Best Health


Reach­ing for that nightly glass (or three) of wine a lit­tle too of­ten? Try this per­fect cool-weather mock­tail in­stead.


THE PAN­DEMIC HIT, and we all reached for the bot­tle. Okay, maybe not all of us. But 18 per­cent of Cana­di­ans stuck in their houses re­ported an in­crease in their al­co­hol con­sump­tion at home due to COVID-19 (that num­ber rose to 25 per­cent for peo­ple ages 35 to 54), ac­cord­ing to an April re­port by the Cana­dian Cen­tre on Sub­stance Use and Ad­dic­tion. Anec­do­tally, we know many of us have increased our booze in­take since March — wit­ness the al­co­hol-re­lated memes and #winemom cul­ture.

But the ad­verse health ef­fects are real, es­pe­cially for women. Al­co­hol has long been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer, but it seems even a mod­er­ate in­take — drink­ing one glass of wine, beer or any other type of al­co­hol a day — may raise your risk, ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can In­sti­tute for Cancer Re­search and the World Cancer Re­search Fund. That’s be­cause al­co­hol con­sump­tion in­creases lev­els of es­tro­gen and other hor­mones that are linked to hor­mone-re­cep­tive-pos­i­tive breast cancer. It can also dam­age DNA in cells, an­other cancer risk.

Too much al­co­hol can also worsen feel­ings of anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion, which we’re al­ready swim­ming in un­der COVID-19 — there’s a fine line be­tween the plea­sure al­co­hol can pro­vide and the neg­a­tive feel­ings or con­se­quences it can trig­ger.

And long-term, ex­ces­sive al­co­hol use is linked to health is­sues in­clud­ing high blood pres­sure, heart dis­ease and stroke (heart dis­ease is the num­ber one cause of death for women over 55 in Canada), as well as liver dis­ease, di­ges­tive prob­lems, learn­ing and mem­ory dif­fi­cul­ties, and de­men­tia. Oof.

Canada’s low-risk drink­ing guide­lines rec­om­mend no more than 10 drinks per week for women and tak­ing at least a few days off (yes, mean­ing no al­co­hol, at all). So in­stead of un­cork­ing a bot­tle of wine to un­wind, con­sider this cool-weather mock­tail that’s full of spice and punch, and not a drop of booze.

 ??  ?? Try it once, call it your sig­na­ture mock­tail for­ever.
Try it once, call it your sig­na­ture mock­tail for­ever.

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