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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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How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

Sight – Visual Stimulation

The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

1. Maximize your exposure to light.

Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

3. Take note of your environment.

Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

4. Engage in conversation.

Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

5. Listen to upbeat music.

Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

6. Work your nose.

Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

7. Have a good breakfast.

Start off with the most important meal of the day.

Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

8. Drink lots of water.

Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

Touch – Tactile Stimulation

Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

10. Splash cold water on your face.

Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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11. Use acupressure.

Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

12. Get moving.

Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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