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 10 Tips On Wise Alcohol Consumption 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Staying Healthy Tips by . View all columns in series

6. To take a break or break your habit, there are many things you can do nutritionally. Give your body plenty of support. In regards to diet, first begin with drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day to help flush toxins. Avoid sugary and fried foods. Don?t substitute other addictive substances, such as caffeine or nicotine, for alcohol. Eat plenty of wholesome foods--fresh fruits and vegetables, grains and legumes, nuts and seeds, and fish--for the nutrients and fiber they provide. This helps with body support and elimination. A detoxifying diet very high in fruits, vegetables, and fresh juices can be very helpful in changing habits and cleansing the body.

7. Supplements are helpful during alcohol use and during detoxification. (See my book, The Detox Diet, for more specifics.) Definitely use the antioxidant nutrients such as Vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, plus zinc and selenium. The B-vitamins are also very important to alcohol metabolism as well as nervous system support. The amino acid L-glutamine (500-1,000 mg three times daily) may help reduce cravings for alcohol (and sugar). Calcium and magnesium help to calm the nervous system and reduce withdrawal. Flaxseed oil or olive oil also helps the body tissues. Taking in a tablespoon of oil before you drink may also slow the absorption of alcohol. Packets of Emergen-C with a full glass or two of water are very helpful to prevent hangovers and reduce dehydration. These supplements are also helpful during alcohol detoxification.

8. Herbs may also be useful at supporting the body and preventing some of the ill effects of alcohol use. Ones that cleanse the liver include milk thistle and dandelion root. Chamomile and licorice root can help with gastric distress. Skullcap, valerian root, and other tranquilizing herbs are useful during alcohol withdrawal. There are many herbs that help with alcohol detoxification. See about this also in The Detox Diet book.

9. Acupuncture and massage therapy may be quite helpful when one is going through the stress of changing habits. Acupuncture detoxification has become quite popular; talk to your local acupuncturist to discuss this. Exercise, walks in Nature, saunas and steams are helpful to clear alcohol from your system and during detoxification as well.

10. Other Alcohol Issues: The process of fermentation uses yeast with fruits or grains, and the consumption of sugars and fermented products makes us more susceptible to Candida yeast problems. Many current and past alcoholics have yeast conditions, and this affects their digestion, energy, and moods. Another issue of alcohol drinks relates to the use of chemicals in manufacture, plus sulfites in wines, to which many folks have sensitivities. Organic drinks are best, especially compared to chemical treated substances. Chemicals harm Nature?s creatures, our water supply, and the air for generations to come. (See Alcohol control is overseen by the Bureau of Firearms. Does this come from the long-term association of whiskey with gunslingers? With so many choices, we can really do harm to our world and ourselves by supporting the wrong products.

Even though there have been some studies suggesting benefits to daily alcohol use, it isn?t contrasted to those who drink only occasionally or not at all and who have many good health habits. Who sponsors these studies anyway? Also, alcohol may have some calming affect on a more toxic and stressful lifestyle. Common Sense is the rule: Do not drink and drive! We have clearly established that, after so much loss of life and financial destruction and high insurance rates. Now folks can?t simply smoke anywhere they please and contaminate the rest of our lungs. We have laws now that protect others from us, but how can we protect ourselves? The answer is "only with wise choices."

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 About The Author
Elson M. Haas, MD is founder & Director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin (since 1984), an Integrated Health Care Facility in San Rafael, CA and author of many books on Health and Nutrition, including ...moreElson Haas MD
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