Health Benefits of Hard Apple Cider

Now, we’ve all heard the reasons why alcohol is bad for you, but what about the benefits?
Here is a list of nine ways that drinking apple cider in moderation can benefit your health.

It Can Lower Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

The School of Public Health at Harvard University found that “moderate amounts of alcohol raises levels of high-density lipoprotein, HDL, or ‘good’ cholesterol and higher HDL levels are associated with greater protection against heart disease.  Moderate alcohol consumption has also been linked with beneficial changes ranging from better sensitivity to insulin to improvements in factors that influence blood clotting….Such changes would tend to prevent the formation of small blood clots that can block arteries in the heart, neck, and brain, the ultimate cause of many heart attacks and the most common kind of stroke.”  This finding is applicable to both men and women who have not been previously diagnosed with any type of cardiovascular disease.

Can Lengthen Your Life

Drinking occasionally could add a few years to your life.  A study by the Catholic University of Campobasso reported that drinking less than four or two drinks per day for men and women respectively could reduce the risk of death by 18 percent, as reported by Reuters.  “Little amounts, preferably during meals, this appears to be the right way (to drink alcohol),” said Dr. Giovanni de Gaetano of Catholic University, another author on the study.

Can Improve Your Libido

Contrary to prior beliefs, newer research has found that moderate drinking might actually protect against erectile dysfunction in the same way that moderate drinking might benefit heart disease.  In a 2009 study published in the, Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers found that the chances of erectile dysfunction were reduced by 25 to 30 percent among alcohol drinkers.  The lead researcher, Kew-Kim Chew, an epidemiologist at the University of West Australia, conducted the study with 1,770 Australian men.

Helps Prevent Against the Common Cold

The Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University found that while susceptibility to the common cold was increased by smoking, moderate alcohol consumption led to a decrease in common cold cases for nonsmokers.  This study was conducted in 1993 with 391 adults.  In 2002, according to the New Your Times, Spanish researchers found that by drinking eight to 14 glasses of wine per week one could see a 60-percent reduction in the risk of developing a cold.

Can Decrease Chances of Developing Dementia

In a study that included more than 365,000 participants since 1977, as reported in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, moderate drinkers were 23 percent less likely to develop cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.  “Small amounts of alcohol might, in effect, make brain cells more fit.  Alcohol in moderate amounts stresses cells and thus toughens them up to cope with major stresses down the road that could cause dementia. “, said Edward J. Neafsey, Ph.D., co-author of the study, as reported by Science Daily.

It Can Reduce the Risk of Gallstones

Drinking two units of alcohol per day can reduce the risk of gallstones by one-third, according to researchers at the University of East Anglia.  The study found that those who reported consuming two UK units of alcohol per day had a one-third reduction in their risk of developing gallstones.  “Researchers emphasized that their findings show the benefits of moderate alcohol intake but stress that excessive alcohol intake can cause health problems,” according to the study.

Lowers the Chance of Diabetes

Results of a Dutch study showed that healthy adults who drink one to two glasses per day have a decreased chance of developing type 2 diabetes, in comparison to those who don’t drink at all.  “The results of the investigation show that moderate alcohol consumption can play a part in a healthy lifestyle to help reduce the risk of developing diabetes type 2,” researchers said in a statement to Reuters.

Gluten Free Can Improve Digestive System

The human digestive systems aren’t equipped to handle gluten, which is a category of elastic protein found in beers that may lead to bloating, stomach pain, fatigue, foggy thinking and depression.  Many experts agree that those symptoms can be associated with gluten-related allergies or sensitivities—most notably celiac disease.  Dr. Alessio Fasano, M.D., director of the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital says another subset of people suffer from a condition known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), which can cause stomach pain or cramps, diarrhea, weight loss, rashes, headaches, joint or muscle pain, leg or arm numbness, depression, and anemia. Most ciders are gluten free.

Malic Acid (found in apples) Offers a Diverse Range of Health Benefits

Malic acid which naturally occurs in apples, is also naturally present in your body’s cells and are broken down on a daily basis to produce many health-related benefits such as increased energy, boosting immunity, maintaining oral health, reducing the risk of poisoning from a build-up of toxic metals and promoting smoother and firmer skin.

One of its most significant benefits lies in its ability to stimulate metabolism and increase energy production.  This action is linked to the important role it plays in a process known as the Krebs cycle.  Sir Hans Krebs won the Nobel prize for physiology in 1953 for describing how a complex series of biochemical reactions takes place within the body’s cells to transform proteins, fat and carbohydrates into water and energy.  This process requires malic acid, in order to keep it functioning properly 24 hours a day. 

Malic acid also plays a vital role in improving overall muscle performance, reversing muscle fatigue following exercise, reducing tiredness and poor energy levels, as well as improving mental clarity.  These actions can make it a beneficial treatment for sufferers of fibromyalgia and CFS (both of these conditions involve muscle pain, joint tenderness and low energy levels).  In addition to increasing energy levels, malic acid is also an effective metal chelator.  This means it is able to bind to potentially toxic metals that may have accumulated in the body, such as aluminum or lead, and inactivate them.  As a result, the risk of toxicity is considerably reduced.  Heavy metal overload has been linked to serious problems like liver disease and brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. 

Malic acid also helps maintain oral hygiene.  It stimulates the production of saliva, which reduces the number of harmful bacteria circulating in your mouth, teeth and gums.  It acts as an antiseptic too, which also helps to ensure that germs in the mouth are kept to a minimum and considerably reduces the risk of infection.  This explains why malic acid is commonly used as an ingredient in mouthwashes and toothpastes.  To add to the list of benefits, malic acid also helps to maintain good, healthy skin.