Illustration on How Beer can Benefit your Health, Photo by Drazen Zigic on Freepik
Want to hear a surprising fact? Believe it or not, beer can have some nutritional benefits! While it's no secret that excessive drinking can lead to negative health effects, moderate consumption of beer may offer some health benefits. If you're a beer lover (or even if you're not), you won't want to miss this article on the health benefits of drinking beer. But of course, we always recommend drinking beer in moderation.
Illustration of Beers, Photo by Freepik on Freepik
Beer always has been a part of the world’s history and culture. This alcoholic beverage has been there for so long, with some sources stating that beer dates back to 7000 BCE. But beer didn’t rise to the spotlight in terms of its health benefits until the medieval era. This was when water in some areas was deemed dirtier than others, so beer became a healthier alternative to water. But, this didn’t mean that the people ditched water completely. It simply meant that beer was a favourite, especially for workers and farmers who needed the energy that beer provided.
But how about now? Is beer still a drink that offers health benefits? Let’s take a look at its nutritional value first. Here is a comparison of a standard 12 ounces (355 mL) of beer and a light beer:
*DV: Daily Value
Besides these statistics, beer also contains potassium, calcium, and thiamine.
Illustration of Potential Health Benefits of Drinking, photo by ELEVATE on Pexels
According to some studies, moderate beer consumption (defined as up to one drink per day for women and two for men) may help lower the risk of heart disease by increasing the levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol, improving the elasticity of blood vessels, and reducing inflammation. However, these effects are not specific to beer and may also be achieved by other types of alcohol or by other lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise
Beer contains carbohydrates, which your bloodstream will absorb quickly, leading to increased blood sugar levels. Usually, elevated blood sugar is seen shortly after consuming alcohol. Moderate beer consumption may help lower the risk of heart disease by increasing the levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol, improving the elasticity of blood vessels, and reducing inflammation. These effects may help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, which is often associated with cardiovascular problems.
Beer contains silicon, a mineral that may boost bone health. Silicon helps by stimulating the production of collagen and other proteins that make up the bone matrix. Some research has indicated that drinking beer moderately may reduce the chance of hip fractures and osteoporosis, especially for men and postmenopausal women. By following a healthy lifestyle, you can enjoy these benefits for your bones.
Based on research from Harvard Medical School, states that most people don't drink every day or on a consistent weekly basis, so even self-described moderate drinkers probably drink much less than the individuals in the studies. If you are one of those, then you’re on the right track.
Illustration of Alcohol Addiction, photo by jcomp on Freepik
A psychoactive substance that affects both the body and the brain, alcohol is the primary constituent of beer. This implies that excessive beer drinking can lead to addiction. Alcoholism is a term used to refer to alcohol addiction.
Neurotransmitters linked to motivation, reward, and mood, like dopamine and serotonin, can have their levels changed by alcohol. These neurotransmitters may momentarily rise in response to alcohol use, which can result in feelings of pleasure, calmness, and euphoria. To prevent alcohol addiction, we suggest you only drink beer in moderation.
According to a large study that analyzed data from 600,000 drinkers in 19 countries, drinking more than 100 grams of alcohol per week (equivalent to about seven standard drinks in the US or five to six glasses of wine in the UK) can reduce your life expectancy by one to two years. Drinking more than 200 grams of alcohol per week (equivalent to about 14 standard drinks in the US or 10 glasses of wine in the UK) can reduce your life expectancy by four to five years.
Both alcohol and the mixers that are frequently added to cocktails have a lot of calories. These calories mount up quickly in your stomach and don't supply you with any nutrition. In addition to impairing your body's ability to burn fat, alcohol can harm your liver, which is crucial for metabolism. In addition to lowering inhibitions, alcohol can increase the likelihood of overindulging in food or making poor dietary choices. Drinking alcohol can also make you less motivated and energetic to work out.
Drinking beer occasionally and in moderation will bring small health benefits. But, a healthy lifestyle will increase its health benefits. Remember, beer can’t entirely replace water, fruits, or vegetables as a source of daily nutritional value. Instead, think of beer as an occasional addition to your nutrition, and a companion for your gathering with friends and family.
We also highly suggest that you consider alcohol-free beer as an alternative to regular beer. Drinking alcohol-free beer won’t pose the same amount of alcohol-related harm such as alcoholism and hangovers. It gives a slightly different taste compared to regular beer, but the risk you potentially avoid is worth it.