World No Alcohol Day: these are the benefits of not drinking

Today, November 15, is celebrated the World Day without Alcohol. This is a date promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO) with the aim of creating awareness in the world population about the physical and psychological damage that alcohol consumption brings to our body.

In the 20th century, alcoholism was declared a disease. According to a WHO report, the harmful use of alcohol kills more than 3 million people a year. As the data reveals, of all the deaths registered in 2016, 28% were due to injuries, such as traffic accidents, self-harm and interpersonal violence; 21% to digestive disorders; 19% to cardiovascular diseases, while the rest corresponded to infectious diseases, cancers, mental disorders and other conditions.

Is it difficult for you to give up alcohol? Here are five benefits of not drinking for your body and mind. Maybe it will motivate you to sign up for abstinence (or at least reduce its consumption):

1. Improves the quality of sleep. Drinking alcohol, in general, tends to prevent reaching REM sleep. This means that, although from the impression that this substance helps you fall asleep, the reality is that you do not get a good night’s sleep. If you eliminate alcohol for several days, you may notice that the next day you wake up much more relaxed and energetic.

2. Strengthens the immune system. Has it happened to you that after several days drinking alcohol you get the flu? It is no coincidence, and it is that its consumption slows down the response of your body’s defenses against viruses and external threats. The immune response decreases 24 hours after consuming alcohol, says an addiction therapist.

3. Reduces the risk of cancer. Health specialists always place special emphasis on alcohol as a risk factor for developing any type of cancer. The reason is simple: when you drink, the liver, responsible for eliminating toxins from the body, is the organ that works the most. Since you are ‘busy’ removing alcohol from your body, it slows down the rest of your metabolic activity, making you more prone to developing diseases like cancer.

4. Contributes to a better physical condition. Most alcoholic beverages are high in calories, almost as high as a meal, but without the nutrients, which can cause you to gain significant weight. The bad food decisions that are made when consuming alcohol (that is why you must eat foods with fat, so that they absorb the substance from your body), also influence a worse physical appearance.

5. Improve your mental health. Alcohol has been scientifically proven to directly affect mental health. Although at first it may give you a feeling of well-being, the more you drink, your mood goes from happiness to sadness or even depression. In the long term, its consumption can have a more lasting effect on your mental health, so abstinence is a good option if you are looking to maintain a balance with your socio-cultural environment.

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