Ancient Sumerians in the cradle of advanced civilizations have brewed beer more than 5,000 years ago. They made beer from bread and malt. They even worshiped the beer goddess Ninkasi! But what has contributed to the staying power of this alcoholic beverage? The surprising truth is that beer in moderation is excellent for good health. Binge drinking on Friday night can harm you, but an occasional pint a day can help. So, let’s dive straight in and separate fact from fiction (or froth from your brew;)
- Beer remains the third-most preferred drink on planet earth, after tea and water.
- Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink. In 2016 alone, 50 billion gallons of beer were consumed globally.
- Beer dates back to ancient times, with breweries and drinking predating written language.
- The earliest and most ancient evidence of beer-making dates back to 3500 BC.
- Beer was big business with 8863 licensed breweries in the United States in 2017, and a turnover of USD 100 billion for the US beer industry.
10 Reasons Why Beer Benefits Are Good for Health
1. Heart Health
In a study of 1.9 million UK adults, those who drank 7 pints in 7 days had lower chances of heart attack, heart failure, or death due to these maladies, as against non-drinkers. Beer also reduces the chances of ischemic stroke by a massive 12%, provided your intake is moderate.
[Read: Signs for Heart Attack]
Writers like Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, and Hunter Thompson were only some of the many authors inspired by beer buzz. A study even found those with BAC levels of .075 were faster verbal puzzle solvers than sober counterparts.
3. Prevent Kidney Stones
A Finnish study found a beer every day lowers the chances of developing kidney stones by an astounding 40%. Another US study of 200K patients published in 2013 proved that while carbonated soda and punch raised kidney stone risk, beer lowered chances of stone formation by 60%. Studies suggest beer consumption is linked to a reduced risk of forming stones in US cohorts.
4. Avert Cataract
If you are likely to develop a cataract, drink a beer every single day! Why do that? Well, the antioxidants can prevent the development of cataracts. Don’t exceed more than three drinks per day, as this can damage your eyes, though.
5. Prevent Hypertension
If there’s a choice between wine, cocktails, or a beer(1), always go for the beer. A Harvard study reported less likelihood of beer drinkers to develop high blood pressure, as against wine and liquor drinkers.
Additionally, the American Heart Association found moderate drinking leads to more good cholesterol accumulation.
6. Rich in Nutrients
Beer is rich in nutrients like soluble fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, besides other vitamins and minerals. Though it is not a significant source of nutrients, and cannot nourish your body singlehandedly, know that beer is rich in several essential minerals that promote good health.
[Read: Benefits of Red Wine]
7. Bone Health
Studies also show beer is rich in dietary silicon, that protects the connective tissues and bones. Moderate beer drinkers had 38% fewer chances of bone problems like osteoporosis as against non-drinkers. Beer is also rich in silicon, which builds and maintains healthy bones. A mineral found in beer called orthosilicic acid is excellent for body metabolism. If you need a brew to develop your bones, look no further than beer brands with plenty of malted barley or hops.
8. Fights Inflammation
The flowers of the hop plant give beer the tangy and bitter taste. These flowers also have chemicals called bitter acids, which promote good health. Bitter acids combat inflammation. One particular type of acid, humulone, prevents, and treats respiratory viral infections.
Beer’s bitter acids even avoid swelling of the gut and improve digestion. A study in 2012, for example, found five types o Austrian and German beer triggered the release of gastric acids from the stomach cells. Bitter acids in the brew triggered a higher response. Gastric acid is critical for preventing gut flora form damage and improving food digestion.
9. Avert Cancer
Plenty of research proves the power of beer for preventing or treating cancer, although most are animal studies. A type of bitter acid, lupulin, even wiped out colon cancer tumors. Another ingredient, xanthohumol, actually shuts down metastasis and prevents DNA damage when rats were exposed to carcinogenic substances. Its cancer-fighting effects are seen at low doses.
10. Good for Brain and Teeth
Slimy stuff that collects when you don’t brush in a while is known as a biofilm(2). Beer keeps it from forming and helps to get rid of it. Beer extracts blocked bacterial activity linked to tooth decay and gum disease, according to research in 2012. Beer also obstructs dental disease pathogens and communication between teeth bacteria.
Apart from this, xanthohumol (discussed before) can also ward off free radical damage in the brain, according to a 2015 Chinese study. Austrian researchers in 2013 further reported beer promotes neural growth and development.
So can a beer a day keep the doctor at bay? Well, considerable research does show that this frothy brew, when drunk in moderation, can benefit your heart, your brain, your gut health. Beer is often touted as dangerous because it triggers a beer belly and a whole host of health issues.
[Read: Benefits of Orange Wine]
What people are forgetting is that beer is only harmful when consumed in excess. The barley and minerals in beer are very beneficial for good health. The only caveat is that you must actively ensure you drink beer in moderate quantities. Consuming too much of anything can be harmful, and this includes beer. Of course, substance abuse is a disorder and a cause for liver cirrhosis or even death. So, while you may savor a pint a day, remember that heavy drinking will certainly not keep the doctor away!