There’s nothing quite like a cold beer on a hot day – that hoppy, rich and refreshing taste just goes down a treat. It’s the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world, and it’s the third most popular beverage overall, after water and tea.
It has received somewhat of a bad reputation in recent years for being fattening and high in calories, which is unfortunate because there are actually various health benefits to be gained when drinking beer in moderation. So put your feet up, pour yourself a pint and read about beer’s awesome health benefits!
1. It Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
Whatever kind of alcohol you like to drink, studies have indicated that when consumed in moderation, beer thins the blood, making it less likely to clot. Furthermore, it helps reduce the risk of heart disease and increases the amount of good cholesterol in the blood.
2. It's Good for Kidney Health
Before you think this benefit is free license to drink as much as you want, think again. Drinking too much is harmful to your kidneys, however moderate consumption of beer has been shown to reduce the likelihood of developing kidney stones - they develop when there's too much calcium in your body. Hops, which are used to make beer, have been shown to assist with releasing calcium from the bones.
3. It's Genuinely Nutritious!
Although it may seem far-fetched, a 12 oz. beer has up to a gram of fiber in it, as well as plenty of B vitamins such as B6, B12, niacin, and riboflavin. Beer is also rich in silicon, which is a nutrient that helps with strengthening bones.
4. It Reduces the Risk of Diabetes
In 2011, Harvard University concluded a study involving 38,000 middle-aged men. Participants who drank two beers a day were shown to have a 25% lower risk of contracting Type II diabetes than those who did not. This statistic does not apply in the context of excessive drinking.
5. It May Reduce the Risk of Cancer
There's reason to believe this after a Portuguese study found that marinating meat in beer eliminated almost 70% of all of its carcinogens. What's for certain is that beer contains plenty of antioxidants, which help your body cleanse itself of toxins.
6. It Improves Brain Health
The latest research in this area, conducted at China's Lanzhou University in 2015, has indicated that having a couple of beers each day contributes toward staving off Alzheimer's Disease and dementia, as well as lowering the risk of having a stroke. In addition, a study carried out on 11,000 women in 2005 found that those who drank one beer a day exhibited better mental function than those that didn't. Their risk of mental decline was also found to be reduced by 20%.
7. It Keeps Your Muscles Strong Into Old Age
A 2012 study conducted at Tokushima University in Japan found that the prenylated flavonoid contained in hops (a flower primarily used as a flavoring and stabilizing agent in beer), called 8-prenylnaringenin, inhibited muscle atrophy in laboratory mice. When they were given feed containing the flavonoid, they were found to retain more muscle mass than those that were fed a normal diet.
8. It Can Help Get Rid of Pesky Dandruff
The high yeast and vitamin B levels found in beer make it one of the best natural treatments for dandruff. If you have dandruff that just won't go away, try pouring a bottle of beer over your head two to three times a week and watch it disappear. Doing so will also make your hair extra soft and shiny.
9. It Can Help Keep Stress At Bay
Again, this one isn't an excuse to get completely intoxicated! Stick within the 12 oz. daily recommended limit if you're a woman or the 24 oz. daily recommended limit if you're a man - it'll help keep stress levels down and reduce any anxiety you might be feeling. Enjoy responsibly!
10. It Has Antimicrobial Properties
The hops used to make beer are known to be antimicrobial, meaning that it can kill micro-organisms that could cause you harm, such as when you get a bacterial infection of some kind.