Health Hub

Having a Dry July has great health benefits. We've brought together a collection of articles that could help you with your Dry July.

What alcohol does to your body in the short and long term

By ABC Life on

Most Australian adults will have at least an occasional drink and about half of us are regular drinkers.

But it's easy to underestimate the health impacts, and experts believe there is too much risky drinking.

What is alcohol?

The alcohol in drinks is called ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol). It is made from sugars in grains, fruits and vegetables.

It can be produced in various strengths:

  • 5 per cent (full-strength beer and cider)
  • 12-14 per cent (wine)
  • 18 per cent (fortified wines like port or sherry)
  • 37-40 per cent (spirits like vodka, whisky and gin)

In recent years, the strength of both white and red wines has increased.

What is a standard drink?

A standard drink is one that contains 10 grams of alcohol.

The size will vary, depending...

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Ten reasons some of us should cut back on alcohol

By Steve Allsop on

Some of us seriously underestimate how much we drink, so perhaps the first step to deciding if we need to cut back is to consider how many standard drinks are in that glass of wine, beer or spirit. A miscalculation increases the risk of drinking outside the low risk guidelines. Pouring your own drinks, topping up a glass before it’s finished, or not paying attention to your consumption influences whether you drink more than intended.

Here are some reasons why you might think about cutting down on drinking.

Here are some reasons why you might think about cutting down on drinking.

1. Improving your health

Reducing alcohol means you might find it easier to manage your weight. Some drinks have as many calories as high fat foods.

In one large...

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Alcohol can be hard to quit — here are ways to set yourself up to succeed

By ABC Life / By Johanna Khan on

Have you ever considered cutting down on the amount of alcohol you drink, or even stopping completely?

It's not that you have a big problem with alcohol but there are some things about your relationship with booze that you want to change.

You might be reflecting on your indulgent holiday period and want to take a step back, or perhaps you've noticed your drinking is stopping you from doing other things.

So how do you get started? While a break from booze will look different for each one of us, there are certain strategies that can really help if you want to stop drinking (even if it's just for a while).

Create a support network

Personal support networks and connections can keep people going with quitting alcohol, says addiction...

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Giving up alcohol isn't easy, but after 30 days I'm already reaping the benefits

By ABC Life / By Flip Prior on

On the first day of my abstinent year — having quaffed cheap prosecco while partying until midnight in a kind of panic — I woke up with a nasty hangover.

It was the anxiety-inducing kind necessitating a dark room, cold shower, swim at the beach and hot salty chips to restore any semblance of humanity. 

A month into my year without alcohol, I feel worlds away from that wretched creature who woke up to 2019 cracking open one bloodshot, puffy eye and cursing her appalling life choices.

The things I love about being booze free include, better sleep, feeling calmer and dropping 4 kilograms without trying too hard.

But as I celebrate this first significant milestone, I won't sugar-coat it and pretend it's been a complete walk in the park....

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Watermelon Crush

By The Mindful Mocktail on

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced watermelon
  • 25 mls lime juice
  • 10 mint leaves
  • Splash of apple cider vinegar, optional


Method

  1. Muddle watermelon, lime and optional apple cider vinegar in a shaker or mason jar until all the juice is released from the watermelon. If you don't have a muddler, use the back end of a wooden spoon.
  2. Clap the mint leaves together in your hands to release the scent and add it to the watermelon mixture. Give the mint a gentle press with the muddler.
  3. Add a few ice cubes, replace the lid and shake well.
  4. Strain into a small ice filled glass.
  5. Garnish with a lime wheel and extra mint.

Note: if you don’t have a cocktail shaker, you can blend the watermelon, lime, apple cider vinegar and mint together, then strain into an ice filled...

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Glowing Green Mocktail

By The Mindful Mocktail on

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cms grated ginger
  • 3 cms grated cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 125 mls sparkling water
  • 125 mls diet ginger beer

Method

  1. Muddle ginger, cucumber, and lime in a bowl. If you don't have a muddler, use the back end of a wooden spoon.
  2. Clap the mint leaves together in your hands to release the scent and add it to the ginger mixture. Give the mint a gentle press with the muddler.
  3. Strain mixture into a glass and add ice.
  4. Top with half ginger beer, half sparkling water.
  5. Garnish and serve.

For more recipes like this, follow @themindfulmocktail on Instagram

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Cherry Burst

By The Mindful Mocktail on

Ingredients

  • 5 cherries roughly chopped
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 6-8 mint leaves
  • 1 cup soda water
  • Sweetener of your choice to taste, optional (see notes)

Method

  1. Place chopped cherries and lime in a glass. Add a little sweetener if using. Muddle together for about 1 minute. If you don't have a muddler, use the back end of a wooden spoon. The idea is to get it small enough to fit though a straw.
  2. Clap mint together in your hands a few times to release the scent and add to the glass. Give the mint a gentle press with the muddler.
  3. Add ice and top with soda water.
  4. Garnish with lime wheels, mint and/or extra cherries.

For more recipes like this, follow @themindfulmocktail on Instagram

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How To Be Happy - 10 Routine Changes Scientifically Proven

By Juice Daily on

Nothing spells a bad day more than spilling coffee on a crisp white shirt come Monday morning, but trivial as it may seem, it can be an instant downer on your mood.

While it’s only natural to get in a funk every now and again – according to a British survey, we have at least 10 grumpy days a year (five hours a week) – it can play an unhealthy part in our overall sense of wellbeing. 

The biggest mood booster for women, according to the Healthspan survey is ‘me time.’ So while you can’t out run a bad day, you can shape and mould your routine a little bit each day to care of yourself and make the overall outcome that bit brighter. 

Here, scientifically proven tweaks to make life happier. 

1. Do exercise you like 

With...

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Think before you drink: alcohol's calories end up on your waistline

By Veronique Chachay on

Alcoholic drinks should all carry calorie counts according to a leading UK public health doctor writing in the BMJ today, because of their contribution to obesity. Fiona Sim, Chair of the UK Royal Society for Public Health, writes that while adults who drink may be getting as much as 10% of their daily calories from alcohol, most people are unaware drinking contributes to their energy intake.

Although her data are from local surveys, Sims is absolutely right in highlighting the silent role of alcohol on weight gain. The lack of information about the energy content of alcoholic beverages is likely contributing to an underestimation of consumed energy.

Given the equilibrium between “energy in” and “energy out” is a constant balancing act...

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