Why You Should Limit Alcohol Consumption

People all over the world enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage with friends or a small glass of wine at dinner without any significant health risks. However, too much alcohol can harm your physical and emotional health. The U.S. Department of Health recommends limiting the daily intake of alcohol to no more than 2 drinks for men and one drink for women per day. 

A drink in the United States is defined as no more than 14 grams of alcohol. This is the equivalent of a 12-ounce beer or 5 ounces of wine. Here are three reasons you should limit your alcohol consumption to no more than the Department of Health recommendation.

Improve Your Mental Health

While some people claim that alcohol relaxes them and improves their mood, evidence suggests that this positive effect is only short-term. Long-term, mood-related drinking is closely associated with a higher risk of depression. 

This makes sense when you consider that alcohol is a depressant, which means that it slows down the neurotransmission process in your body. Depressants inhibit both arousal and emotion, including happiness and joy. Furthermore, alcohol can exacerbate other mental illnesses. 

Maintain a Healthier Liver

Alcohol-related liver disease causes extreme damage to the liver. Once the liver has been seriously damaged people experience bodily swelling, confusion, vomiting of blood, fatigue, loss of appetite, and general malaise. With every drink of alcohol you consume you are killing some of your liver cells. While a healthy liver is great at regenerating its cells, prolonged heavy alcohol use inhibits this natural ability. 

Limiting your alcohol consumption or stopping drinking altogether will allow your liver to continue its normal regeneration process. Of course, there is no going back once cirrhosis sets in. Eating healthy and exercising also helps reduce your risk of liver disease.

Avoid Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol use disorder (AUD), or alcoholism, is a serious illness affecting 15 million people in the United States. AUD is a tragic illness that kills nearly 100,000 people in the United States every year, including 5,000 teens, and costs the country nearly $250 billion annually. Alcohol use disorder occurs far more in people who begin drinking anything over the recommended limit. Only 2% of people who limit their drinks to the U.S. Department of Health recommendation end up with AUD.

There are so many reasons to limit your alcohol consumption. If you have people that you love in your life, you can start with them. They deserve to have you around for as long as possible! Plus, you deserve a healthy, happy, addiction-free life. 
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