There is evidence now that beer – yes, BEER – is as healthy as, and in some ways even more healthy than, wine.
The benefits of beer are not new to the world. Beer was first used as a homeopathic remedy back in the good old days of the Egyptian Pharaohs many centuries ago. It is the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic beverage in the world. There are countless styles and versatile varieties of beer the world-over. What really makes beer stand apart from other drinks is the fact that it is a part of the culture and social traditions of beer-drinking nations.
A typical 12 ounce bottle of beer contains:
• 92% water
• 150 calories
• 0 fat or cholesterol
• 0 caffeine
• 1g protein
• 13g carbohydrates
• Loads of Vitamin B (Vitamins B3, B5, B6, B9, B1, B2 and B12)
• Insignificant amounts of other minerals
The moderate consumption of any alcohol, including beer, is associated with a decreased risk of cardiac disease or cognitive decline. Beer is loaded with a variety of vitamins that survive the fermentation and filtering process. It provides a 30% increase in vitamin B6 into the blood plasma — something that no other liquor can boast.
In addition to this, beer:
Prevents cancer: According to a 2005 Japanese study, low alcohol beer especially is believed to possess anti-cancer properties. Hops, which is used to flavour beer, contains a unique anti-cancer agent called Xanthohumol. This agent is being tested as a treatment against prostate cancer, colon cancer, and even as a form of hormone therapy for women.
Reduces the probability of heart disease: People with a high level of the amino acid homocysteine are more prone to heart and vascular disease. Studies have shown that the vitamin B6 present in beer prevents its build-up. Beer contains a similar amount of polyphenols (antioxidants) as red wine and about 5 times as many polyphenols as white wine. Moreover, beer contains no fat and no bad cholesterol. In November of 1999, The New England Journal of Medicine stated that light to moderate beer drinkers would decrease their chances of suffering a stroke by 20%. The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (1999) reported that consuming moderate amounts of beer would lower one’s chances of coronary heart disease by 30-40%, compared to those who don’t drink at all.
Eases old age: Beer can make aging a whole lot easier. It helps promote blood vessel dilation, sleep and urination. Scientists in Austria found that hops affects a key signal of inflammation, and levels of the amino acid tryptophan linked with the feeling of tiredness. A 1999 Finnish-U.S. study showed that there was a 40 percent lower risk of kidney stones in beer drinkers. To boot, a Swedish team has shown that mice fed with moderate amounts of alcohol grew new nerve cells in the brain. So beer shows promise as a memory booster.
Relieves stress: Beer has a relaxing effect on the body thereby reducing stress and improving sleep quality. It suppresses the degradation of Tryptophan leading to a calming feeling. It also increases the availability of the ‘happiness hormone’ serotonin.
Everything is good in moderation and beer is no exception to this rule. Although I have prepared a list of the potential benefits of beer, there are several negative outcomes also such as liver disease, obesity and alcoholism. Drink no more than two beers in a day and bask in the glorious benefits of beer.