I must tell you that there are quite a few unexpected benefits of beer that you should consider because this beverage isn’t just “a crowd pleaser for all tastes and seasons”; your favorite beer might be healthier than you think. I must admit that it does have a high calorie content, ranging from 100 calories in light beers to even 220 calories per serving. That’s why it’s best to drink it with moderation, so you’ll avoid that unwanted beer belly. So, here are a few pretty amazing benefits of beer that will turn it into one of your favorite beverages:
1. It’s Rich in B Vitamins
One of the most unexpected health benefits of beer that will give you a good reason to drink it is the fact that it’s extremely rich in B vitamins. A lot of varieties of beer, especially unfiltered beer, are high in B3, B6, B12 and folic acid (B9) and while B3 aids in cell repair, B6 eases PMS. There is also a pretty famous Dutch study which found that “beer-drinking participants had 30% higher levels of vitamin B6 levels in their blood than their non-drinking counterparts, and twice as much as wine drinkers.” Pretty amazing, right?
2. It Keeps Your Kidneys Healthy
This was quite a big surprise for me too, but apparently beer will help your kidneys stay healthy. A famous study which took place in Finland found that beer had a lot more benefits than any other alcoholic drink and that “each bottle of beer men drank daily lowered their risk of developing kidney stones by 40 percent.” Another explanation could be the fact that beer has a pretty high water content and this might have helped their kidneys work better. Either way, in moderation, beer has indeed some amazing health benefits!
3. It’s High in Fiber
Beer really is high in fiber. Dark beer has about a gram of soluble fiber in each 12-ounce bottle. Fiber acts as a natural laxative and it helps lower your levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol). It can also suppress your appetite by lowering the rate at which food leaves your stomach, so it prevents you from overeating. Just don’t overindulge with the beer now!
4. It Can Make Your Bones Stronger
Beer contains high levels of silicon, which can make your bones stronger. A 2009 study at Tufts University found that older men and women who drank one or two beers every day had higher bone density, but they discovered that at the same time, having more than two beers daily was linked to increased risk for fractures. Apparently, the pale ale beers are the ones richest in silicon while light lagers and non-alcoholic ones contained the least.
5. It Can Improve Your Brain’s Health
This is definitely one of the benefits of beer I didn’t even believe to be true when I first did the research for this article. Yet, a 2007 study at the University of Alcala in Spain found that two beers a day could help prevent Alzheimer’s disease or any other type of dementia. Also, “a 2005 study tracking the health of 11,000 older women showed that moderate drinkers (those who consumed about one drink a day) lowered their risk of mental decline by as much as 20 percent, compared to non-drinkers. In addition, older women who downed a drink a day scored as about 18 months 'younger,' on average, on tests of mental skills than the non-drinkers.” I was really amazed by these results since it didn’t even cross my mind that beer has so many health benefits.
6. It Reduces the Risk for Diabetes
A lot of studies have shown that beer reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes by approximately 30 percent. Also, a study which took place at Harvard University in 2011, in which approximately 38,000 middle-aged men participated, found that when they only drank occasionally, about one to two beers or other drinks daily, their risk of developing type-2 diabetes dropped by 25 percent. The researchers believe that beer increases insulin sensitivity, thus it protects you against diabetes.
7. It Decreases the Risk of Developing Gallstones
According to the Mayo Clinic, beer can really decrease the risk of developing gallstones, which are actually made up of cholesterol, bile and other things that usually cause pain in the stomach. So, by drinking beer moderately, you can definitely improve your overall health. Why not do it more often, especially if you like the taste of it?
I was surprised to find out how many wonderful health benefits beer has. Do you know any other unexpected benefits of beer I could add to this list? Please tell us about them in the comments section!