11 Surprising Benefits of Gin

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Drinking gin is a refreshing experience, but given where it comes from and what it contains, there are also some surprising health benefits that it can provide.

What is Gin?

Gin is a type of alcoholic spirit and is one of the many that derives its primary flavor from juniper berries. For more than 1000 years, this spirit has been a popular beverage in Europe and other parts of the world. The term gin is a broad classification and may include spirits produced in various ways and with different qualities or strengths. Some gin relies on pure grain for its fermentation, while others may use other alcohol, such a scotch or vodka. The defining characteristic of all gins in the world is that they are flavored with juniper, giving them a sweet and tangy flavor. Depending on the method of production, some gins are gluten-free. As with most other spirits, gin can have some benefits for health when consumed in moderation.

What is Gin Made From?

As mentioned above, this spirit can be made from a number of different substances, including rice, wheat, seeds, as well as using other alcohols as a base, such as vodka. The most common source for gin is a pure grain mixture, which produces pure ethanol, a neutral substance to which other flavors can be added during the distillation process, or once the alcohol is put into barrels.

Nutrition Facts

In terms of nutrition, gin is one of the lowest-calorie alcohol available, containing only 95 calories per 1.5-ounce shot. Although there are no essential micronutrients or macronutrients found in this alcohol, some of the essential oils and compounds from the ingredients in gin production (e.g., coriander seeds, juniper berries, etc.) can provide various health benefits.

Benefits

There are a number of benefits associated with consuming gin on a regular basis, including the ability to detoxify the body, extend your lifespan, and reduce symptoms of hay fever, among others.

  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Reducing joint pain and inflammation
  • Treating malaria
  • Promoting bone health
  • Protecting the health of the skin by eliminating wrinkles and preventing premature aging
  • Weight management
  • Increasing circulation to boost energy levels
  • Acting as a diuretic to detoxify the body
  • Supporting kidney and liver health
  • Relieving the severity of hayfever symptoms
  • Promoting digestion by preventing bloating and cramping

How to Make?

Although this spirit is widely available in most stores around the world, some people prefer to make their own at home!

  • Step 1: And one bottle of vodka to a 1-liter jar.
  • Step 2: Add coriander seeds, cinnamon stick, juniper berries, two cardamom pods, and 1/2 of licorice root.
  • Step 3: Close the bottle and let this mixture infuse for 24 hours.
  • Step 4: Add one piece of orange peel and infuse for another 24 hours.
  • Step 5: Strain out the botanicals and filter the rest through a coffee filter.
  • Step 6: Allow the mixture to sit for two more days and then strain again.

Note: Gin is often accompanied with tonic water to turn into a delicious cocktail.

Side Effects

There are some side effects of drinking gin, particularly when it is consumed in excess. Some of the most common side effects include the following:

  • Hangover
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Headaches

There are also some reports that drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, which includes gin, can increase your risk of cancer and heart disease. Drinking in moderation is recommended.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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