The excessive consumption of beer is associated with weight gain, cirrhosis, and a long list of health issues. But there has to be some benefit to drinking beer… right? After all, beer is mostly made of natural ingredients like cereals, yeast and water.
And in moderation, especially, it doesn’t lead to weight gain. And it’s been around for thousands of years, and humanity still survived… so there must be some redeeming qualities to our sacred brew.
Let’s explore some recent studies that show the health benefits of beer:
Beer is healthy for your kidneys
Finnish and Italian research has identified that beer’s high water content contributes to its diuretic properties, which is beneficial to the health of your kidneys. Drinking a bottle of beer occasionally therefore significantly reduces your body’s vulnerability to kidney stones by about 30%. That said, one would ask, why not just drink water, then? Well, water just doesn’t make you as happy while helping you fight kidney stones!
Beer aids bowel function and improves digestive health
Various researchers have pointed out that malted barley, wheat, rice, and corn (grains used to make beer) are great sources of fiber. Fiber, of course, is paramount in your digestive health.
It keeps things flowing by ensuring that your bowel movements are soft and regular. In short, beer can help you reduce constipation. Even better, it reduces cholesterol levels in your gut, which also helps with digestive health.
Beer reduces insomnia levels and is ideal for detoxing
According to studies by Healthline and Oregon State University, hops have acidic properties which serve as great antioxidants. This means that drinking beer boosts your immunity and limits the damage caused by free radicals linked to multiple illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, beer has relaxing benefits which can help fight insomnia.
Beer can improve heart health
For a happy heart, drink a glass of beer a day. People have quoted the “drinking wine in moderation aids heart health” mantra for a long time – now you can start saying the same thing, but with beer. Based on research by the Mayo Clinic, drinking beer in moderation can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by about 42%.
At the same time, the malt found in beer plays a huge role in decreasing any triggers such as stress and anxiety that could affect your heart health. Aside from that, considering the fact that beer has a very high water content, it is able to help maintain your blood pressure levels.
Beer serves as a great source of hydration
Beer after a workout? Yes, you most definitely can. Spanish researchers from Granada University and fitness junkies from Men’s Fitness Magazine have been able to conclude that beer serves as a great source of hydration after an intense work out.
As mentioned, beer has a lot of water in it (95% of beer is water, after all), which regulates your body temperature and also helps deliver nutrients to your cells. Aside from that, the carbon gas in your beer can help improve blood circulation.
Of course – all in moderation: drinking too many beers after a workout will not only get you drunk, but will cancel out any weight loss benefits the workout may have given you.
Beer has bone strengthening properties
A study by Tufts School of Medicine showed that the tiny trace amount of silicon in beer is scientifically proven to improve bone matrix quality and facilitates bone mineralization. Based on this research, drinking moderate amounts of beer reduces the risk of osteoporosis and bone thinning.
Beer boosts your brain health
Researchers in Chicago have concluded that moderate beer intake has the ability reduce the risks associated with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. This is because beer raises good cholesterol in your body, which improves the flow blood to your brain.
Additionally, another study shows that moderate beer drinkers are less depressed than those who overdrink, and there are correlations between depression and overall health.
The Bottom Line…
There are definitely some health benefits to drinking beer, but this is not a reason to go out and get hammered. Think of these benefits more as things to joke about with your friends – not actual health advice! And of course: always drink in moderation. Excessive alcohol consumption still is and always will be damaging to your health.