5 Surprising Benefits of Alcohol You Should Know

Drinking alcohol can be a lot like a tightrope walk – while it can offer certain health benefits and can be a great way to unwind after a long day, it can also lead to a lot of health problems later on. The key is to keep it balanced.

Of course, you don’t have to start drinking just for the health benefits, but when you already do, here are a few that can give you reason enough to be comfortable with having a drink or two:

1. Alcohol can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease
Multiple studies have shown that alcohol, when consumed in moderate amounts, can raise HDL (high-density lipoproteins), otherwise known as “good” cholesterol, which has been linked to better protection against different heart diseases.

Moderate drinking has also been linked to other benefits, from better response to insulin (an enzyme that allows the body to store glucose) to improvements in blood clotting.

2. A drink or two can improve your libido
One drink a day can help to improve your sex life. Even though alcohol is considered to be a depressant (it limits activity in the nervous system), consuming small amounts can build your libido and help to protect against erectile dysfunction.

3. You are less likely to be diabetic
Healthy adults taking two glasses a day can have a lowered overall chance of developing type-2 diabetes when compared to healthy adults who don’t drink at all, ad this is because small amounts of alcohol can increase a person’s sensitivity to insulin.

4. You’re less likely to develop dementia
When taken in small amounts, alcohol can cause moderate amounts of stress in brain cells. Because they are able to respond appropriately to the stress caused to them, they are able to build themselves up to withstand more stress better, which keeps dementia at bay.

5. Alcohol can make you live longer
Drinking can even add a few years to your life, especially when small amounts are consumed during meals (and only consumed during lunch and dinner) as part of a Mediterranean diet. However, with this type of regular consumption, the rest of the day needs to be alcohol-free.

How Much Should You Drink?
Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol means taking one drink per day at most for women of all ages, as well as men over the age of sixty-five. For those sixty-five and below, the amount is up to two drinks.

How much you should drink also depends on the type of alcohol you drink. For beer, the amount is 355 milliliters (or 12 fluid ounces), 148 milliliters (5 fluid ounces) for wine), and 44 milliliters (1.5 fluid ounces) for distilled spirits or drinks with a proof of 80 or higher.

How to Know a Cheese According to Its Features


If you are a cheese addict, it is important that you are familiar with everything about it so you are not easily fooled. Cheeses are one of the greatest gifts to humanity because it is tasty and good for the body since it is highly nutritious. It is produced from milk that comes in different packages, flavours, shapes and textures.

You have to know that the color can be white, yellow and green. You should also know the consistency from soft to hard depending on its type. There are many cheeses in the market and it is totally overwhelming. Speaking of many types of cheeses in the market, where do you begin? This is the time that you know how to judger a cheese according to its features. Start with its features and you will become an expert in no time. Here are the features:

  • Country of Origin: This is pretty obvious. When you check out a cheese, the first thing that should come to your mind is its country of origin. The country of origin usually refers to where the cheese was first produced or developed. There are some cheeses that are protected – produced in strict methods in a particular region. This is kind of expensive.


  • Aging: Aging is done to improve the taste and the texture of cheese. For a period of time, a cheese is aged in temperature-controlled surrounding. Scientifically, when you let a cheese age, the moisture will evaporate which will result to a denser paste and intense flavour.

  • Type of Milk: Cheese always begins with milk but the animal it was derived from can make a difference when it comes to flavour. For example, a cow’s milk is known for its sweet and creamy flavour. The sheep’s milk has this distinct grassy flavour while goat’s milk is the gamiest.


  • Tasting Notes: Tasting notes means what you should expect in a cheese. Tasting notes will teach you how to identify characteristics that you should search out for.

Now that you know the features, the next thing that you should be familiar with is the most common cheeses not only here in Singapore but around the world. The most common cheeses include Roquefort, cotija, camembert, feta, chevre, mozzarella, cheddar, emmental, gouda, montery-jack, manchego, parmigiano-reggiano and teleggio.

By focusing on these things, you can easily learn what you like and do not like. The next time you step into that cheese store, at least pretend you are a pro and look for such features. Happy cheese shopping!

5 Allergy-Busting Foods to Eat

Taking antihistamine pills might be known as one of the traditional allergy treatments, but it isn’t the only means of busting your allergies away. If you’re looking for a more natural solution, try out this five allergy-busting foods to relieve your seasonal sneezes and give your immune system its much needed boost.


  1. Local Honey. Although its allergy-busting properties rely on hearsays, taking in a good dose of local honey is one of the well-known natural remedies for allergic rhinitis. The locally produced honey contains pollens from plants and that is what acts as the natural allergy vaccine. By introducing small amounts of allergen into your body, you activate your immune system and build up an immunity against it over time.


  1. Garlic. Apart from making your dishes tastier, garlic also aids in boosting your immune system while acting as a natural decongestant. These little bulbs become more effective when it’s crushed and eaten raw. If the thought of munching on raw garlic doesn’t appeal to you, then try adding it to your salad dressing or pesto sauce.


  1. Mackerel. Along with other oily fishes like sardines and salmon, mackerel contains high amounts of omega-3 fats. These essential fats has anti-inflammatory properties that are known to help in reducing one’s risk of getting allergies. For vegans, your best source of these essential fats would be chia and flaxseeds. If you don’t always get to eat any of these oily fishes, take an omega-3 supplement instead.

rachel allen grilled mackerel fillets original image

  1. Lemons. Not only is it great for quenching your thirst, lemons – with its bioflavonoids and vitamin C content – also work wonders as natural decongestant and natural antihistamine. Simply drink a freshly squeezed lemon water with a few drops of local honey regularly to give your immune system the support it needs.


  1. Turmeric. Put an extra teaspoon of this spice into your curry for an added therapeutic benefits. Curcumin, an active ingredient found in turmeric, is believed to prevent the release of histamine in the body. Aside from that, turmeric also possess anti-inflammatory properties that aids in easing inflamed airways associated with allergic rhinitis.

Although there are some foods that trigger allergic reactions, there are also those that remedy them. So start stocking up your pantry with these spices and food, not just to create tasty dishes, but to bust your seasonal sneezes away as well.