Just like smoking, alcohol is another addiction that people have. Alcohol consumption is a daily routine for many people. Some take it as a healthy dose, thinking that it will help to slower down their disease progression while others consume it just for the sake of pleasure. There have been many controversies regarding whether the consumption of alcohol is beneficial or harmful for our health but this issue has not reached to a conclusion. However, its health effects on the individuals depend on the amount of alcohol consumed.
Alcohol is addictive and is a drink that can powerfully control your mood and mental state. It reduces your self-consciousness and takes away your senses for that specific period. You try to binge eat or drink after the alcohol consumption.
Almost every one of us are indulged in the habit of drinking alcohol but excessive drinking can cost you a lot. Alcohol is complete sugar and fills up your body with tons of sugar, apart from this, it’s constituent are little toxic in nature.
Now, we all know that drinking too much alcohol has harmful effects on our body but there is a need to understand which organ is most affected by excessive alcohol consumption.
In our body liver is one such organ that is responsible for performing many essential functions ranging from synthesis of carbohydrates, fats and proteins to removing the extra toxins from our body. It also neutralizes the toxic substances that you consume. Huge amounts of alcohol means your liver has to work harder to clean your body which creates great pressure on it. Excessive drinking can cause damage to your liver making it become a prey of a serious disease known as Alcoholic Liver Disease. Alcoholic Liver Disease begins with the array of symptoms and stages starting from mild to becoming severe. The first stage is the Fatty Liver Disease which has grades like 1, 2 and 3 and is characterized by the increase in fat inside liver cells. As the grades progress further because of excessive consumption of alcohol, the liver cells start getting more inflamed leading to End Stage Liver Disease known as Liver Cirrhosis which is irreversible and may need liver transplant
Apart from causing damage to your liver, alcohol intake deteriorates your brain cells causing numerous effects on your brain. Reduced consciousness, slurred speech are the temporary effects but chronic alcohol abuse ultimately lead to dementia or memory loss in the middle aged and older adults.
Obesity is the most widespread health issue nowadays. Every 3rd person that we meet today is obese. If you are making efforts for managing your weight on one hand and are consuming alcohol on the other, it’s not going to bear any fruit to you. Alcohol is the most calorie and fat dense drink. It gives you 7 calories in each gram. Therefore, break your addiction for alcohol to keep yourself away from obesity and in order to maintain your weight.
After knowing the health implications of alcohol consumption lets also know how this addiction can break through diet and eating patterns.
- Keep your meals regular– Eating meals in a regular fashion is important to break the addiction as it has been estimated that hunger aggravates the addiction and enhance the craving for alcohol to a greater extent. So, eating something in short intervals to keep yourself filling is integral.
- Stick to a balanced diet– Alcoholics are at a greater risk of suffering from multi nutrient deficiencies because of the poor dietary habits that they practice. Eating a balanced diet by including all the nutrients such as protein, sufficient calories from carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, zinc etc. is vital to compensate the losses that the body has encountered and aids in reducing the trigger for alcohol.
- Cut sugar from your diet– In the struggle of kicking the habit of consuming alcohol, people tend to have more of sweets and sweet items as after quitting the alcohol there is a sudden drop in sugar levels of these alcoholics and they start craving for sugar items. So , instead of gulping on the sugary items opt for fruits which provide you with natural sugar known as fructose and gives you fibre along with relieving your sugar cravings too.
Tip- You can also have jaggery when craving for sugar as it gives you fibre along with iron.
- Enhance your dopamine– Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that is associated with deciding mood, ability to learn and pleasure. This gets affected by the alcohol consumption as it creates imbalance in its secretion. Chronic consumption of alcohol leads to decrease in the levels of dopamine which further triggers the anxious cravings for alcohol. So, it becomes important to consume food that give you ample dopamine to alleviate these cravings.
Get your dose of Dopamine from: Dark chocolates, Blueberries, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, nuts and oil seeds such as pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts etc.
- Fill up with fruits and vegetables – Fruits and vegetables are rich source of fibre and other essential vitamins and minerals. The intake of fresh fruits and vegetables further helps in fulfilling the losses of nutrients that occurred due to the consumption of alcohol thereby subsiding the deficiencies. They also aid in maintaining blood sugar levels which keeps fluctuating in the alcoholics and curb the cravings for alcohol.
- Focus on hydration – Quitting alcohol can cause variety of symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, loss of appetite and nausea. Apart from this your body gets dehydrated because of alcohol intake which needs to be replenished. So even when you are not eating well make sure that you drink plenty of fluids in the form of plain water, lemon water, buttermilk etc.
Over to you:
Breaking the alcohol addiction is a struggle but a small change in your lifestyle and eating patterns along with a healthy diet can help to get rid of this addiction. So,let us join hands and pledge together to win over the addiction and move a step ahead towards lifestyle modification.