Alcohol is one of the most popular recreational drug out there. Used by millions and millions of people at the end of a hard day to reduce stress, alcohol is considered a good social lubricant as it strips away your sense of inhibition and allows you to talk to people with more confidence than you normally would. In fact, once you’re used to having alcohol at parties, you may even find it harder to socialize in settings where there is no alcohol as you do end up depending on the boost of confidence you get from your drink of choice.
However, social responses aside, alcohol, when taken in moderation, is said to have a few health benefits as well.
Let’s take a look at these benefits, and how good alcohol really is:
1. Alcohol and your brain
When you drink, your brain loses its ability to process information properly, leading to most of the symptoms of being drunk. Your inhibitions are stripped away, you have no impulse control, and eventually, very few cognitive skills left. Binge drinking also leads to blackouts and memory loss. However, alcohol can also prevent the onset of dementia in senior citizens when taken in moderation.
2. Alcohol and your heart
Many cardiologists often tell their patients that they may indulge in a glass of wine during dinner as wine is meant to be good for the heart. Filled with antioxidants, this drink offers a few health benefits when it comes to keeping your heart healthy. However, at the same time, heavy drinking can increase the risk of heart disease.
3. Alcohol and stress
This is slightly tricky. While indulging in a glass or two can help you reduce your stress or anxiety at the end of a long day, drinking too much can elevate the same and lead to break downs. Furthermore, from a psychological point of view, seeking out alcohol every time you have a bad day can result in a dependency as you may not use any other way to elevate your stress.
4. Alcohol and diabetes
Having light to moderate amount of alcohol can help individuals who have type 2 diabetes. This is because alcohol affects your body’s resistance to insulin. However, at the same time, having large amounts of alcohol can conversely affect your health when it comes to diabetes, especially when the alcohol is mixed with sweet mixers.
5. Alcohol and cancer
Having alcohol on a regular basis can increase your risk for developing mouth and throat cancer, breast cancer, and liver cancer by a substantial amount. It can even lead to stomach cancer. So if you’re hoping that the antioxidants in your wine can help prevent cancer, that’s not really going to happen.
6. Alcohol and depression
People suffering from depression are more likely to seek out alcohol in order to feel better. However, though the first drink or two may make you feel happier, alcohol only elevates your depression and makes it worse. Quitting alcohol often leads to reduced levels of depression in people suffering from this disease.
Alcohol is a highly addictive substance so one must also take into consideration the dependency to it. Over time, one becomes so used to drinking that one cannot function without it. If alcohol causes changes in your personality, makes you suicidal, makes you lose control, or simply seems too appealing to stop at any given point, then you may just have an alcohol problem. Not being able to stop is the very definition of addiction and the addiction to alcohol can be a very trying one.
Taking care of your health is the most important thing you can do for yourself and your family.