by Joey Arbogast, The Fat Boy Blogger
Are you one of those folks always looking for a good excuse to hoist a frosty beverage every day? If so, then you my friend are a visionary, a gentleman (or lady), and a scholar. No longer shall you hide your daily chug-a-lugging and nightly taste of the amber nectar sent to us from the Egyptian gods. Beer is actually good for you, in moderation that is. If my say-so isn't good enough for you, then how about somescientific-type facts from doctors and folks way smarter than I? Would that do the trick? Alrighty then, enough with the small talk, let's get down to the gritty facts, shall we?
1. It's Good For Your Heart and Health
That's right my friends, my buddy, my old pal. Studies have shown that similar to red wine, beer (specifically dark ales, and stouts) contains antioxidants called flavonids that are great for your cardiovascular health. Sipping on the occasional brew will lower your cholesterol and decrease your risk of stroke. Beer is thought to help prevent heart disease by increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as "good cholesterol." Also, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) contained in beer can help lower homocysteine levels, a chemical considered to be one of the risk factors for heart disease. Remember, moderation is key. The same studies show that the risk of heart disease increased in people who consumed extremely large amounts of beer on a regular basis. Beer is also higher than wine in protein and vitamin B. Even better, beer contains iron, calcium, phosphates, and even fiber. I guess that's why sometimes too much of it will give the "beer shits" which actually helps cleanse the bowels, which is another added health benefit. Who knew? Now you do. New England Journal of Medicine.
2. It May Help Stave Off Alzheimer's Disease.
You Read That Right. The ice-cold elixir that has caused many a blackout (when drank into excessiveness at one time) can help you battle against the dastardly disease that has robbed many of their precious memories. Hops have a secret ingredient that can help improve cognitive function – Xanthohumol. It’s a flavonoid that helps slow down the degradation process of memory. it is also a chemical that scientists think may protect brain cells from oxidative damage associated with dementia. (Important note: The dosage used in the study was much higher than a human could possibly consume via beer. Research is still in its early stages.) That's a clinical study I can get behind. Certain ingredients in beer can help protect the brain from harmful levels of aluminum, which is thought to be a major cause of Alzheimer's. Moderate beer drinkers are 23% LESS likely to suffer from this debilitating disease, so drink up! Just no when to say when. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry
3. Beer Helps Cognitive Function
Stop laughing. I'm being serious here. In middle-aged subjects, increasing levels of alcohol consumption were associated with better function. These findings do not suggest increased alcohol consumption is going to help with your coordination or reasoning, but moderate alcohol consumption* has been proven to increase cognitive function. American Journal of Epidemiology.
* Moderate drinking = one drink/day for women and two drinks/day for men
4. It Promotes Bone Health
It just keeps getting better, doesn't it? Move over moo cows, beer has proven to help strengthen bones, and prevent diseases like Osteoporosis. Beers containing high levels of malted barley and hops are richest in silicon, which is a known ingredient that builds strong bones. So, hop to it buddy, and grab another beer. National Institutes of Health
5. It Reduces The Risk of Kidney Stones
As a man that has passed well over 1200 (yes, one thousand two hundred) of these devilish little bastards, this one is music to my ears. Beer acts as a diuretic, and drinking beer stimulates the kidneys to work harder to excrete the by-product of alcohol metabolism. This causes you to urinate more frequently and keeps the pipes clean. Beer drinkers are 41% less likely to develop kidney stones than those that don't partake. Bartender, we're ready for round deuce. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
6. Beer Lowers Bad Cholesterol
The soluble fiber in beer can help reduce your LDL or “bad” cholesterol. Increasing your intake of soluble fiber has numerous health benefits, including the promotion of healthy blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels. However, because alcohol interferes with the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals, it can also lessen the body’s ability to burn stored fat. I guess that gives you the incentive to exercise, then crack a cold one afterward. It is an off-setting return of investment you might say. Who knew some of those commercials were based in facts Beach Volley Ball anyone? American Heart Association: Circulation
7. Beer Makes You Happy.
The tiny bubbles in beer, make you feel happy, they make you feel fine. Seriously, it's true. Everyone knows that nothing really beats enjoying an ice-cold brewski on a hot afternoon. Who doesn't smile after taking that first swallow of a truly frosty beverage, am I right? The fact is that the euphoric feeling one gets from drinking a beer starts from the relaxation your body feels as that ice-cold liquid slides down your gullet. On top of that, scientists have found that drinking beer can lift your spirits because it contains an ingredient that stimulates the brain's reward center which releases dopamine and endorphins in the brain. This scientifically makes people feel happy. American Journal of Psychiatry
Bonus: 8 Drinking Beer With Friends Is Good for a Positive State of Mental Health
It is scientifically proven that hanging out with your friends prevents isolationism and loneliness and creates opportunities for companionship. It also increases your sense of belonging and purpose and boosts your happiness and reduces stress. Laughter can also help lessen your stress, depression, and anxiety and that's no joke. So, hanging out with your friends, guffawing it up, having a good time, and having a few beers while doing so may also help stave off depression. The Mayo Clinic
Those are just a few facts that prove drinking beer, in moderation (we can't stress that enough) and responsibly are in your best interest. You know what they say "A pint of apple ale a day keeps the doctor away"... somebody probably says that. Ok, so nobody says that - yet. At least now you know it doesn't hurt to pop a top on a daily basis, and doing it with friends is even better. I guess now we know The Dude had it right all along, and maybe we all need to follow his lead and abide.
KEEP THESE POINTS IN MIND ABOUT ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
The benefits of moderate alcohol consumption have not been generally endorsed by physicians for fear that heavy consumers may consider any message as a permissive license to drink in excess. Talk to your doctor about your personal health history and individual consumption patterns.
Heavy alcohol consumption is linked to cirrhosis, fetal alcohol syndrome, hypertension, malnutrition, and pancreatitis. It also increases cancer risks.
You should never drink alcohol while pregnant, operating a motor vehicle, or heavy machinery.
Alcohol should be enjoyed by adults only. Minors should never consume any alcoholic beverages.
Know when to say when. If you feel like you have a problem, please seek help from a professional.
Drinking too much alcohol around the opposite sex can lead to pregnancy,
We are not professionals, and this article is no substitute for your own research. It is only meant to provide a few factoids and some giggles.