If your social calendar is a little more crowded than usual this month, you may find yourself tempted by holiday party treats, including alcoholic beverages. Having one drink at a party isn’t likely to cause you much harm. But routinely having more than one drink per day could raise your breast cancer risk.
Research has shown that women who have 2 to 5 alcoholic drinks daily have a higher risk of breast cancer than women who drink only 1 drink a day or not at all. It’s not clear how or why alcohol increases the risk, or which women are most likely to be affected. But because the link is strong, the American Cancer Society recommends women limit alcohol intake to no more than 1 drink a day. This is especially important if they have other risk factors for breast cancer, such as breast cancer in their families.
Excessive alcohol use is also known to increase the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and liver.
If you drink at all, moderation is wise for a lot of reasons. Overdoing it can lead to many serious health problems including, liver damage, an inflamed pancreas, high blood pressure, psychological disorders, and alcohol dependence.
Limiting your alcohol intake doesn’t mean you can’t still have a fun and festive holiday party. Try this recipe for a non-alcoholic blue cocktail from the American Cancer Society cookbook Celebrate! Healthy Entertaining for Any Occasion. Each ½ cup serving has approximately 84 calories. To add a decorative touch to your ice cubes, place an edible flower in each ice cube tray section before filling with water and freezing.
Recipe: Blue Storm
2 cups fresh orange juice
¾ cup papaya or mango nectar
1 cup pineapple juice
¼ cup blue daiquiri mix
Dash of blue vegetable coloring
Freshly grated nutmeg as garnish
Combine orange, papaya or mango, and pineapple juices in a large pitcher. Chill. Place blue daiquiri mix in a small pitcher. Add blue vegetable coloring until desired color has been achieved.
Fill glasses with ice cubes. Pour ¼ cup of orange juice mixture into each glass. Slowly pour 1 tablespoon of blue liquid down the inside of each glass. Do not stir before serving. Garnish with nutmeg if desired.
Makes approximately 4 cups.