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We always hear alcohol is bad for your health, or at least too much of it is. But apparently, drinking beer in moderation has potential health benefits. This International Beer Day (5 August), let’s discover the 10 ways beer may be beneficial to our health.
1. It is more nutritious than wine.
Beer also contains antioxidants from the barley and hops used in making beer, just like wine, which has antioxidants from grapes. But beer has more protein and vitamin B than wine, and even contains iron, calcium, phosphates and fibre.
2. It lowers bad cholesterol and may make your heart healthier.
The soluble fibre in beer can help to lower your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. Moderate beer or alcohol intake improves the antioxidant properties of HDL, or “good” cholesterol, and the body’s ability to remove cholesterol. Low to moderate alcohol intake may thus make you less likely to suffer from heart attacks, heart disease and stroke.
3. It may improve blood sugar control and lower diabetes risk.
Light to moderate alcohol intake may improve blood sugar control. It may also reduce insulin resistance, leading to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, this benefit doesn’t apply to beers that contain high amounts of sugar.
4. It may aid bone density and build stronger bones.
Beer contains silicon, an essential mineral for bone growth and development. Moderate beer consumption may increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, helping you build stronger bones.
5. It may boost cognitive function.
Moderate beer consumption has been found to increase cognitive function and lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. This is all thanks to the silicon in beer again, which helps protect your brain from compounds that will cause cognitive diseases.
6. It may help you live longer.
As beer has a positive impact on your heart and brain, it may help to add years to your life as well. Studies have shown that people who drink moderately live longer than those who don’t.
7. It cleans your teeth.
Research has shown that beer can keep bacteria, which promote tooth decay and gum disease, from forming and growing on your teeth. It blocks the communication between bacteria and slows their growth.
8. It may reduce inflammation.
Hops, which are essential in making beer, have anti-inflammatory properties. Moderate consumption of beer may help you fight inflammation and reduce your risk of falling sick.
9. It helps prevent kidney stones.
Apart from its anti-inflammatory properties, hops are also rich in phytochemicals that promote kidney health. Drinking beer moderately may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones.
10. It helps reduce stress.
Moderate beer consumption can reduce work-related stress or anxiety at the moment. But turning to alcohol as a coping mechanism can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety in the long run, making stress harder to deal with.
However, heavy beer intake can be extremely detrimental.
The above 10 health benefits of beer only apply to low or moderate consumption of beer. Heavy beer intake will increase your risk of depression, liver diseases, cancer, and death. It is best to limit yourself to no more than one standard drink per day for women and two for men. And if you do drink, remember to drink responsibly.
*Drink responsibly. You must be non-Muslim and 21 years old or older to purchase alcohol.