One heart-to-heart talk about a serious problem.

One of the most common sights nowadays that is even perceived as sexy is that of a young man, sitting at the bar, smoking and raising the glass.

What happens inside the body, though?

20% of the alcohol is absorbed in the stomach, the rest 80% in the small intestine. From there, ethanol reaches the liver through the bloodstream.

That’s why some doctors call it tissue poison.

Passing through the mouth, cigarette smoke goes directly in the lungs, from where nicotine and tar “take the road” to the other organs.

Studies of the World Health Organization show that alcohol is the third cause of death in the World and cigarettes occupy a controversial position between first and second place, competing with obesity.

The theme about the fight against smoking and alcohol dependence in our country seems rather trivial and of secondary importance. The society continues to ignore the biggest “killers” of humanity, accepting them as something normal, traditional and even modern.

While drinking alcohol does not necessarily lead to dependence and alcoholism, one year after the first “draw” this leads to the diagnosis “smoker” in 95% of the cases.

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What are the effects of alcohol?

  1. Gives only empty calories to the body or in other words said – unnecessary ones.
  2. Slows down metabolism, as it affects negatively the Krebs cycle.
  3. Reduces protein absorption with 20%.
  4. Reduces the nerve activity.
  5. Dehydrates the cells.
  6. Blocks the absorption of elements such as: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, potassium.
  7. Lowers testosterone levels and increases those of estrogen.
  8. Prevents fat burning.
  9. Slows down body reactions.
  10. Hinders body coordination.
  11. Reduces the physical strength.
  12. Affects the cardiovascular system – increases the blood pressure – the heart works more to “pump” blood throughout the body.
  13. Depletes the vitamins from the body faster. The consequences of this are numerous.

What are the effects of cigarettes?

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  1. Smoking leads to irreversible changes in the respiratory system.
  2. The pulse rate of a smoker is on average 30% higher than that of a non-smoker. It is due to the stimulating effect of nicotine. The fast heart rate is accompanied by high blood pressure, which in turn leads to reduced blood flow through the blood vessels and thereby the body productivity is low.
  3. The possibility of forming secretions in the form of “sputum”, which significantly impede the breathing process, is observed twice as much in smokers.
  4. The carbon monoxide in tobacco has a higher affinity to hemoglobin than oxygen. In other words, smoking stimulates the accumulation of carbon monoxide at the expense of oxygen, and the reduced levels of oxygen result in low productivity of the body.
  5. The tar in tobacco covers the lungs and thus prevents the absorption of oxygen into the bloodstream.
  6. The presence of nicotine in tobacco causes addiction to smoking.
  7. Smoking significantly increases the risk of cancer of the lungs and other organs.
  8. When smoking during pregnancy, there is a greater chance the baby not to be in full health or to be born with a lower than the normal weight.

How to recover from the harmful effects of smoking and alcohol?

There’s no doubt, it is best to quit this suicidal habit, but I’ll try to reveal several tricks in the following lines.

             1. Emphasize on flavonoids

The foods that contain flavonoids: catechin, epicatechin, quercetin and kaempferol have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and thus they can be useful to protect the lungs in smokers and ex-smokers. The foods that contain catechins include strawberries, green and black tea, Brussels sprouts and apples. Quercetin can be found in beans, onions and apples.

srrrr_783c33beac            2. Provide a variety of fruits and vegetables

According to a study published in “Cancer Epidemiology”, the regular consumption of fruits and vegetables may lower the risk of lung cancer in current smokers.

            3. Vitamin A

The foods which are rich in vitamin A may lower the risk of lung diseases such as emphysema. The site for Natural treatments (“Natural Remedies Cures”) published a study led by prof. Richard Baybutt at the University of Kansas, which shows that rats exposed to cigarette smoke demonstrate vitamin A deficiency.

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And the rats on a diet without vitamin A quickly develop emphysema – a pulmonary condition often associated with smoking. In the American “Journal of Nutrition” prof. Baybutt published a conclusion based on the above-cited studies, namely benzpyrene – a carcinogen in the cigarettes which may lead to vitamin A deficiency. Foods, such as carrots, squash, papaya, melon, are rich in vitamin A and may compensate for this shortage.

            4. Exercise

The practice of exercises speeds up heart rate, causes vasodilation and increases blood circulation in all parts of the body. So the lungs are cleared of the residual smoke.

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The movement also reduces the risk of lung cancer. A study from 2006 showed that women who smoke have a relatively lower risk of developing a lung cancer if they are physically active.

            5. Breathe deeply.

Take deep breaths whenever you remember. Inhale and exhale deeply – it releases the toxins that might have accumulated in the organism and the lungs, and increases the energy levels. Morning breathing exercise after waking up is a great way to counteract the harmful effects of smoking.

           6. Drink water.

The body needs constant rehydration. Smoking undoubtedlymakes you look older and this is mostly due to skin dehydration.

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We say “Cheers” when we drink to the health, although alcohol is a substance that damages it.

The health risks that are attributed to alcohol are due to its excessive consumption which damages the liver and causes a number of diseases. Alcohol abuse, even not daily, leads to symptoms such as headache, muscle aches, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. The constant use of alcohol damages a number of vital organs.

Some of the effects of the alcohol, taken over the moderate amounts, are: sad, grim and tired face, negativism, rapid aging…

What is the permissible amount of alcohol consumption which won’t harm us and is considered moderate?

The healthy amounts:

Red wine – a glass

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Beer – a small one

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Liquor – a cup – for women

And this amount multiplied, but only by 2, for men!

The amount of the alcohol in the beverage depends on the degree of fermentation, the production technology, the type of alcohol…

The permissible moderate dose of alcohol according to the type of the beverage:

385ml regular beer,

150ml wine,

45ml liquor,

30ml hard alcohol.

The manner of drinking is also important.

It’s better a little every day, than more accidentally! 

The effect upon the organism of the moderate consumption of alcohol every day – in the permissible, listed above amounts – is not equivalent to drinking the allowable amount for all days of the week at once, no matter alcohol is not consumed during the remaining days. The safe effect of alcohol is calculated based on the organism’s ability to process it and to neutralize its negative effects. In this sense, even drinking a little bit more than the permissible amounts already damages health, no matter we are abstainers in general.

A scientific study finds that those who consume alcohol once a week in bigger than the moderate amounts are with more abdominal fat than those who have a drink every day. And fat accumulation in the abdominal region is considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Yet, if it happens to overdo, here are some tips for faster recovery:

  1. Juicing or passing on to freshly squeezed juices which help in stimulating the organism’s immune system and promote cleansing (detox).
  2. Probiotics – or the so called useful bacteria – restore the intestinal damage.
  3. Water – the same as in smoking. Water will help to excrete the alcohol molecules faster.

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