The health benefits of beer include anticancer properties, a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, increased bone density, the prevention of dementia and coronary disease, aid to the digestive system, and anti-aging properties, as well as treating diabetes, gallstones, kidney stones, osteoporosis, and hypertension. It also acts as a serious stress buster and a diuretic.
Beer is an alcoholic beverage that people usually prefer to drink with certain meals in North America and Europe. It has a greater protein and vitamin B content than wine, while its antioxidant content is equivalent to that of wine. Hops, a major component for brewing beer, are rich sources of flavonoids, which are potent antioxidants.
Beer is a very good source of certain minerals that play essential roles in various metabolic processes. If taken in moderate quantities, it can definitely boost your health in a number of ways.
Health Benefits of Beer
Health benefits of beer become prominent if it is consumed in moderate amounts. Some of these interesting health benefits include the following:
Anti-Cancer Properties: A flavonoid compound called Xanthohumol is found in the hops commonly used in brewing beer. It has been seen to play a major role in the chemoprevention of cancer, including prostate cancer. According to Bio-medicine, it is also a good source of polyphenols, due to the grains used for fermentation. Beer has been proven effective in fighting cancer, just like red wine.
Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases: Beer contains vitamin B6, which protects against heart diseases by preventing the build-up of a compound called homocysteine. It has a thinning effect on the blood and prevents the formation of clots, which cause blocks in the coronary arteries. Moderate beer consumption also reduces the risk of inflammation, the root cause of atherosclerosis, which is cholesterol and plaque building up on the blood vessels and artery walls.
Increased Bone Density: Moderate intake is shown to increase bone density, thereby preventing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
Diabetes: Studies have linked moderate beer consumption to a lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes.
Prevention of Anemia: Beer is a good source of vitamin B12 and folic acid, a deficiency of which may lead to anemia. Vitamin B12 is also essential for maintaining normal growth, good memory and concentration.
Hypertension: Regular beer drinkers have been found to have lower blood pressure, compared to people that consume similar amounts of wine or other spirits.
Anti-Aging Properties: Beer increases the potency and impact of vitamin E, which is a major antioxidant in the body. It is an important part of the maintenance of healthy skin, while also slowing down the aging process.
Gallstones: Regular consumption of moderate amounts of beer affects the cholesterol levels and decreases bile concentration, leading to a reduced risk of developing gallstones.
Prevention of Dementia and Coronary Disease: Beer consumption also boosts the level of “good cholesterol” by 10-20%, thus reducing the risk of dementia and cardiovascular diseases.
Aids Digestive System: Beer is shown to possess a number of digestive properties, which include the stimulation of gastrin, gastric acid, cholecystokinin and pancreatic enzymes.
Kidney Stones and Osteoporosis: Beer has been found to be high in potassium and low in sodium. It is a rich source of magnesium, which results in a reduced risk of kidney stones. The silicon present in it is also readily absorbed by the body, further explaining the protective effect of beer against osteoporosis.
Stress Buster: Like other alcohols, beer is shown to reduce stress, and facilitates sleep.
Diuretic: Beer acts as a diuretic, and significantly increases urination. This facilitates the increased removal of toxins and waste materials from the body.
Cleansing of Gastrointestinal Tract: Beer is a good source of soluble fibers that promote general health. This includes being good for the heart, as well as helping to clean out the digestive tracts.
This sums up a few of the health benefits of beer consumption, when done in moderation. Moderate levels of consumption also ensure that the calorie intake from it does not affect the health adversely.
Caution: Drinking beer in excessive amounts (addiction) is dangerous to health and can negate any and all beneficial effects.