Sláinte! Cheers! Salut! However, you want to say it, we should all be ecstatic that cracking an ice-cold beer at the end of the day can actually be good for you. Got your attention? It’s true.
Many view beer as a guilty pleasure — perhaps due to the media coupling suds with a beer gut and weight gain. But you’ll be happy to hear that, when consumed in moderation, the benefits of beer go far beyond helping you wind down after a long week.
What exactly constitutes “drinking in moderation,” anyway? The Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines moderate alcohol consumption as having one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. While research does show there is room for imbibing as part of a balanced, healthy diet, they also advise not to start drinking if you currently abstain.
But if you’re one of the millions of people with some brew in your fridge, pop one open in celebration to the potential health benefits.
Lowering the Risk of Diabetes
A research study published in the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes found that people who drink 3-to-4 times per week were less likely to develop diabetes than those who never drink. And when compared to those who didn’t drink beer, men who enjoyed between one and six beers per week had a 21 percent lower risk of diabetes.
Milk who? There’s a new bone-building beverage in the fridge. A review published in the International Journal of Endocrinology found that moderate beer consumption amplified bone density in men. The magic ingredient? It may be the silicon, which is an essential mineral for bone formation.
Cleans Your Teeth
We’re not suggesting that you head to the gym without brushing your teeth. Brush, and brush thoroughly. That said, a study in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology found that beer can keep bacteria from forming and growing on your teeth. Researchers tested the effects of beer extracts on the bacteria that form biofilm and promote tooth decay and gum disease. They also found that even the weakest extract of beer blocked the activity of bacteria.
The next time your spouse asks why you’ve been gone for so long, tell them that you’re fighting inflammation in your body.
Inflammation is the underlying cause behind many diseases, and according to Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, hops have anti-inflammatory properties. The researchers compared the anti-inflammatory effect of different hops and found that the consumption of hops in beer form interfered with inflammation-causing compounds.
A psychologist at the University of Texas found that people who drink moderately live longer than those who don’t. The operative word there was ‘moderately’, as heavy alcohol use can negatively impact your health. Studies suggest that a healthy amount of beer can add years to your life, given that it positively impacts cholesterol levels, lowers your risk of diabetes and strengthens your bones and reduces inflammation.