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Most people who enjoy a pint or two will tell you that they drink beer because they like the way it tastes. Taste is the number one reason consumers pick up a specific beer. If you like floral, hop-centric beers, you’ll grab an IPA. If you enjoy your beer a little maltier, darker and coffee like, you’ll grab a stout or porter. One thing you probably don’t concern yourself with is the potential health benefits of imbibing your favorite brew.
Health benefits of beer? I’m as a surprised as you. But, according to many different studies, some of the benefits of drinking beer are that it can help prevent cancer, strengthen your heart, strengthen your bones, prevent diabetes, boost your immune system, help your digestion and even help you live a longer, happier, beer-filled life.
Health Benefits of Beer
Drinking Beer Helps Prevent Cancer
Hops contain a flavonoid compound called Xanthohumol. Scientists have seen it linked to prevention of many cancers, including prostate. Researchers at the German Cancer Research Centre say that Xanthohumol is known to block the release of the PSA protein that is known to cause prostate cancer. Beers with a large amount of hops, including IPAs, have the most cancer-fighting properties. Hop fans should be pretty happy to hear that there are benefits of drinking beer.
Drinking Beer Helps Keep Your Heart Strong
Everyone knows that red wine is linked to heart health, but did you know that beer also has many ingredients that can be beneficial to your heart? Researchers in Italy discovered that non-beer drinkers had a much higher percentage risk of developing heart disease than their beer guzzling counterparts. Surprisingly, beer drinkers had a 42% lower percentage of risk.
Drinking Beer Makes Your Bones Stronger
According to a Study in Natural Medicine Journal, women who drink more beer have a “significant increase in speed of sound transmission.” To the lay person, this means that women who choose to drink a few pints per week are likely to have less brittle, increased bone density. That means even if you fall down after a couple of brews, you probably won’t even break your arm.
Drinking Beer Helps Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Researchers in the Netherlands studied men who previously hadn’t imbibed often in an attempt to learn the effects of drinking and diabetes. They then began to drink beer socially for four years. The social drinkers were found to be less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-drinkers. The key, they said, was to only drink only a pint or two per day.
Drinking Beer Will Make You Live Longer
You’ll be happy to hear that beer helps some vitamins already in your body. The ingredients in beer positively effects the utilization of vitamin E in your body. Increased Vitamin E improves physical endurance, muscle strength and even helps to slow down the aging process. This benefit of drinking beer means that the more beer you drink, the longer you’ll live.
Drinking Beer Boosts Your Immune System
Researchers at the Oregon Health & Science University believe that moderate beer drinking strengthens your immune system. They studied rhesus monkeys because of the similarity between their immune systems and ours. They trained a dozen rhesus monkeys to drink a 4% ethanol alcohol mixture. Then, they vaccinated all of the monkeys for small pox before separating the groups. One group drank alcohol and the other group drank sugar water (They also had regular water and food). Just like in human, of the group that drank alcohol, there were heavy drinkers and moderate drinkers. After fourteen months, the researchers found that while the heavy drinkers didn’t respond as well to vaccines, the moderate drinkers immune systems were better than those who drank sugar water.
You Can Drink Beer Instead Of Water While Working Out
Next time you work out, don’t grab for a Gatorade or ice water afterwards. Researchers in Spain believe that chugging (or more likely, slowly sipping) a beer is a much better idea. They believe that the health benefits of beer is that beer is more helpful than water for a dehydrated person because it helps your retain water better.
Professor Manuel Garson, from Granada University, also believes that the bubbly nature of beer is better at quenching thirst and that the extra carbs in beer are the perfect supplement to calories burned off while working out. He had his subjects perform exercises in 100 degree temperatures. Half of the group was given a pint of beer and the other half was given a pint of water. Although not exceedingly different, those who drank beer instead of water were slightly more hydrated. Just don’t expect to see giant jugs of Bud on the sideline instead of Gatorade at NFL games this season.
Drinking Beer Makes You Happy
Who doesn’t love a frosty, delicious beer on a hot day? Did you know that imbibing beer actually makes you a happier person? No, it isn’t the fact that you’re relaxing, enjoying a beer after a long day. The ingredients in beer make you feel happier. Drinking beer releases endorphins in the brain that makes you feel pleasure.
Even the taste of beer alone can release dopamine in the brain because of the happy memories associated with knocking back a few beers with your friends. Researchers gave men beer and then scan their brains before doing the same thing with Gatorade. Their dopamine levels were significantly higher after drinking beer.
You should also be happy that drinking a few pints of beer per week will decrease your odds of getting prostate cancer, help strengthen your bones, heart and immune system while helping to prevent diabetes.
Also, if you are a person who doesn’t like to drink water, you should be really happy that you can now exchange H2O for a Sierra Nevada Torpedo Tall Boy. Maybe beer league softball teams were on to something? Just know that drinking an excessive amount of beer is definitely not good for you. The name of the game is moderation. Remember the health benefits of beer. A pint a day keeps the doctor away.