It’s common knowledge that certain food groups are good for health and well-being. Proteins and carbohydrates help supply energy. Fibres aid digestion and repair muscles. However, did you know that beer could be good for your health?
Most people believe that beer is disadvantageous because it induces weight gain, and this is true especially when consumed in large quantities. However, studies have shown that moderate beer consumption might actually be good for the body. Here are some of the benefits highlighted by studies:
- Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease: People who consume beer are 23% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as research shows. This could be attributed to its high trace of silicon content and the protective effects it has on the brain. It could also be because of its influence on the body’s cholesterol levels and how they increase blood flow to the brain.
- Higher levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL): HDL is responsible for transporting cholesterol in the body, and for removing low-density lipoprotein from the artery walls. Evidence suggests that frequent beer consumption for years can reduce the decline rate of HDL. This will, in turn, reduce the harmful effects of cholesterol and lower the risk of heart diseases. (1)
- Increased supply of protein and B vitamins: Beer contains substantial amounts of proteins, which help in energy supply and bodybuilding. They also contain B vitamins that impact cell metabolism and brain function.
- Protection from free radicals: Free radicals are molecules that can bind and damage body cells, leading to ageing symptoms like wrinkles. Even though a small quantity of free radicals is tolerable for the body, large quantities can really do damage to the body system. However, alcohol consumers have nothing to worry about, as studies show that beer contains antioxidants that bind and help eliminate free radicals from the body. (2)
- Reduced risk of diabetes: Research has revealed that beer can actually reduce the risk of diabetes. This is contrary to the widespread knowledge that it causes diabetes. The study found that people who drank beer three to four times a week were less likely to have type 2 diabetes than people who didn’t.
- Protected cognitive function: Polyphenols, such as flavonoids and phenolic acids, benefit the body by reducing the risks of heart disease and protecting cognitive function.
The studies emphasize that drinking in moderation is essential to get all the benefits that come with beer and alcohol. Dietary guidelines for alcohol consumption include one drink per day. The center for disease control defines one drink as “containing 14 grams (0.6 fl oz) of pure alcohol,” or “12 fluid ounces of regular beer (5% alcohol),” and ” 1.5 fluid ounces of 80 proof- distilled spirits (40% alcohol).”
All of this is good news for regular drinkers. The next time you want to enjoy a pint of beer and some salted peanuts, you can rest easy knowing that it may just be prolonging your life.(3)
Ana Miller is a creative writer. Her topics of interest and expertise range from psychology to all sorts of disciplines such as science and news.