An occasional glass of wine or pint of beer can be relaxing, but overconsumption of alcohol can be harmful to your health. Imbibing too frequently or in large quantities can put stress on many systems in your body. This can lead to severe health concerns. Reducing your alcohol intake can put your back on the road to good health.
Cut Empty Calories
It’s hard to argue that alcohol has any nutritional value. Beer has a bit of protein, fiber, and small amounts of B vitamins and selenium; even so, the benefits are canceled out by the high-calorie count. A typical 12-ounce bottle of beer can have 150 to 170 calories.
Your body can only metabolize a certain amount of calories each day. Consuming calories with little or no nutritional value just tends to add on the pounds. This is especially true when you are drinking your calories. One glass of wine can easily be followed by one or two more when you’re not watching out.
Improve Your Liver Health
The liver plays a key role in metabolizing the alcohol in your liver, which produces enzymes to process it. This produces stress on the cells of the liver, causing damage. Too much alcohol can lead to diseases such as alcohol-related hepatitis or cirrhosis.
Limiting alcohol can reduce your risk of liver disease. Reducing your intake to no more than one drink per day can help you avoid overtaxing your liver. “One drink” is usually measured as one can or bottle of beer, one glass of wine, or one shot of liquor.
Lower Your Blood Pressure
Many people don’t realize that there’s a connection between alcohol and blood pressure. Alcohol can cause increases in your blood pressure because it acts on your nerves and increases levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. It also acts on receptors in your body that regulate your blood pressure.
Light or moderate alcohol intake usually has no lasting effects, but binge drinking or continued heavy use can be harmful. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can lead to stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure.
Studies have shown that an alcoholic drink now and then doesn’t harm your health, but just as with other foods, overindulgence can hurt you in several ways. Monitoring your alcohol intake, limiting the number of drinks you have, and taking alcohol-free days can help you avoid the stress that causes health problems.
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