I tend to up my social drinking during the holidays. Maybe you do too.
It’s partly because I have the mistaken notion that drinking makes me more interesting. It’s also because I am certain it makes some of the people I run into at parties more bearable.
Those are both bad reasons.
Meanwhile, there’s a very good reason to give up this bad habit.
A drink or two a day, studies show, is good for the heart. But more than that is bad for your brain, your cardiovascular system, your skin — just about everything.
Alcohol is basically poison. It was never part of our natural diet. We are not designed to consume it.
So I keep that in mind.
During the holidays, I am willing to drink a bit more than I usually do. But I remind myself, “You are poisoning your body.”
To counterbalance the extra drinking, I do two things:
- I drink more water. My rule is one tall glass of water for every glass of wine or shot of tequila.
- I take a folate supplement.
Alcohol interferes with the metabolism of folate. And folate is an important nutrient for the stability and repair of DNA. A deficiency of folate can actually result in cell mutations, according to the long-running Harvard Nurses’ Health Study.
Folate-rich foods include asparagus, spinach, broccoli, cantaloupe, bananas, beans, and wheat germ. But I’m unlikely to eat a lot of these foods during the holiday. So I take a folate supplement.
That’s what I recommend. If you are going to be drinking more alcohol, drink more water, too. And take a folate supplement.[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]