We have all heard it before. Alcohol is bad for you! Alcohol causes accidents, alcohol is a carcinogen, and alcohol cases moral and social degradation! This is true but it requires high doses over a prolonged period of time and on a regular basis.
At low doses, and what I mean by that is 1 to 2 glasses of red wine each evening, it has more health benefiting than health damaging effects. Red wine in particular is the best source of alcohol since it also contains Resveratrol, the anti-oxidative molecule that protects our arteries and our hearts.
But what about alcohol itself? What are its health benefits, if any? Well, alcohol is a neuro-depressant. It slows down the firing of brain cells and thus eases the inhibitions and relaxes the mind. It binds to certain receptors in our brain that also bind a neurotransmitter called GABA. GABA is a molecule that inhibits over-excitation of our nerve cells.
So how can we apply this quality of alcohol to improve our quality of life? Well for one, a glass of red wine in the evening will relax the mind, help with falling asleep, and improve the quality of sleep. Another benefit is for situations when we are over-stressed. Such nervous relaxation can be far healthier on the general state of the body and mind than dealing with the stress without any relaxation whatsoever. As has been shown by numerous studies, excessive stress can be very damaging to our health and especially to mental health.
Alcohol can also improve the enjoyment of social events. But please note that I am not encouraging excessive alcohol consumption. This kind of behavior is damaging to our organs, is addictive and can make us get into a lot of trouble with friends, family and the authorities. I am simply stating some facts to introduce some balance into the dogma we all hear from health professionals that alcohol is all bad. Let’s remember to put things into perspective and consider all sides of the story.