Sometimes beer can get a bad rep with a guilty pleasure. Could it be we tend to associate it with weight gain and the inevitable beet gut? Afterall, there’s nothing better than cracking open a cold one after a long day. But don’t fret, there’s good news! When consumed in moderation (emphasis on moderation), the benefits of beer may go far beyond than just help you wind down after a stressful week.
What constitutes “drink in moderation” you might ask? According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate alcohol consumption is considered having one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Although research does show it can be part of a balanced, healthy diet, they advise not to start drinking if you currently abstain.
But if you got a cold one on hand, crack one open and raise your beer to these 8 health benefits.
- It contributes to our daily nutrient intake
Beer potentially contains more protein and B vitamins than wine. Also, the antioxidant content of beer is equivalent to that of wine. Additionally, experts refer to beer as liquid bread and compare to it being more like food.
2.) It may lower your risk of diabetes
For those concerned with fear of diabetes, there’s hope. A study published in the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes found that people who drink 3 to 4 times per week were less likely to develop diabetes than those who never drink. Compared to those who didn't drink beer, men who enjoyed between one and six beers per week had a 21 percent lower risk of diabetes! Now that deserves a toast all on it’s own.
3.) It may make your heart healthier
Wine may have the better reputation when it comes to heart health. But it shouldn’t mean you should rule out beer as you can still enjoy it for the same reason. In 2016, a preliminary study presented at the American Heart Association followed 80,000 participants for six years and found that moderate drinkers had the slowest decline in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol levels. Which means a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases! Interestingly enough, research also shows that men who drank beer moderately were 42 percent less likely to die of heart disease and that was based on those who’ve already suffered from a heart attack. Cheers to that!
4.) It may build stronger bones
Watch out milk, there’s a new bone-building beverage in town or in this case, the fridge. A review published in the International Journal of Endocrinology found that moderate beer consumption increased bone density in men. This is all thanks to Silicon, an essential mineral for bone formation that is found in, you’ve guessed it, beer! Another win for beer!
5.) It may boost brain power
Speaking of Silicon, did we mention that it helps protect your brain from compounds thought to eventually cause cognitive diseases? Researchers at Loyola University in Chicago found that moderate beer drinkers are 23 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia than those who don’t drink beer. Why is that? Beer is shown to raise good cholesterol which improves blood flow to the brain.
Another smart fact: According to one study, people with a slight beer buzz solved puzzles faster than their sober counterparts. In fact, alcohol made subjects almost 30 percent more likely to find the unexpected solution. Food for thought? Or shall we say drink for thought?
6.) It cleans your teeth
Now here’s something to smile about. A study published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology found that beer can keep bacteria from forming and growing on your teeth. Bacteria in the mouth forms Biofilm that can promote tooth decay and gum disease. Astoundingly, researchers tested the effects of beer extracts on this bacteria and found that even the weakest extract of beer tested blocked the activity of bacteria. Generally, beer was also one of the best extracts for blocking communication between bacteria, which slows their growth.
7.) It may reduce inflammation
Hops (an essential ingredient in beer), has anti-inflammatory properties thanks to a study published in Nutrition & Food Research. Inflammation in the body is the underlying cause behind many diseases. The researchers compared the anti-inflammatory effect of different hops and found that the consumption of hops in beer form interferes with inflammatory causing compounds. So the next time you’re at the bar, pick a fight with inflammation and not people.
8.) It may help you live longer
Viva las beer! Viva las..YOU! A study conducted by a psychologist at the University of Texas found that people who drink moderately live longer than those who don’t. But don't use it as an excuse to binge drink this weekend because long term heavy alcohol usage can negatively impact your health. Again, emphasis on drinking in moderation. But studies suggest that a healthy amount of beer can add years to your life, given that it positively impacts cholesterol levels, lowers your risk of diabetes and strengthens your heart. Cheers to a long life. Drink well and prosper!