Over the next few weeks, most of us will be celebrating the festive season with party after party.
Whether it’s the Christmas work do, a dinner party with friends or a pre-25th present swap there’s bound to be lots of merry events.
And, unless you’re tee-total you’re probably going to have a tipple or two (or five).
But, as we know, alcohol can affect our health in a number of ways – not least including the damage to your liver.
If you do want to have a drink over the Christmas period, we’ve spoken to doctors and experts to find out the best options.
And, it seems mulled wine is a winner.
Hussein Abdeh, Clinical Director and Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct, said: “When it comes to Christmas time, there aren’t many more festive drinks than mulled wine, but did you know that it also has a number of evidence-based health benefits.
“Mulled wine is made from red wine, which is known to contain compounds called polyphenols. These compounds are loaded with antioxidants that aid in keeping your blood vessels flexible, which helps the heart to pump blood around the body more easily.
“This reduces the risk of clotting and helps to take some strain off the heart. Furthermore, polyphenols help to keep HDL (good cholesterol) in your blood.
“The cinnamon contained in mulled wine is also packed with antioxidants which can help with the physical signs of ageing by reducing oxidative stress in the body.
“Cinnamon is also an effective anti-inflammatory and can help to reduce the risk of inflammatory conditions such as Arthritis and IBS ( Irritable bowel syndrome ). This spice can help to reduce levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol while keeping the good cholesterol at a stable level.
“The cloves in red wine are able to control your blood sugar levels, which is a serious health benefit as prolonged lengths of time with high blood sugar can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Experts over at Optibac Probiotics added: “Drink vegan red wine. The presence of plant polyphenols in vegan red wine is believed to be particularly significant: polyphenols have been shown to have numerous health benefits, thought to be due to their ‘prebiotic’ properties.
“And, vegan guts will be grateful for the higher intake of healthy plant nutrients! The good news is that vegan red wine is a great source of polyphenols!”
So if you’re looking for a tipple with health benefits then vegan mulled wine could be for you.
It should be noted that mulled wine can be high in calories and so if you’re looking for a lower-calorie alternative opt for light spirits like vodka with low-calorie mixers or even an alcoholic spritzer like Two Brooks which has 80 calories a can.
However, it’s important to note that alcohol is still never healthy. The NHS advises drinking no more than 14 units of alcohol per week. If you are worried about your drinking or find it difficult to stop then head to drinkaware.co.uk for further resources or contact your GP for advice and support.