Is Beer The Healthiest Drink? Here’s What Science Has To Say About It.

Senior Contributor
04.07.15 11 Comments
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Beer has been around almost as long as human civilization. We have evidence of beer production dating back to the beginnings of human agriculture, and it’s the third most popular drink in the world. It also happens to be one of the healthier liquids you can put in your body, according to science. Well, in moderation, at least.

Beer Is Packed With Nutrients

It’s not a big secret that early man brewed beer because it got him drunk, and being drunk is fun. But beer also happened to be one of the most effective ways, early on, to get your vitamins. Due to the yeast and grain, beer is loaded with B-vitamins, soluble fiber, as well as magnesium, selenium, potassium, and phosphorus. Not only that, it’s one of the few foods with a significant amount of silicon, which may be important for bone health. It also kept longer than bread; some argue that beer helped humans become better-fed and better able to build civilization.

That said, the more beer you drink, the more you deplete your vitamin C, and you cannot restore it by drinking a shandy. So, at least keep an orange handy.

A Beer A Day Reduces Your Chances Of Kidney Stones

It would seem counterintuitive, but a beer a day might help your kidneys not give you agonizing pain. Actually, any drink without a lot of sugar was found to lower your risk of kidney stones, but beer was found to be the most successful of the bunch, with a beer a day lowering your odds by 41 percent.

However, drinking to excess can put more purines in the system, which your body breaks down into uric acid, which in turn can crystallize into kidney stones. The good news is that normal drinking probably won’t aggravate it unless you have gout, but it’s just another reminder to get a really good beer and enjoy it thoroughly.

Beer Can Help Keep Your Heart Healthy

While not everybody is on board, increasingly it appears that drinking in moderation, one or two beers a day, helps reduce the risk of “cardiac events,” aka heart attacks. There are a few theories about this; one is that moderate alcohol consumption increases “good cholesterol,” while another is that that alcohol and substances found in it keep platelets from sticking together, reducing your chance of a clot forming.

… But Moderation Is Important

All of the above stuff is fun to share, but it comes with an important caveat: Beers aren’t magical potions, and their health effects don’t stack. Most studies about beer and health recommend you limit yourself to one or two beers a day, and, of course, we all know about the beer gut.

Also remember that the higher the alcohol content, the more caloric the beer, although precise calorie values can vary depending on how your beverage of choice is brewed. So, in other words, celebrate National Beer Day, and every day, with a nice, high-quality beer. Just don’t have too many of them.

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