Tequila is one of the most popular liquors in the world, famed for its key role in legendary cocktails and its strong cultural roots, but it also has certain health benefits that many people don’t know about!
What is Tequila?
Tequila is a popular type of liquor made from the blue agave plant, and limited in terms of production to the Jalisco region of Mexico.The extracted agave juice is allowed to ferment, which eventually leads to alcohol forming in the liquid. The name itself comes from the town of Tequila, where a large percentage of production still occurs. It is often confused with mezcal and is indeed a type of mezcal, but mezcal can be made from any type of agave.
Types of Tequila
There are more than 300 different types of tequila on the market, and they range in color from completely pure to a dark brown color. The aroma is similarly diverse, depending on what type of this alcohol you are consuming. There are four main types of tequila:
- Blanco – A pure white or clear spirit that has been allowed to age for less than 2 months
- Reposado – Aged between 2 months and 1 year in oak barrels
- Anejo – Aged between 1 year and 3 years in oak barrels
- Extra Anejo – Aged for at least 3 years
When it comes to nutrition, this liquor contains only 64 calories per shot, as compared to nearly 100 calories in a shot of vodka. Furthermore, you are less likely to require sugar-heavy mixers with this alcohol, as it has a natural sweetness, thus reducing your average calorie intake with this type of cocktail. This Mexican favorite is also gluten-free, making it ideal for celiac patients. There are also agavins and fructans in tequila, unique compounds that have various effects on our health.
In terms of alcohol content, this liquor typically ranges from 32%-60%.
Health Benefits of Tequila
There are a number of surprising health benefits of tequila, including its ability to do the following:
- Regulate blood sugar levels
- Improve digestion
- Weight loss
- Minimize hangover symptoms
- Prevent dementia
- Prevent nausea
- Boost immunity
Being lower in calories than most other forms of liquor, this Mexican specialty can help you lose weight by shaving some calories off your daily or weekly intake of alcohol.
Research has shown that this spirit is able to stimulate the activity of probiotics in the gut, and thanks to the yeast present in this alcohol, it can help balance the bacterial environment in your gut.
Some studies claim that the agavins and other active ingredients in this alcohol can help to stimulate neural activity and slow the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.
Like many alcohols, tequila is a depressant, in the sense that it will make it easier for the body to wind down and sleep; however, excessive consumption can cause unhealthy, unconscious sleep, so consume in moderation.
As opposed to many other types of alcohol, it is believed that this liquor minimizes many side effects of a hangover.
How to Make Tequila at Home?
For those who truly love this alcohol, it is possible to make your own tequila at home, but it can be an involved process.
- First, you must harvest the agave from one of the limited regions where blue agave plants grow in Mexico.
- You will need to cook the agave and then crush the agave hearts, which mills and squeezes the juice that is necessary for the production of the alcohol.
- You must then store a large amount of agave juice in a fermenting vat until the alcohol begins to form.
- At this point, you can store the alcohol in large oak barrels and allow them to age for anywhere between two months and five years.
Basically, it is possible to make your own, but given the time-intensive nature of production, people normally leave it to the professionals.
Tequila Side Effects
If consumed in excess, tequila will result in the following:
- Potential nausea
- Lack of coordination
- Body aches