Health benefits of beer include anticancer property, reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, increased bone density, prevention of dementia and coronary disease, aiding digestive system, anti-aging properties, countering diabetes, gallstones, kidney stones and osteoporosis, hypertension, apart from acting as a stress buster and diuretic.
Beer is a beverage which people usually prefer to take along with meals in North America and Europe. Beer has greater protein and vitamin B content than wine. Its antioxidant content is equivalent to that of wine. Hops, major component for brewing beer, are rich source of flavonoids, which are potent antioxidants. It is a very good source of some minerals which play roles in various metabolic processes. If taken in moderate quantities, beer will surely benefit one’s health.
Health benefits of beer become prominent, if taken in moderate amount. Some of these benefits include the following:
- Anticancer Properties: A flavonoid compound, Xanthohumol found in hops used in brewing beer has been identified to play a major role in chemoprevention of cancer, including prostate cancer. According to Bio-medicine, beer is also a good source of polyphenols due to the grains used for fermentation. Beer has been proven effective against fighting cancer just like red wine.
- Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases: Beer contains vitamin B6 which protects against heart diseases by preventing the build-up of a compound called homocysteine. Beer has a thinning effect on blood and prevents formation of clots, which cause blocks in coronary arteries. Moderate beer consumption also reduces the risk of inflammation, the cause for atheroscleros.
- Increased Bone Density: Moderate beer consumption is shown to increase bone density, preventing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
- Prevention of Dementia and Coronary Disease: Beer consumption also boosts the level of “good cholesterols” by 10-20% thus reducing the risk of dementia and coronary diseases.
- Aids Digestive System: Beer is shown to possess a number of digestive properties, which include stimulation of gastrin, gastric acid, cholecystokinin and pancreatic enzymes.
- Anti-Aging Properties: Beer increases the potency of vitamin E which is a major antioxidant in the body, apart from being vital in maintenance of healthy skin, and mitigates the ageing process.
- Prevention of Anaemia: Beer is a good source of vitamin B12 and folic acid, the deficiency of which may lead to anaemia. Vitamin B12 is also essential for maintaining normal growth, good memory and concentration.
- Diabetes: Studies have linked moderate beer consumption to lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes.
- Gallstones: Regular consumption of moderate levels of beer affects the cholesterol levels and decreases bile concentration leading to reduced risk for development of gallstones.
- Kidney Stones and Osteoporosis: Beer is found to be high in potassium and low in its sodium content. It is a rich source of magnesium which results in reduced risk of kidney stones. The silicon present in beer is readily absorbed by the body, explaining the protective effect of beer against osteoporosis.
- Hypertension: Regular beer drinkers have been found to have lower levels of blood pressure, compared to people consuming similar amount of wine or other spirits.
- Stress Buster: Like other alcohols, beer is shown to reduce stress, and facilitates sleep.
- Diuretic: Beer acts as a diuretic, increasing urination. This in turn facilitates increased removal of toxic and waste materials out of the body.
- Cleansing of Gastrointestinal Tract: Beer is a good source of soluble fibres which promotes general health apart from being good for heart as it results in cleansing of the digestive tracts.
This sums up a few health benefits of beer consumption in moderation. Moderate levels of consumption also ensure that the calorie intake from beer does not affect the health adversely.
Caution: Drinking beer in excessive amounts (addiction) is dangerous to health.