There are a lot of reasons why people drink beer. Clearly, a primary reason is because they find it enjoyable. They appreciate how beer tastes and enjoy its mood-enhancing qualities. One thing’s for sure – people don’t generally drink beer to get healthier. But with more and more research coming out almost daily to the contrary, we all might want to start rethinking that.
For years, wine owned all the good news associated with drinking and health. Red wine in particular was touted for its heart-happy and heath-enhancing qualities. Beer on the other hand was treated as almost an afterthought, and if it was credited with anything, most likely it was weight gain.
But just as America has rediscovered its passion for beer (led by craft beer’s amazing emergence and unbelievable growth), scientists have been revisiting beer and its effects on our heath, and they’ve been coming back with good news for all of us.
First, an obvious disclaimer: More is not better when discussing beer drinking and health. Even though drinking a beer (or two) daily might prove beneficial to one’s overall health, drinking ten beers daily is definitely not going to make you feel any better.
So as long as you’re not “power-pounding” cases of beer every day, here are some of beer’s health benefits according to Judi Gerber writing for care2.com:
Beer can be an excellent source of vitamins and antioxidants. Dark beers are particularly rich in both and beers brewed with fruit are an antioxidant bonanza. Hops are being found to be useful in maintaining prostate health (we knew it!) and enzymes (polyphenols) in hops have been found to help ward off colds and even some strains of influenza.
Beer can aid in overall hydration. Beer is 90% water, so you know that it’s keeping you moist. Ms. Gerber cites a Finnish study that suggests that the increased hydration that comes with drinking beer might help prevent kidney stones (we like that) and that hops might also play a part by slowing the release of calcium, which is also thought to contribute to kidney stone formation.
Beer can lower your risk of heart disease. It has soluble fiber and like other fiber-rich foods (oats and barley come to mind), beer has been found to both raise “good” HDL cholesterol level s and lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels at the same time.
Beer strengthens bones. Ms. Gerber details that beer “is rich in the element silicon, which has been linked to better bone density.”
And last, but certainly not least…
Beer is good for the soul. Although the science supporting this axiom might be a little sketchy, we at AmericanCraftBeer.com feel strongly that beer benefits the soul…so we’re running with it.