4 Health Benefits Of Beer
It’s probably the most American beverage we have.
Which is kind of funny since beer actually originated in the Ancient Near East (think Iraq), was popularized in Europe, and really didn’t start enjoying popularity in the US until the beginning of the 20th century.
So while Americans are really into beer, and beer commercials for that matter, it’s not really “our” beverage.
All that being sad, beer is super popular here in the States.
And over the past 10 years or so there’s been a bit of a renaissance in beer making.
A growing number of people are moving away from drinking skimple lager style beers like Budweiser and Coors, and are starting to enjoy beers that are dedicated to using higher-quality ingredients, along with botanicals and herbs to make a new kind of beer called craft beer.
Craft beers don’t just offer all kinds of great flavors.
They’re actually surprisingly healthy for you.
About as healthy, if not healthier, than some wines.
Of course I have to couch this statement with the obvious statement that beer can be healthy; but you cannot overindulge in beer drinking because any of the health benefits you’d get would be erased by the consumption of that much alcohol.
However, having a beer or two here and there isn’t bad for you and if you’re getting good craft beer your body will actually appreciate the benefits.
So, now let me prove to you that beer can actually be healthy.
4 Health Benefits Of Beer
Beer offers several understated health benefits.
None of these are going to cure cancer, but they can certainly create a healthy ecosystem within your body that helps to foster an environment of health.
I drink beers here and there for the benefits, and the taste.
So now, let me show you what makes beer good for you.
1 – It Helps With Antioxidant Support:
Antioxidants play a key role in our health. They help to protect our cells from damage to their internal DNA structures and they neutralize free radicals which can cause potentially harmful inflammation.
And your standard beer offers several antioxidants that help to support health.
In particular beer offers an antioxidant called xanthohumol. This flavonoid appears because beer utilizes a type of flower called hops.
And believe it or not, there are studies to show xanthohumol may prevent the proliferation of cancer-causing enzymes.
Dr. Cristobal Miranda of the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology at Oregon State University said “much more potent than the major component in soy”, this xanthohumol stuff is so good for you that the Germans have actually brewed a beer with extra levels of it.
2 – Beer May Support Heart Health:
The thinking around alcohol and heart health tends to be that drinking it will damage your heart.
Well, only if you drink too much.
Good beers made with high-quality ingredients may actually help to protect your heart.
There are even studies to show that drinking beer on occasion may make you less likely to have a heart attack, stroke or heart disease than compared to non-drinkers.
Cardiologist David Montgomery, M.D. says “Antioxidants [in beer] help fight changes to the blood vessel and plaque buildup, help the inside lining fight the effects of blood pressure and high blood sugar, and it also increases good cholesterol.”
This builds on top of previous studies which support the claim that drinking moderate amounts helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
3 – Delivers Healthy Fiber
Right there with protecting your heart is how beer could influence your cholesterol levels.
You see, beer actually has healthy fiber in it. No, it doesn’t have as much as a plate of veggies, but enough that it can do things like help to improve cholesterol levels when consumed in moderation, and balance blood sugar (among other things).
And the darker your beer, the more fiber it has.
The soluble fiber in beer may help to push the balance of cholesterol into the healthy range by reducing your LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
Research even shows that it may prevent type 2 diabetes.
Researchers surveyed 38,000 male health professionals “and found that when men who weren’t big boozers began drinking moderately over 4 years, they were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.”
4 – It May Even Boost Memory Power:
As I mentioned earlier, beer contains a specific antioxidant, called xanthohumol, and this antioxidant may be one of the better antioxidants for memory enhancement.
Of course, if you drink too much alcohol we know that this can cause memory impairment, so the key here is moderation.
Studies show that xanthohumol has some positive effects on brain health, and drinking beer could help support brain health if this is true.
A study that showed a diet high in xanthohumol was a potent agent in reversing and/or preventing dementia. Of course you ought to know that the amount of xanthohumol the subjects received was more than what you’d get in moderate beer drinking.
The good news is you can say that drinking a few beers every now and then probably won’t hurt your brain and may even give your memory and cognition a slight boost!
Remember This When Drinking Beer
Beer is a beverage that you really should only be drinking on occasion. And when you do, 1-2 beers is enough.
It’s easy to go overboard drinking beer since the newer craft beers taste amazing… and because getting tipsy is fun for some people.
But if you want to enjoy your beer and the health benefits it provides then you really shouldn’t make daily-beer drinking a habit.
Fortunately, I get to at least report back that there are many health benefits of beer and I hope you enjoy them!