St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. If you are still eatinghealthy from your New Year’s resolution this year, you might beglad to find that drinking beer has many surprising healthbenefits. So, go ahead and enjoy that green beer, because itmight just be doing you some good! Remember, though, toalways drink in moderation, and be sure to get a designateddriver to get home safely.
REDUCES RISK OF HEART DISEASEAll alcohol, whether it is beer, wine, or liquor, is known to help reduce heart disease.According to a 2008 article in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, moderateconsumption of alcohol makes blood less sticky, and so it is less likely to clot. Alcohol canalso increase good cholesterol and lower the bad, as well as lower your blood pressure. AHarvard study of 70,000 women found that those who consumed beer had a lower bloodpressure than those who consumed wine or hard alcohol.
HELPS THE KIDNEYSAlcohol gets a bad wrap for being hard on your kidneys, but beer can actually help in thatdepartment. According to the 2011 ADA Times, beer can actually reduce your risk of kidneystones. The hops not only help slow the release of calcium from the bones — too muchcalcium can cause kidney stones — but beer also has a high water content, which helps clearout those kidneys.
PACKED WITH NUTRITIONBeer is a surprising source of many nutrients. One12-ounce beer has around one gram of fiber. It isalso packed with B vitamins like niacin, pantothenicacid, folate, riboflavin, and vitamins B6 and B12. Itis also rich in silicon, a nutrient that is said to helpstrengthen bones
REDUCES RISK OF DIABETESIn 2011, Harvard did a study of 38,000 middle-agedmen which showed that, when they upped their intakeof beer to two a day, they dropped their risk ofdeveloping type 2 diabetes by 25 percent. Therewas, however, no noted benefit from drinking morethan two beers a day.
INCREASES BRAIN HEALTHResearchers think that a few beers a day can alsostave off Alzheimer’s and can reduce your risk ofstroke. In 2005, a study was done of 11,000 olderwomen, and those who had one beer a day hadbetter mental function than those who didn’t. In fact,they decreased their risk of mental decline by asmuch as 20 percent. The Harvard School of PublicHealth also did a study that showed that a few beersa day might reduce the risk of stroke by thinning theblood and preventing blood clots from traveling tothe brain.