Drink Beer and Be Healthy
Updated: Aug 30
The downfalls of alcohol are often talked about: get drunk and have a hangover, drinking and driving will lead to arrest, beer is just empty calories. And those statements aren't wrong. But would you believe that beer can actually be considered good for you?
Health Benefits of Beer
Antioxidants: When drank in moderate quantities, the health benefits are greatest. Beer contains a higher amount of protein and vitamin B than wine, and, because of hops, beer has the same antioxidant content as wine. Because beer is a drink made of plants, it is rich in flavonoids, plant chemicals that are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent or stop damage at the cellular level. This can help prevent disease.
Anti-Cancer Properties: One of the flavonoids found in the hops used to brew the beer is called Xanthohumol. This flavonoid has been seen to play a major role in the chemoprevention (the use of medications to lower the risk of or prevent cancer), including prostate cancer. Beer is also a good source of polyphenols, which fight cancer cells.
What do all these science-y words mean? Drinking beer could lower your risk of cancer.
Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Harvard University has proved it: there is an association between moderate beer consumption and reduced risk of heart attacks - by 25-40%! Beer contains vitamin B6, which protects against heart disease by preventing the build-up of homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine are linked to heart disease. Vitamin B6 has a thinning effect on the blood and prevents the formation of clots, which cause blocks in the coronary arteries. Moderate consumption of beer also reduces inflammation, which is a root cause of cholesterol and plaque building up on the blood vessels and artery walls.
Increased Bone Density: Several studies have proven that beer increases bone density and therefore reduces risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Beer contains an increased silicon content, which helps connect muscle and bone tissue to each other and increase bone density. The darker the beer, the higher the silicon level.
Diabetes: Studies have linked moderate beer consumption (10-40 ounces a day) to a lower prevalence of Type II diabetes (adult-onset). Beer can lower blood sugar. However, if you are already diabetic, this can be dangerous in conjunction with insulin injections.
Prevention of Anemia: Anemia is the condition of low iron in the blood. Beer is a good source of vitamin B12 and folic acid. A deficiency in either of these can lead to anemia. B12 is also essential for maintaining good memory and concentration.
Anti-Aging Properties: Beer is the fountain of youth. Beer increases the potency and impact of Vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant in skin health. Good skin is essential to looking young!
Stress Buster: This one can't be contributed to beer over other alcohols, but beer is shown to reduce stress and facilitate sleep. Being well-rested also reduces stress.
As with everything, beer is best in moderation. Talk to your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise routine. But, enjoy your beers knowing that drinking is less unhealthy than we thought!
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