Moderation and the Brain

How does practicing moderation as a method of self-care impact your brain?

Let’s use alcohol consumption as an example: According to the NIAAA, “Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways and can affect the way the brain looks and works. Alcohol makes it harder for the brain areas controlling balance, memory, speech, and judgment to do their jobs, resulting in a higher likelihood of injuries and other negative outcomes. Long-term, heavy drinking causes alterations in the neurons, such as reductions in their size.”

While no amount of alcohol provides proven health benefits, practicing moderation can reduce the harmful effects of alcohol. “Moderation” means less than 14 drinks per week for men and less than 7 drinks per week for women (due to metabolic processing differences) and not more than 3 drinks at any sitting (these are general guidelines cited by the NIAAA and vary depending on the resource. These also do not account for certain health conditions or medications where alcohol is contraindicated as a whole).

While alcohol consumption is provided as the example, consider the impact that practicing moderation with everything you consume (sugar, fats, caffeine, etc.) may have on your brain, and therefore your overall mental and physical health.

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