When it comes to almost every food and drink there is inevitably a debate raging somewhere over whether it is good or bad for your health. Over the past few weeks we noticed a number of articles popping up on our news feed and on various sites about types of beer that drinkers need to stop consuming immediately. Some of these reasons included the fact that brewers use GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) products like corn and rice, while other beers use ingredients made from fish bladders – Gasp!
The interesting thing about these cringe articles are that whenever one that reports on negative aspects of beer pop up, there is almost always one about the positive aspects of beer that also pops up, highlighting all that’s great about beer.
In fact, there is widely accepted research that acutely highlights some great health benefits of beer. In this article we will take a look at some of the more common health benefits beer offers.
Beer and your health
A couple of years ago the University of Copenhagen hosted a conference that focused solely on the health and nutritional benefits of beer. There were many topics covered during this event, including the presentation of many interesting scientific and medical findings. Here are but a few of the more interesting health related benefits of beer:
- Beer can help maintain your eyesight. Researchers in Canada found that those who drink beers like Stouts and Lagers once a day see an increase in antioxidant activity which could limit cataracts from forming.
- Moderate consumption can actually reduce the risk of diabetes. Researchers in the Netherlands studied 38,000 males and found that moderate beer drinkers who did not binge drink were less likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
- It can help prevent cardiovascular disease. Italian researchers have found that beer drinkers are 42% less likely to suffer from heart disease when compared to non-drinkers.
- Hops contain nutrients that are known to help prevent diseases like depression and osteoporosis. It is widely known that hops can have a calming effect on people, and can help relax drinkers. There is also research that hops can be essential in fighting osteoporosis and reducing inflammation.
What makes scientist think beer is healthy?
Listen to most nutritionists or read any nutrition centered blog and you will see time and again that beer is full of calories and high in carbohydrates. While this is true, there are also numerous vitamins and nutrients in beer that are beneficial to drinkers.
For example, many beers have silicon which is essential to bone health, and are also a good source of Vitamins like B6 and B12 which are key to keeping your heart healthy. It is these and many other vitamins and minerals found in the ingredients of beer that contribute to your overall health.
Take everything with a grain of salt
While there is research pointing out the various health benefits there are a number of caveats you should be aware of if you are looking to drink to your health.
- Drink in moderation – While most beer is good for your health, the vast majority of research findings note that in order to actually benefit you need to consume beer in moderation. For the most part, one can or bottle of beer a day could improve your health, while drinking more could actually decrease your overall health. In other words, drinking lots of beer can still be harmful to your health.
- You need to drink consistently – Many of the studies have found that moderate beer consumption on a regular basis is most effective. You should keep your intake consistent through the week. If you go over the recommended amount, or the amount noted in the various studies you could see your health actually decrease.
- You also need a healthy diet – While beer does offer many important vitamins and minerals, you often need to drink more than one in order to meet daily requirements. As we stated above, drinking more than one beer can be bad for your health. So, why not combine beer with a healthy diet in order to maximize the effectiveness of the benefits.
- You need to be older – Many scientists and doctors are quick to point out that while beer is relatively healthy in moderation, drinking it strictly for health reasons is advisable only for those of us who are older, or ar at an age where heart disease, high blood pressure, etc. tend to occur naturally.
The next time you’re out and someone says you shouldn’t be drinking beer tell them that one never hurt anyone and keep drinking, knowing that it’s true!
Wish of the week
Looking for an interesting beer to drink when this insane heat gets too much? This beer is not only full bodied but also slightly bitter and incredibly refreshing. Coming from the master English brewer Wychwood, this is one beer that is sure to slake your thirst.