13 Amazing Benefits of Beer

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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The health benefits of beer include its potential anti-cancer properties, a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, and an increased bone density. It helps in the prevention of dementia and coronary diseases, aids the digestive system, has anti-aging properties, as well as treats diabetes, gallstones, kidney stones, osteoporosis, and hypertension. It also acts as a stress buster and a diuretic.

What is Beer?

Beer is an alcoholic drink that is prepared using barley, hops, water, and yeast. It is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages, which is enjoyed by people all over the world. There are many varieties of beer and some of them include pale ale, stout, mild ale, wheat, lambic, and lager beer.

The cereal grains present in this alcoholic beverage are responsible for the nutritional value of beer. People usually prefer to drink it with certain meals and it is the third most popular drink preceded by tea and water.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts

Alcoholic beverage, beer, light
Serving Size :
NutrientValue
Water [g]94.88
Energy [kcal]29
Protein [g]0.24
Total lipid (fat) [g]0
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]1.64
Fiber, total dietary [g]0
Sugars, total [g]0.09
Calcium, Ca [mg]4
Iron, Fe [mg]0.03
Magnesium, Mg [mg]5
Phosphorus, P [mg]12
Potassium, K [mg]21
Sodium, Na [mg]4
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.01
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]0
Thiamin [mg]0.01
Riboflavin [mg]0.02
Niacin [mg]0.39
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.03
Folate, DFE [µg]6
Vitamin B-12 [µg]0.02
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]0
Vitamin A, IU [IU]0
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg]0
Vitamin D [IU]0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]0
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0
Fatty acids, total trans [g]0
Cholesterol [mg]0
Caffeine [mg]0
Sources include : USDA
Beer has a greater protein and vitamin B content than wine. Its antioxidant content is equivalent to that of wine, according to a report published in The Nutrition Source, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Hops, a major component for brewing this beverage, are rich sources of flavonoids, which are potent antioxidants.

It is a very good source of certain minerals (as per the USDA) 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

Health benefits of beer become prominent if it is consumed in moderate amounts. Some of them include the following:

Anti-cancer Potential

In a study titled “Beer constituents as potential cancer chemopreventive agents” by Clarissa G, there is evidence that suggests potential cancer preventive effects of prenylflavonoids and humulone in the hops used in the brew (European Journal of Cancer 2005). Earlier studies had suggested that xanthohumol in hops had an inhibitory effect on the initiation, growth, and progression of carcinogenesis. Colonic carcinogenesis in a rat model study conducted in Japan (Nozawa H et al., 2004) showed that the beer components have chemopreventive effects and that intake of the beverage may help reduce the risk of cancerHowever, the research is limited to beer components and warrants further investigation. 

Different types of beer with a snack bowl on a wooden table

Protects Heart

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 blockages in the coronary arteries. According to a study conducted by ICTAN Spain, moderate consumption by healthy Spanish adults during 1 month were linked with positive blood lipid profile changes. Moderate consumption also reduces the risk of inflammation, the root cause of atherosclerosis, which is cholesterol and plaque building upon the blood vessels and artery walls.

Increases Bone Density

Moderate intake is shown to increase bone density, thereby preventing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.

Controls Diabetes

Studies have linked moderate beer consumption to a lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes. According to a study carried out by the Harvard School of Public Health, moderate intake of beer can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in middle-aged men. It was found effective for occasional drinkers who kept their consumption at one or two servings of beer, wine or liquor in a day.

Prevents 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.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Regular drinkers are found to have lower blood pressure, compared to people that consume a similar amount of wine or other spirits.

Delays Aging

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.

Prevents Gallstones

Regular consumption of a moderate amount of beer affects the cholesterol levels and decreases bile concentration, leading to a reduced risk of developing gallstones.

Prevents Dementia

Beer consumption also boosts the level of “good cholesterol” by 10-20%, thus reducing the risk of dementia and cardiovascular diseases.

Improves Digestion

Beer is shown to possess a number of digestive properties, which include the stimulation of gastrin, gastric acid, cholecystokinin, and pancreatic enzymes.

Reduces Risk of Kidney Stones

Beer is high in potassium and magnesium, which results in a reduced risk of kidney stones. The silicon present in it is readily absorbed by the body to protect against osteoporosis.

Stress Buster

Like other alcoholic drinks, beer is shown to reduce stress and facilitate sleep.

Diuretic Quality

Beer acts as a diuretic and significantly increases urination. This facilitates the increased removal of toxins and waste materials from the body.

Cleanses 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.

Limited consumption also ensures that the calorie intake from it does not affect the health adversely.

FAQs

How to make beer?

One can make it at home using a brewing kit and supplies that are easily available in the local market or online. Boil malt extract and hops followed by sterilizing this mixture. Cool down the mixture, add yeast and let the fermentation begin. Store and monitor the fermentation and when the beer has aged properly, store it in the refrigerator and enjoy it with family and friends

How to brew?

Beer can be brewed easily at home by following some simple steps: Boil pale malt extract and hops for about an hour and sterilize the mixture. The hot mixture, also known as wort is then cooled down and transferred to a fermenter where water is added to it. Yeast is added to start the fermentation process at the room temperature. Once it is fully fermented it is bottled and set to age for 2-6 weeks before use.

What is Beer made of?

It is made using 4 ingredients – barley, hops, water, and yeast. These ingredients are easily available in grocery or online stores. It can also be made using wheat and rice instead of barley. It can be made at home using the above ingredients and a brewing kit which comprises of containers, fermenter, etc.

When was it invented?

Brewing and drinking of beer date back to 5000 BC. It has been recorded in the ancient history of Mesopotamia. Before the industrial revolution, it was brewed at a domestic level. But post that, it was produced using industrial set ups. In present times, there are many companies that produce and sell various varieties.

Word of Caution: Drinking in excessive amounts (addiction) is dangerous to health and can negate any and all beneficial effects.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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