There’s a lot of information out there regarding whether alcohol is good for you or not. A lot of this information seems to leave you sitting on the fence wondering if there really is a health benefit. Today, there’s enough credible sources of information where we can say that there are real benefits on the consumption of alcohol. However, the key is strict and disciplined moderation. Moderation, moderation, moderation.
The problem with alcohol is it’s a super slippery slope into excess consumption and addiction. Alcohol limits our inhibitions and decision making skills, which makes it a lot easier to get used to “Ah, what the heck, I’ll have another!” Before you know it, you’re addicted and doing more harm than good.
With this article, I wanted to write about how exactly alcohol can help you if you are disciplined and drink it in moderation.
It Can Protect Your Heart
The clearest benefit that researchers have found is the fact that it can contribute to your hearts health. Reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease while increasing the possibility of surviving a stroke or heart attack have all been identified as key benefits. Why? Well, alcohol raises levels of HDL, which is your good cholesterol that fights to remove bad cholesterol from your blood stream. Bad cholesterol in your blood stream can contribute to plaque and build up on the walls of your arteries, making it difficult for your heart to do its job. This also prevents your arteries from hardening and will make them a lot stronger. Having these important passageways clear are absolutely vital to your hearts health.
Does it matter if it’s beer or wine? Well, not really. Alcohol will do its job no matter what form it comes in. However, the extra calories from whatever drink you choose can do its own damage. So, choose wisely.
Increase Your Memory, Prevent Alzheimer’s & Dementia
This benefit hasn’t absolutely been clear or explained. However, there are some strong indications that it can help improve your memory. Why? Well, alcohol also helps to reduce inflammation in your body. Inflammation in the brain is one of the key components of dementia or forming Alzheimer’s. If alcohol enters your blood stream and works its way to your brain (again, at a low moderate level), it can help to bring down some of that inflammation and help keep you sharp. This works well in the benefit of older folks, not so much younger people.
Relieve Some Stress
There are also the obvious benefits that a drink can help you let some steam off. One drink can help you feel a little bit more relaxed and often help you fall asleep, if you’re having trouble in that area. Anything more than that will cause issues.
The Upsides Are OK, The Downsides Are Disastrous
It’s very clear that abusing alcohol can work quickly to bring down your health and your life. Over use of alcohol can contribute to many illnesses like liver and pancreatic cancer, a significantly higher risk of stroke, higher blood pressure levels, and uncomfortable levels of stress.
While one a day can certainly present itself some health benefits, its health benefits can be magnified when you include a healthy exercise routine.
Be smart and be disciplined!
Dan Thomas is an avid health and wellness enthusiast who enjoys sharing his knowledge. He encourages people to stay off the road after having a drink. Be sure to follow him on Twitter (@HealthCrazyDan) for more health and wellness tips!