When you drink beer you are likely to do so with a feeling of guilt. After all, we know that beer isn’t the healthiest drink out there, and that as an alcoholic beverage, it should be consumed in moderation. We all have heard about the negative aspects of beer. It’s relatively high in calories and some say that it can lead to the development of a beer belly as well as heart problems. It’s alcoholic concentration means that it can damage the liver and brain, and it’s addictive so you can end up drinking more than you bargained for.
However, that should not mean that you completely remove beer from your diet. After all, if you eat or drink anything in vast quantities, it won’t be good for you. And more to the point, if you drink beer in moderation, it can actually have a range of highly positive health effects. Here we will look at some of the good things that beer can do for you rather than focusing just on the negatives.
Health Benefits of Beer
While too much beer will cause heart problems and obesity, in lower quantities beer can actually help to prevent heart disease. First of all, because beer contains vitamin B6, this can help us to avoid the build up of homocysteine, an amino acid that can cause heart problems thus preventing heart disease.
Beer is also able to increase levels of HDL or high density lipoprotein which is the good form of cholesterol. Finally, as a relaxant, beer can help to slow our heart rate when we are resting, which can help give it time to recover after a long day.Looking for some more beer benefits?
Nutritional Benefits of Beer
Beer also contains vitamins and minerals in good quantities. This comes from the grains that go into beer which contain many nutrients that can survive the fermentation process. What that means for you is a source of: calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B complex.
All these vitamins and minerals have a vast range of positive effects on your health. B complex for instance can help your body extract energy from carbohydrates thereby giving you more energy during the day. Likewise calcium can help us by strengthening not only our bones, but also our ligaments and tendons which results in more powerful muscle contractions. On top of this, potassium can help us increase the electrolytes in our diet and thus avoid cramps (like charlie-horse). Iron helps carry oxygen around our blood stream and thus increases energy levels.
Beer also causes what is known as vasodilation. This means that the blood vessels widen, allowing more blood to flow through more easily. This in turn has a number of positive effects on your health allowing your body to deliver more essential nutrients and oxygen to the muscles and organs resulting in better health and body function.
Furthermore, this combined with the decreased heart rate can have powerful and positive effects on the blood pressure in the short term. Who could have expected all of these health benefits of beer drinking?
Beer is also relatively high in protein (= amino acids). Amino acids are the building blocks of organic tissue and this is what our bodies use to repair damaged skin and muscle in order to grow and heal. It’s important that we get enough protein to allow this to happen.
Of course it’s important not to get carried away here. Beer is by no means a super food, and there are just as many, if not more, health issues that can affect you by drinking beer. However perhaps you may still take some solace in the fact that it’s not all bad.
Jeet is a freelance writer and beer lover who loves to collect various Beer Steins and Beer Mugs to enjoy the perfect beer.