When most people think of beer in relation to their bodies, they think of the ever-dreaded beer belly. However, that’s not the entire story.
Several studies have emerged that suggest that beer consumed in moderation can actually improve your health. Learn about the health benefits of drinking beer and lose the guilt over your nightly ale.
The Nutrients Available in Beer
Wine is known to have an abundance of antioxidants, but beer has just as many. The specific antioxidants differ because the flavonoids in barley and hops are different from those in grapes. Beer infused with galaxy hop will have different antioxidants from barley beer. Beer also contains protein, vitamin B, calcium, iron, and fiber.
How Beer Makes You Healthy
Whether you drink it as it is or mix it with your dishes, beer provides the following health benefits:
- Bone Strength
A study by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that moderate beer drinkers were 38% less likely to develop osteoporosis than non-drinkers. This is because beer has high silicon content, which is necessary for the growth and development of bone and connective tissue.
- Less Risk of Kidney Stones
Beer includes magnesium and potassium that prevent kidney stones from developing. It’s also 90% water, which is the most effective means for reducing the risk of kidney stones.
- Low Cholesterol
The soluble fiber in beer helps reduce the bad cholesterol, or LDL, in your body. By increasing the intake of soluble fiber, lipoprotein—or the good type of cholesterol—reduces plaque buildup in the arteries.
- Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Beer causes the blood to thin and decreases the chance of forming a clot, which can cause blockage in the coronary artery. It also minimizes the risk of inflammation, which can cause atherosclerosis.
- Improved Cognitive and Mental Health
Research on Parkinson’s disease suggests that light to moderate drinking is associated with less cognitive decline. This is because beer contains an ingredient called xanthohumol, a flavonoid that helps slow down memory degradation. The chemical helps protect brain cells from oxidative damage associated with dementia.
Drinking beer has also shown to reduce stress and tension, as well as increase feelings of well-being. It’s important to note, though, that alcohol helps with stress reduction only temporarily. Being reliant on beer consumption to cope with stress and anxiety leads to worse problems.
Moderation is The Key
Although studies have shown that beer has health benefits, remember that alcohol has a different effect on everyone. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the effects depend on how much you drink, the frequency of consumption, age, health status, and family history.
Also, physicians generally don’t endorse alcohol consumption for health purposes since consumers might see it as a license to drink in excess. When people drink heavily, they’re more prone to cancer risks and other health issues.
Like drinking hard alcohol, beer consumption should be done in moderation. If you want to include beer in your health plan, talk to your doctor about your health history and individual consumption patterns and see if it’s a recommended option.
Beer can be part of a healthy eating plan. You can drink it on its own or incorporate it in meals. Just remember to consume it in moderation.