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Last Updated on July 13, 2018

10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Beer

10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Beer

Feel guilty about drinking a beer or two? Don’t. Contrary to what you might expect, moderate beer consumption is actually good for you. Science has shown that beer can bring many surprising health benefits even though it’s usually perceived as unhealthy. Just remember, we’re talking moderate consumption (one drink per day for women, and up to two for men), not all-night drinking sprees.

Here are some remarkable and surprising beer benefits that might change your perception of the drink.

1. It can help reduce risk of heart disease

One eye-opening study involving 200,000 subjects conducted at Italy’s Fondazion di Ricerca e Cura found that people who drank a pint of beer daily had a 31% reduced chance of heart disease. This heart-protecting power of beer stems largely from beer’s natural antioxidants called phenols. However, the study also showed risk of heart disease increased in people who consumed higher amounts of beer.

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2. It can help protect against Alzheimer’s disease

Perhaps one of the most remarkable health benefits of beer is its ability to protect against Alzheimer’s. Researchers at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine analyzed several studies and came to the conclusion that moderate beer drinkers were 23% less likely to develop different forms of dementia and cognitive impairment, including Alzheimer’s. The silicon content in beer is thought to protect the brain from the harmful effects of high amounts of aluminum in the body, which are one of the possible causes of Alzheimer’s.

3. It can help lower risk of diabetes

This is another remarkable benefit of moderate beer consumption. According to a 2011 Harvard study of about 38,000 middle-aged men, those who drank one to two beers daily had a 25% reduction in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The alcohol content in beer increases insulin sensitivity, which helps prevent diabetes. Moreover, beer is a good source of soluble fiber that plays an important role in the healthy diet of people suffering from diabetes.

4. It can help prevent kidney stones

A study conducted in Finland established that moderate daily consumption of beer can reduce the risk of developing kidney stones by 40%. This health benefit is attributed to beer’s high water content (about 93%) that helps flush harmful toxins out of the body and keep the kidneys working properly. Also, compounds in hops used in brewing help slow the release of calcium from bones, which in turn prevents build up of lost calcium in the kidney in the form of stones.

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5. It can help minimize risk of cancer

Beer contains an important antioxidant known as xanthohumol. Xanthohumol is known to have powerful anti-cancer properties that help fend off cancer-causing enzymes in the body. Specifically, moderate beer consumption helps prevent a certain chemical reaction that can lead to prostate cancer in men. Beer has also been shown to reduce the chances of getting breast cancer in women.

6. It can help reduce cholesterol levels

If you’d like an unorthodox method for cutting your cholesterol levels, indulging in moderate beer consumption may be the way to go. The barley used in brewing of beer contains a type of soluble fiber known as beta-glucans that has been shown to help in lowering cholesterol levels.

7. It can help manage blood pressure

You may also be interested to know that beer can help manage blood pressure. That’s according to a Harvard study that found that women aged 25 to 40 who drank beer moderately were significantly less likely to develop high blood pressure compared to women who drank wine or other alcoholic beverages.

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8. It can help strengthen bones

Beer contains decent levels of silicon, an element that is linked with bone health. One study conducted at Tufts in 2009 established that older individuals who drank one or two glasses of beer daily had higher bone density, and thus were less prone to fractures than those who did not enjoy a glass of beer or wine. However, the study also found that consuming more than two drinks increased risk of bone fractures.

9. It can help treat dandruff

Another interesting fact about beer is that it is considered one of the best natural treatments for dandruff. This particular health benefit of beer is attributed to its high yeast and vitamin B content levels. Just rinse your hair with a bottle of beer two to three times a week to get rid of dandruff and make your hair extra soft and shiny.

10. It can help cut down risk of strokes

Studies by the American Stroke Association have shown that people who drink moderate amounts of beer can cut their risk of strokes by – get this – a whopping 50% compared to non-drinkers. Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health explain that moderate amounts of beer daily helps prevent blood clots that block blood flow to the heart, neck and brain, which is a leading cause of ischemic stroke. However, when you drink beer moderately, your arteries become flexible and blood flow improves significantly.

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Remember the key to reaping these amazing health benefits of beer is moderate consumption. Overindulgence in beer and other alcoholic drinks can be disastrous to your health.

Featured photo credit: Infomastern via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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