Health Benefits of Beer
2012 Health Benefits of Beer
Health Benefits of Beer
Beer has always had a reputation of being a “bad-for-you” beverage. In fact, many publications cite wine as a better alcoholic alternative to beer. However, several new studies on the health benefits of beer have found that drinking beer in moderation can actually have numerous health benefits including reduced risk for cancer and diabetes.
One of the little known health benefits of beer lies in its ability to slash the risk of heart disease. Studies on the benefits of beer have found that a number of alcoholic beverages including beer boost HDL, also known as “good” cholesterol while lowering LDL, the bad cholesterol. In this way, moderate consumption of beer may help thin the blood, resulting in reduced risk of heart attack.
Moderate consumption of beer has also been shown to reduce an individual’s blood pressure. Studies on the same found that individuals who drank moderate amounts of beer had significantly lower blood pressures that their counterparts who did not drink any beer.
New studies on the health benefits of beer have also found that moderate beer consumption may help reduce kidney stones while at the same time boost bone density. Research shows that men who chose beer as their preferred beverage had a significantly lower risk of developing kidney stones when compared to other alcoholic beverages. This is thought to be linked to the diuretic effect of beer combined with the high water content present in beer. Moreover, recent studies have revealed that the compounds present in hops may actually slow down the release of calcium from bone leading to improved bone density.
Beer also has high concentrations of silicon which is often linked to healthy bones. Studies on silicon content in beers found that pale ales have the highest concentrations of silicon while light lagers and non-alcoholic beers have the least. Based on this fact, numerous researchers believe that the moderate consumption of beer may be the reason why individuals who drink a beer regularly have higher bone densities.
Contrary to popular belief, beer contains a number of essential vitamins as well as minerals. The standard 12-ounce serving is known to have higher concentrations of calcium, magnesium and selenium (which is a key antioxidant) than a single serving of wine. Moreover, beer contains a number of B vitamins. A little known health fact about beer is that it actually contains fiber. The standard 12-ounce lager contains approximately one gram of fiber while a dark beer contains just slightly over a gram.
Last, moderate consumption of beer may actually help increase brain health and improve mental function. Studies have shown that individuals who drink only one beer a day decreased their risk of mental decline by approximately 20%. Moreover, drinking a pint of beer each day has also been shown to reduce the risk of stroke. Beer dilates the blood vessels as well as thins the blood, thus, preventing blood clots from traveling to the brain.
As you can see, the health benefits of beer are a lot more outstanding than many people realize. Of course the secret is moderate consumption. When an individual drinks more than the recommended two servings a day, the negative health benefits can start out-weighing the positive ones.