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“Just One More Drink” Could Be the Leading Cause of Death. Know Your Body’s Limit of Alcohol Consumption.

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How many of us have gone out to bars or parties and have lost count of the number of drinks consumed throughout the night? I’m sure many of us have experienced those regrettable mornings the day after. Don’t let yourself feel the regret and know your body’s alcohol tolerance before taking the first sip!

We may have heard that 1-2 drinks daily could be beneficial to your health since it is good for the heart. However, recent studies have shown that drinking any amount of alcohol is problematic for your health and is one of the leading causes of death.

Though drinking alcohol is merely a part of the social aspect in many countries, studies have shown that it has killed more people globally than before. Humans have been consuming alcohol for millions of years, long before brewing became a craft in itself. But as always, it’s important to do your research beforehand, especially knowing there is a direct impact on your body’s health!

How Bad is Alcohol?  

Alcohol is the number one overused drug consumed by minors. 86.4% have consumed alcohol before the legal age of 21, and 26.9% of the minors have engaged in excessive alcohol drinking. This is intoxicating to the body’s health. Hence, it is necessary to learn the impact of it before consumption.

It’s easy to drink a cup or two but could be horrifying when you start to lose count. Most people have probably hit that limit before. Therefore, it’s best to know how much you can take in before putting excess pressure on your liver or you could be more prone to long-term health issues.

There are 2.8 million deaths each year, and 1 in 10 deaths that occur are due to mishandling of alcohol. This alcoholic binge is worse now than ever imagined, and no amount of alcohol is shown to be “healthy.” Booze is a known neurotoxin; if taken in excess, it may cause memory impairment and reckless decision making.

Alcohol is a depressant, which are drugs taken to decrease the heart rate and breathing. There is a direct negative impact on cognitive ability, like loss of attention, inability to think abstractly, and loss of visuospatial abilities. Studies have shown that it deteriorates the gray matter in your brain and causes a lack of coordination and confusion. If this substance is abused, there are withdrawal symptoms, and it can gravely impair a person’s sleep and brain’s “hard-wiring.”

How Much Is One Drink?

  • Beer= 5% Alcohol= 1 can= 12 fl. oz.
  • Malt liquor= 7% Alcohol= 8-9 fl.oz.
  • Table wine= 12% Alcohol= 5 fl. oz.
  • Shot of distilled spirits= 40% Alcohol= 1.5 fl. oz.

PC: https://www.grandforks.af.mil/News/Features/Display/Article/764042/so-you-had-a-planto-go-drink-for-drink-with-a-buddy/

How Much Alcohol Can I Take?

Everyone’s body size is different, so that means everyone has a different alcohol tolerance range. Just because you have a fast metabolism or have a larger body mass, does not mean you are prompted to drink more. Your tolerance is based on a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) calculation where a Driving under the influence (DUI) conviction means 0.08% or higher. Note that it is still possible that you could be charged at any level above 0. Depending on which state you are convicted, the fines could go up to $1000 and is listed on your permanent record.

Approximately 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year. One in four college students have shown academic consequences due to poor habits and 696,000 students reported to have been involved in sexual assault due to excess alcohol consumption. People around you who are not educated or precautious about their consumption can pose an even more significant threat to innocent people.

Last but not least, if you decide to drink, do it with precaution! Do not let your lack of education or one bad decision determine your fate. These are not just scare tactic numbers, but it’s the hard truth that could come down to a life or death situation.  

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Fast Facts on How These Top 6 Spices Can Strengthen Your Health

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We mostly focus on fruits and vegetables to gain proper nutrition, but how about placing our focus on herbs and spices? Instead of looking for food options which are less in calories or for “organic food”, it could be a useful game changer if there is an addition of spice onto your dish. Not only does it contribute for additional flavoring, but it can also boost your health at the same time!

Here are some delicious herbs and spices that have powerful health benefits, supported by research:

Turmeric

Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa, is a yellow-colored spice that is founded in most Asian foods such as curry. It contains a chemical called curcumin that has anti-inflammatory responses and can ease pain. This spice is a member of the ginger family and is a major ingredient for curry.

