Health Benefits of Beer

After a long day, nothing beats cracking open a cold famous craft Welsh beer

Beer traditionally has been viewed as a guilty pleasure – perhaps because we associate it with a beer gut and weight gain. It is important to know, however, that a pint of beer, when consumed in moderation (we repeat, moderation), could have far more benefits than simply helping you relax after a tough week.

So, if you keep a six-pack in the fridge, pop one open and toast to these potential health benefits.

Nutrient intake

According to many experts, beer is more like a food than a beverage – after all, it is called “liquid bread”. You know exactly what they mean if you have ever sipped a pint of Guinness ale. It does mean you have to pay attention to how many calories you’re taking in each glass, but it also means the liquid contains some healthy nutrients. Protein and vitamin B are higher in beer than wine and also contains iron, calcium, phosphates and fibre.

Lower risk of diabetes 

Studies have shown that people who drink 3 to 4 times per week have a lower risk of developing diabetes than those who never consume alcohol. In comparison to men who did not drink beer, those who consumed between one and sick beers per week had a 21 percent lower risk of developing diabetes.

Protects your heart

The studies suggest that moderate beer drinking  may make you less likely to suffer from heart attacks, strokes, or heart disease. Furthermore, men who have already suffered a heart attack and drank moderately were 42 percent less likely to die from heart disease.

Strengthens bones 

Beer may help build strong bones thanks to its high silicon content. In the soluble form of orthosilicic acid (OSA), dietary silicon may play an important role in bone growth and development and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease.

Can help reduce stress

Researchers found that drinking two glasses of beer a day could reduce anxiety or stress. Routinely using alcohol to cope with stress can cause more harm than good. Although alcohol may help reduce stress in the short term, it can eventually lead to depression and anxiety, making it more difficult to cope with stress in the long run.

Reduces inflammation 

Several diseases are caused by inflammation in the body, and hops (an ingredient in beer) has anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers compared hops’ anti-inflammatory effects and found that consumption of hops in beer prevented inflammatory compounds from affecting cells.

Cleans your teeth

Your teeth are less likely to develop bacteria when you drink beer. Researchers tested the effect of beer extracts on the bacteria that produce biofilm, which promotes tooth decay and gum disease, and found that even the weakest beer extract was able to stop bacterial activity. Beer was also one of the best extracts for blocking bacteria’s communication, which slowed their growth. A good old Guinness beer was used in the testing – another reason to channel your inner Irishman. 

The bottom line

Moderate amounts of alcohol may provide some health benefits, but binge drinking and heavy drinking counteract these potential benefits and are associated with a higher risk of early death, alcohol dependence, alcohol use disorder, depression, liver disease, weight gain and cancer.