Sometimes, after a long day, nothing sounds as satisfying as a cold glass of beer. But if you’re health conscious, like many of us these days are, nothing kills the buzz of a nice IPA like warnings about abundant calories and a heavy beer belly.
How can something that’s supposedly so bad taste so good? Turns out, beer isn’t as bad as we thought. In fact, a glass of beer a day can actually lead to a wide number of health benefits.
This particular alcoholic beverage contains phenols, natural antioxidants that can help fight cell damage and reduce inflammation . Ales contain the highest concentration of phenols, making them the best bet when it comes to choosing a six-pack.
From fighting disease to strengthening your mind, beer has so many benefits, I’m surprised it’s not already called a superfood. Next time you feel guilty about tossing back a cold one, remind yourself of these five health benefits of drinking beer — just make sure you stick to one to two a day, as drinking beer in excess will actually reverse these positive health effects.
1. It Could Lower Your Risk For Heart Disease
Much like wine, a glass of beer a day can help fight off cardiovascular disease. Studies have found that this risk is lowered by 20 percent in people who consumed one beverage a day, so stick to a pint-sized, 5-percent alcohol beer, and you could protect your heart against disease later on.
2. It May Strengthen Your Brain
Research has found that moderate beer drinking can reduce your risk of cognitive decline and dementia , including Alzheimers. In addition to protecting your brain in the future, beer can also encourage creative thinking. After drinking two beers, participants in a study were found to be quicker at solving brain teasers and better at solving problems creatively.
3. It May Strengthen Bone Density
Beer is high in dietary silicon, which can help with the growth and development of bone and connective tissue. Drinking moderate amounts of beer may also help fight against osteoporosis and low bone mass. Pale malts contain the highest amount of silicon, containing four times as more as their darker counterparts.
4. It May Help Fight Cancer
One of the main ingredients in beer is Xanthohumol, an antioxidant found in hops that could help fight carcinogens. When it comes to cancer-fighting powers, drinks high in hops are your best option, so stick to India Pale Ales or other hop-rich bitters and ales.
5. It Could Help Prevent Diabetes
Adding a pint of beer to a diet full of healthy food and exercise may help fight diabetes , lower blood pressure and help with weight loss. Again, the key here is to not go overboard, but drinking a beer a day could help lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 30 percent .