 

Positive health benefits for turmeric include:

  • Reduces aggravation in arthritis patients
  • Eases headaches and itching
  • Reduces colds and fevers
  • Relieves pain on skin and bruising
  • Anti- Inflammatory properties
  • Digestive healing agent
  • Reduces high cholesterol

Other positive skin benefits include:

  • Clears acne scars
  • Reduces oil secretion
  • Heals cuts and skin irritation
  • Whitens teeth
  • Fights aging and wrinkles

Turmeric currently has no known harmful side effects and is safe to consume by mouth or skin. One tablespoon is about 29 calories and is one of the most nutritionally rich herbs that contain protein, vitamin C, calcium, iron, sodium, and other nutrients. It is rich in antioxidants and accelerates metabolic rate.

It is highly versatile and there are several ways to eat and drink turmeric, such as tea, smoothies, or eggs. You can just add it for a touch of flavor and also for good health! There are special precautions for taking turmeric during pregnancy; in those specific cases, it is best to consult a doctor beforehand.

Cardamom

Cardamom, also known as Elettaria cardamomum, is both a herb and a spice used in foods and medicine. It is originally from India and  is ranked third from being one of the most expensive spices. This is found as a small pod with black seeds inside and can be used in desserts, beverages, and spicy dishes.

 

Positive health benefits for cardamom include:

  • Relief of cardiovascular tissue
  • Protects gastrointestinal tract
  • Controls cholesterol levels
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Alleviates throat problems
  • Helps with teeth and gum infections
  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Helps with congestion

Cardamom is rich in vitamins, thiamine, copper, iron, zinc, and other micronutrients. It protects heart health and is believed to possess anti-depressant properties. It could help to get rid of hiccups and is used also as a breath freshener!

Cinnamon

Cinnamon has existed for thousands of years and is a highly delicious spice with lots of medicinal properties. It is made by cutting the stems off cinnamon trees and is then grounded into a powdery form. It is loaded with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties too.

Positive health benefits for cardamom include:

  • Lowers risk of heart disease
  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Improves sensitivity to the hormone insulin
  • Has an anti-diabetic effect
  • Inhibits the loss of neuronal cells
  • Fights against bacterial and fungal infections
  • Fights against HIV virus

An effective dose is usually 0.5-2 teaspoons per day. It is a very popular spice found in all sorts of recipes and baked goods. Cinnamon has a proven effect to help in lowering the blood sugar levels by 10-29% in diabetic patients, but make sure it is not taken in excess! Although it is healthy, there are possible side effects from consuming too much cinnamon and could be toxic.

Ginger

Ginger is a flowering plant from China and is one of the healthiest spices loaded withnutrients and other bioactive compounds. It has an extensive history of aiding with digestion and reducing nausea, along with other medicinal properties.

Positive health benefits for ginger include:

  • Prevents nausea and moving sickness
  • Reduces muscle pain and soreness
  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Treats chronic indigestion
  • Reduces menstrual pain
  • Lowers cholesterol level
  • Contains anti-cancer properties
  • Protects against Alzheimer’s disease
  • Fights against infections and growth of bacteria

It could be consumed in a dried, powdered, oil, processed foods and cosmetic form. In 100 grams of ginger, there are 79 calories and contains lots of iron, sodium potassium, and vitamin C. There are no known side effects from consuming too much ginger, but is recommended not to take more than 4 grams a day. It is possible to obtain acid reflux or diarrhea due to high intake, and people who are pregnant should refrain from excessive consumption as well.

Cumin

Cumin, also known as Cuminum cyminum, is a flowering plant where the seeds are used as a condiment or spice in Indian and Asian countries. It has a highly strong aroma, so only a small amount of its essential oils are needed to keep you healthy.

Positive health benefits for cumin include:

  • Regulates digestion
  • Improves blood flow for a healthy menstrual cycle
  • Boosts immunity
  • Treats asthma and bronchitis
  • Protects skin against fungal infection
  • Treats insomnia
  • Lowers cholesterol

It provides an excellent source of iron, manganese, vitamin B1, calcium, and phosphorous. One teaspoon would suffice for your daily nutrient requirements and has shown to be useful for weight maintenance. It’s mostly used in curries, stews, and soups, and even used as a scent!

Excess intake of cumin could have severe side effects such as blood clotting and heartburns. Nausea, stomach pain, and dizziness are also other possible side effects. Though cumin has powerful health improvements, just a teaspoon a day will suffice!

Rosemary

Rosemary is an herb from the Mediterranean that is used for culinary and cosmetic purposes. This is a perennial plant that can live for 2 years and is mostly used to aid in digestion and prevents brain aging. It is packed with iron, calcium, and vitamin B-6 and is typically used as a powder or dried leaves.

