Beer has nutritional benefits, who’d have thunk it? Quick send this article to all those religious education teachers and those guidance counsellors who were convinced beer has no redeeming qualities. Beer is one of the oldest beverages in the world with beer recipes being found in Egyptian tombs, Mesopotamian archaeological sites, and Babylonian texts. While its well-earned drawbacks are well-known, its benefits excluding its intoxicating property are not known at all. Let’s remedy that.
It turns out beer is more nutritious than other alcoholic drinks. It’s an excellent source of potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, niacin, and folate. It also has protein, vitamin B, phosphates, and even fibre.
It’s a good source of antioxidants with darker beers having more antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals in your body thus reducing the risk of chronic conditions and certain forms of cancer.
2. Lowers risk of heart disease
Studies suggest that light to moderate beer and alcohol intake may be associated with a lower risk of heart disease. One drink for women and two for men improved the antioxidant properties of HDL (good) cholesterol while also improving the body’s ability to remove cholesterol. It also has a thinning effect on blood which reduces the chances of forming clots which can cause a blockage in the coronary artery.
These results are only for light to moderate intake. Heavy alcohol consumption can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
3. Improved blood sugar levels
Drinking light amounts of alcohol may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For people with diabetes, light to moderate alcohol intake may improve blood sugar control. It appears to reduce insulin resistance which is a risk factor for diabetes. Heavy drinking however can counter these benefits and significantly increase the risk of diabetes.
4. Increased bone strength
Moderate amounts of beer may help strengthen bones for men and post-menopausal women. This is because alcohol in general in moderate amounts can help your bones. The benefits are sharply reversed when consumption passes two drinks a day.
Beer in moderate amounts can also help prevent kidney stones, lower bad cholesterol, improve memory, lower risk of dementia, and increase cognitive function. It may prevent anaemia, lower the risk of gallstones formation, lower blood pressure and as a result lower the risk of hypertension. Beer assists in digestion and in strengthening bones it lowers the risk of osteoporosis. When it comes to beauty, beer has the ability to raise the potency and impact of vitamin E as an antioxidant in the body which slows down the process of ageing and maintains skin health.
The risks of consuming beer including potential addiction, reduced life expectancy, increased risk of liver disease, weight gain, hypertension, malnutrition, pancreatitis, and increased risk of cancer remain critical considerations even in the face of these potential benefits. It is also worth noting that these benefits of moderate consumption of alcohol have not been endorsed by physicians for fear that it may be viewed as a license to drink by heavy drinkers.
*Moderate drinking = one drink/day for women and two drink/day for men.
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