Friday, January 4, 2013

10 Perks of Drinking Beer


Drinking beer can be good for your health.
Drinking beer can be good for your health.
Image: Shutterstock
Most people know all about the harmful effects of drinking too much beer, but did you know that there are some great benefits that come with drinking beer in moderation? Just like a glass of red wine a night can be good for your health, so too can drinking a nightly brewski.

While keeping in mind that bingeing on any type of alcohol has more negative effects than positive, consider the following benefits:

Because beer has high levels of silicon (especially pale ales) drinking it in moderation can help strengthen your bones. This is true for up to two beers a night. Beware, though: those who drank more than two beers a night actually had a higher risk for fracturing bones. 

Like wine, beer can also contribute positively to heart health. A pint of beer daily has been shown to reduce the risk for heart disease, though bingeing increases the risk. It’s also been shown that moderate drinking reduces the risk of heart attacks and death from cardiovascular disease by up to 40%. This is because beer contains HDL, which can help raise good cholesterol and prevent artery clogs. This also means a lower risk of stroke.
Benefits of drinking beer include a lower risk of stroke.
Benefits of drinking beer include a lower risk of stroke.
Image: Shutterstock

A brewski or two a night can also boost kidney health. The risk for kidney stones can be reduced by nearly 40%, though researchers are unsure whether this is due to alcohol’s high water content or the hops’ ability to slow calcium leeching from our bones.

Drinking beer also helps prevent brain health problems like Alzheimer’s and dementia by up to 20 percent. Moderate drinkers also have a reduced cancer risk, since beer and wine are both high in antioxidants. Beer-marinated steak was found to have 70% fewer carcinogens as well, which researchers theorize is due to the beer’s sugars.

Beer can reduce the risk of developing
Alzeheimer's & dementia by up to 20%.
Image: Shutterstock
Since beer contains high levels of vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid, drinking one or two a night leads to boosted vitamin levels. Drinking small amounts of alcohol also increases insulin sensitivity, so adults who have one or two per day have a 25% reduced risk for developing type 2 Diabetes.

Lastly, drinking beer helps lower blood pressure, meaning a lower risk for heart attack and other stress-related problems. Moderate drinkers tend to live a longer life as well, since they are at a reduced risk for so many health problems.

This is good news for the people who are involved in ownership of the big brewery companies.  People like Peter Coors and Eric Molson are still involved in the family companies that bear their names. Brian Grossman is heavily involved in his father’s Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, and breweries like the Bavaria Brewery often act as important parts of the portfolios of families like the Santo Domingos (which include members Tatiana and Andres Santo Domingo.)

All of these effects are relevant only for one or two drinks per day. Drinking more than that often has an adverse effect, putting beer drinkers at a higher risk for some problems. But for moderate drinkers—rejoice (and don’t feel bad for having a pint or two)!
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