Positive health benefits for rosemary include:

  • Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds
  • Improves digestion
  • Protects against brain damage
  • Prevents brain aging
  • Protects macular degeneration

Rosemary should be taken in low doses because higher intake may have some serious side effects. It is generally not advised for pregnant women and can affect the activity if taken with other medications.  

The bottom line is that whichever herbs or spices you decide to use, they all come with excellent health benefits. Most of them are found to have anti-inflammatory responses while packed with antioxidants and nutrients but should be taken at a reasonable amount. They are completely versatile and could be used in most forms such as beverages, flavoring, and cosmetics!


Image Source:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Curcuma_longa_roots.jpg
  2. https://www.maxpixel.net/Capsule-Spoon-Wood-Cardamom-Shell-Spice-White-2251874
  3. https://pixnio.com/food-and-drink/cinnamon-bark-spice-brown-natural-food-texture-dry
  4. https://pixabay.com/en/ginger-vegetables-food-1960613/
  5. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cumin-spice.jpg
  6. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rosemary_white_bg.jpg

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Music to Heal Wounds

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Who would have thought that the chords and melodies contribute to boosting one’s health? Sign up for that premium music account today because it’s now a considerable investment for your health.

In a 2016 study, researchers have found that music can alleviate depressive symptoms, eases pain, and lowers the levels of cortisol. Music “selectively activates” neurochemical systems associated with emotions, attention, and memory. The study also found that music helps to improve stress-related complications in adults suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Although the impact that music has on the biology of humankind is not fully understood, studies have shown that it is related to the chemical hormone called dopamine. This hormone has positive effects on mood and has the power to improve overall health and well-being. Other potential benefits of music include:

    • Improves cognition. Enhances memory due to repetitive rhythms and improve mental abilities.
    • Increases workout endurance. For some, listening to top workout tracks can boost the exercise session through the power of distraction.
    • Beneficial to children with autism. Music therapy showed improvement in social responses, communication skills, and attentivity.
    • Lessens anxiety. Reduces stress and anxiety, shown in studies with cancer patients. It could also alter brainwave speeds when you meditate.
    • Eases pain. Patients who listened to music before surgery had an overall more satisfactory outcome compared with patients who did not.
    • Soothes premature babies. Live music impacts vital signs and improves feeding behaviors.

Whether or not you believe music attributes to the biological benefits of your health, it’s been a part of our history and throughout various cultures. We sing and dance to all kinds of music that brings us joy, and these harmonies have shown some positive effects on people. Not only does it help us cope with pain, but ramps up our physical and mental health in many other ways.  

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Opioid Epidemic: A Painkiller Into an Addictive Drug

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After more than ten years, the opioid usage has reached peaking levels and has not declined. It’s caused 42,000 deaths in 2016, clearly showing that the U.S. drug epidemic is not in control.

Researchers found that older patients suffering from chronic pain depend on this “prescription,” but it is a highly dangerous medication. Opioids are a class of illegal drug heroin that provides pain relief, but doctors often prescribe an excessive amount that makes it more life-threatening for the patient. This medication offers a feeling of pleasure but is risky since it leads to addiction, decreases the heart rate, and eventually may lead to death due to overdose. This may be in fact one of the deadliest, most potent drug overdose epidemic in U.S. history.

Medicare patients have greater access to opioid medication compared to privately insured patients. This increased the risk of overdose by four times, and many insurance groups are reluctant to cover the cost of integrative pain treatment of opioids. The insurance policies contribute to the reasons why opioid regulation is failing.

When Will This Outbreak End?

To slowly diminish the national epidemic, federal prosecutors have found that the drug wholesale distributor is Amerisource Bergen. Serious lawsuits are suddenly being pressed upon them, and the FDA is spending millions of dollars to diminish the pharmaceutical companies such as these. Many other manufacturers and distributors such as Mekesson and Cardinal Health are in the process of subpoena as well. They control 85% of the U.S. drug market, and their “suspicious reports have started since 2012.  

More and more states are joining the nation’s outcry of the opioid epidemic. Many hospitals are beginning to alter their approaches for prescribing this drug as a treatment. For example, Chicago is using enhanced recovery after surgery to help patients with pain management in the hospitals. New York takes a different road and swapped marijuana to help with opioid withdrawal. Despite the unfortunate outbreak, we can let out a sigh of relief that companies, hospitals, political lawmakers are all stepping in to alleviate the large situation.

 

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