sugary mixers) is considered the healthiest choice.
As with anything, drinking in moderation is key! Alcohol is, essentially, a poison to your body that your liver will have to flush out, so be considerate of this hardworking organ. For more information about choosing more healthful drinks, check out this article by Medical Daily and this post by the Save Institute. For some guilt-free cocktail recipes to kick off a clean fall season, check out this list by Taste of Home and these from All Recipes.