Beer does not always get the praise it deserves. Even those who enjoy it are not always aware of the amazing underlying health benefits of consuming it. Most consumers are not aware of other benefits of consuming beer moderately, that go beyond simply having a good time. Like all alcoholic beverages and indeed all foods, excessive consumption has negative side effects. On the other hand when consumed in moderation and responsibly, one can derive amazing health benefits from it. Some health benefits discussed below include its anti-cancer properties, its heart disease prevention properties, the fact that it promotes good digestion and prevents gallstones. Keep reading for more information on the health benefits of drinking beer.
A study published in the National Institutes of Health and the European Journal of Cancer found that the constituents used in the production of beer may potentially be cancer chemopreventive agents. Clarissa Gerhäuser, the author of the report says that there is evidence that suggests that the prenylflavonoids and humulone found in the hops used to brew beer actually have cancer-preventive qualities. Similarly, previous studies published by the National Institutes of Health found that xanthohumol found in hops inhibits the production, growth, and progression of carcinogens. Moreover, a Japanese study conducted using a rat model found that beer has chemopreventive properties on colon cancer.
Prevents Cardio- Vascular Diseases
Because beer promotes good cholesterol levels and is rich in vitamin B6 it may prevent Cardio-Vascular Diseases. A study conducted by the School of Public Health at Harvard University found that moderate consumption of beer raises the levels of a protein known as the high-density lipoprotein. In colloquial terms, the high-density lipoprotein also known as HDL is referred to as ‘good cholesterol’. Higher levels of HDL are generally associated with more protection against heart disease. Other factors that make beer a defense against heart disease are the fact that it provides better sensitivity to insulin and improves the elements that help in blood clotting. These, in turn, prevent blocked arteries, which is the most common cause of many heart attacks. Furthermore, beer is rich in vitamin B6, which assists in preventing cardiovascular diseases by stopping the buildup of homocysteine.
Source of Fiber
Beer is a great source of your daily fiber requirement. While the percentage of recommended fiber dosage varies depending on the brew, in general, a quart of beer offers 20% of recommended daily fiber intake. Other specialty high-quality brews can offer up to 60 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake. Fiber is essential for proper digestion, meaning that moderate and responsible consumption of beer does indeed have health benefits!
A study conducted by Dr. Andrew Hart from the University of East Anglia found that taking two units of beer a day reduces the risk of developing gallstones by a third. The study which involved 25,639 people and was conducted over a 10-year period showed that for every unit of alcohol consumed per week, the risk of developing gallstones was reduced by 3 percent.
Beer is Nutritious and Rich in Antioxidants
A glass of beer contains more protein and vitamin B than a glass of wine. Moreover, while anti-oxidants are generally attributed to wine, beer also contains them in abundance. Antioxidants have been linked to lower risks of heart disease, some infections, and even cancer. Vitamin B6, which is in abundance in beer has been linked to many health benefits including, improved mood and reduction of symptoms of depression, brain health, lower risk of dementia and the prevention and treatment of Anemia.
Improves Cognitive Function
A paper published by the University of Edinburgh’s Psychiatry Department showed that moderate consumption of alcohol may help decrease cognitive decline in older people. Metabolites known as Flavonoids found in plants are linked to increased cognitive function. Moreover, beer can protect against Alzheimer’s syndrome. Studies show that those who consume beer moderately have a 23% less chance of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Beyond the feel-good effect that many people take beer for, the beverage has many more surprising health benefits. When taken in moderation, beer consumption can be a great addition to a healthy lifestyle.