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.

Why alcohol makes you feel warm – and other strange effects it has on the brain

By Claire Roston on

Alcohol: why do we drink it? People have been consuming alcohol for at least 10,000 years. And when drinking water was rather risky, alcohol seemed a much safer bet. Amaldus of Villanova, a 14th-century monk, even wrote that alcohol “prolongs life, clears away ill humors, revives the heart and maintains youth”. 

Today people will give you many reasons for their decision to drink and most of these reflect the effects it has on mind and brain. But before you get too sozzled, one thing is for sure: it is certainly not a safer, healthier bet than water.

1. It tastes nice

It depends on what you are drinking (some drinks like alcopops contain more sugar) and people obviously have different taste preferences. The fact that ethanol is...

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Pomegranate Fizz

By The Mindful Mocktail on

Ingredients

  • 60 mls pomegranate juice
  • Half a lime cut in wedges
  • 6-8 mint leaves
  • 250 mls diet ginger ale

Method

  1. Place lime wedges and pomegranate juice in a tall glass. Muddle until all the juice has been pressed out of the lime. If you don’t have a muddler, use the back end of a wooden spoon or similar.
  2. Clap mint leaves together in your hands a few times to release the scent and add to the glass. Give the mint a gentle press a couple of times with the muddler.
  3. Add plenty of ice to the glass and top with ginger ale. Stir well.
  4. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, mint and lime.


For more recipes like this, follow @themindfulmocktail on Instagram

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Watermelon, Strawberry & Lime Mocktail

By The Mindful Mocktail on

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 cups watermelon 
  • 8 strawberries
  • 1/2 cup lime juice

Method

  1. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until combined. 
  2. Pour into an ice filled glass and garnish. 

Tip: Add some mint for extra kick! 


For more recipes like this, follow @themindfulmocktail on Instagram

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Beer before wine and you’ll feel fine? No you won’t says new study

By Kai Hensel on

Plenty of us have been there: waking up after a night out with a thumping headache, feeling sick and swearing never to touch alcohol again. If only there were a way to prevent these terrible hangovers.

It isn’t uncommon for us to mix our drinks, maybe a beer in the pub before moving on to wine. Folk wisdom has something to say about this: “Beer before wine and you’ll feel fine; wine before beer and you’ll feel queer.” This idea is very prevalent and versions of it occur in many languages. In my native country, Germany, for example, we say: “Wein auf Bier, das rat’ ich Dir—Bier auf Wein, das lass’ sein.” This translates as: “Wine on beer, I’ll advise you to drink beer on wine.” 

But it turns out that there is no truth to these...

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My problem with your drinking: Australia’s hate-love relationship with alcohol

By Paul Harrison on

In the 2015 annual alcohol poll, 34% of Australians said they drink to get drunk, 43% said they had vomited as a result of drinking and 75% said Australia has a problem with excess drinking or alcohol abuse. 

But in the same Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education poll, 92% of Australians identified themselves as responsible drinkers. 

As the young people might say, what the …? A majority of Australians agree we have a problem with alcohol. But almost all say it’s not a problem of theirs – it’s a problem that exists somewhere outside of their world. 

There are both contradictions and abstractions in this discussion. But it makes perfect sense to me.

It’s simply easier to say others are flawed than admit you might be...

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How much alcohol is OK? Balancing risks and benefits

By Emily Banks on

For many of us, alcohol is an enjoyable backdrop to life: wine with dinner, beers with friends, a glass of bubbly to celebrate a special occasion, or nip of something heavier to unwind after a long day.

But alcohol is the fourth-largest cause of disease in Australia after excess weight, smoking and high blood pressure. So, how do you decide whether – or how much – to drink?

Unfortunately, the answer is far from simple and falls into the murky realm of “it depends”. Let’s consider what the science says about the positive and negative effects of alcohol.

Injury

Drinking alcohol increases your risk of accidents and injury. Only tobacco outranks alcohol as the leading preventable cause of drug-related death and hospitalisation in Australia....

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Why am I always tired

By Claire Obeid on

There are a few key areas to think about when shining a mirror on you and your energy levels. Consider the chemical stress on the body – food, beverages, toxins. Also look at the emotional, mental and physical stressors too – these contribute more than we give them credit.

An easy example – I aim to practise yoga five mornings out of the seven. Initially I thought that a daily practise would work to rejuvenate my body and mind. It took a while, but eventually I realised that in fact practising five morning straight actually sapped me of energy. Now I break it up throughout the week, which reignites my body and therefore I avoid feeling strung out and anxious.

So, do consider all the stressors in your life, especially if you are...

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Health Check: how do I know if I drink too much?

By Bosco Rowland on

While alcohol is a legal and common way many societies stimulate social interaction, when consumed at high levels over long periods it can undermine physical health and cause cancers and other diseases. Most people know excessive drinking isn’t good for our health, but how do we know when we’re drinking too much?

Alcohol consumption is associated with long- and short-term consequences. Long-term health consequences include: alcohol-related diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver; stroke; high blood pressure; heart disease; and more than 60 cancers, including of the mouth, lips, throat, oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, bowel and breast.

Short-term health consequences include fatalities, physical injury or road accidents due to...

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A brief history of alcohol consumption in Australia

By Rob Moodie on

Although most Australians would probably say we’ve always been a heavy-drinking nation, the consumption of alcohol has followed a roller coaster curve since European invasion. 

Alcohol consumption in Australia began at an annual high point of 13.6 litres of pure alcohol per head in the 1830s. It declined to 5.8 litres a year during the economic downturn in the 1890s, then to a nadir of 2.5 litres during the Great Depression.

After World War II, there was a long rise in per capita consumption to another high point of 13.1 litres in 1974-75. It then dropped again and rose slowly to the 2008-09 levels of ten litres.

There’s little doubt that alcohol is an important part of Australian culture. According to the author of The Rum State,...

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