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Staying Alcohol-Free For 21 Days Can Improve Your Health

Posted By on 10 January 2018

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Cranberry Juice and Soda!
Cranberry Juice and Soda!

If you want to see an immediate, dramatic improvement in your health then take the 21-Day Alcohol Challenge. You don’t have to quit alcohol altogether, but if you do feel you are addicted, then this is a good way to take-it-day-by-day until you reach that first 3-week milestone. After that, some people feel so great, that they resolve to quit drinking alcohol for good.

When Daily Drinking Becomes Addiction

There are many studies out now that suggest that moderate drinking has many benefits, especially to the cardiovascular system. Drinking is also a recognized, socially acceptable way to manage stress, and it is well-known for helping people to get in the mood for romance.

However, although it makes us feel great both physically and emotionally it is also unhealthy in many ways as it can impair judgment and slow down cognitive responses.  When drunk it can lead to situations that we’d never tolerate sober. Addiction to alcohol can be a slippery slope, where two glasses of wine a couple of days a week becomes an everyday routine and then, to feel well, physically and emotionally, you need to consume quite a few drinks every day.

Alcohol abuse interferes with the brain’s chemical messengers,  neurotransmitters serotonin, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), and dopamine. Serotonin affects our emotions, memory, appetite, body temperature and endocrine regulation. Dopamine is involved in feelings of pleasure and reward. GABA is involved in memory and cognitive functioning. Cognitive difficulties, irritability and mood swings are often the result, which in turn results in conflicts and misunderstandings with family, friends and coworkers.

Alcohol Abuse Damages Your Metabolism

Alcohol can also be hard on the metabolism.  Metabolism is the process by which the substances we eat and drink are converted into other compounds  As our bodies treat alcohol as a toxin, a poison to be purged it is removed from the blood through the process of oxidation. However, the liver is often overwhelmed by metabolizing alcohol so it is easily absorbed into the bloodstream and brain so you can get drunk. It also lowers your blood sugar drastically while at the same time raising cortisol levels, which destabilizes your endocrine system and causes your body to pack on the fat.

Alcohol also depletes vitamins and B12 as well as folic acid—nutrients the body needs to cope with stress—and can interfere with REM sleep, leaving you less rested than when you wake up in the morning.

What Happens When You Quit Drinking for 21 Days

When you take a break from alcohol or 21 days your body remembers how to recover from stress on its own without the carb-ridden stimulation offered by a drink. The brain has an amazing capacity to adjust neurotransmitter levels on its own.
The liver also has the opportunity to regenerate itself (unless it has already experienced serious scarring—cirrhosis—from heavy drinking.)If you steer clear of alcohol for 21 days your body will reset and find its own balance again.

If you wonder what you can drink at parties instead of alcohol, try:

Sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime or a  bit of unsweetened pomegranate, black cherry or cranberry juice
Any kind of chilled herbal tea served over ice with herbs or fruit
Water, sparkling or straight, with a lemon, lime or tangerine slice
If you do drink, say for a special occasion like your birthday try having that glass of white wine with some sparkling water.  If you must drink, diluted alcohol is best.

For more information about treating addiction naturally, nutrition for addicts,or to book a consultation about anti-aging, naturopathic testing, weight loss programs or any health issue you may be experiencing, visit the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website that has a list of full services and products at www.pinewoodhealth.ca or call our Toronto Office at (416)-656- 8100. We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at info@pinewoodhealth.ca and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.

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