Health Benefits of Drinking Beer starts with reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases to the prevention of dementia.
When we talk about drinking beer, we imagine getting drunk with our friends, partying all night, and waking up to a not-so-fun hangover. Also, most of us come up with the image of the big beer belly flashing up, but it’s not the real case. What if I told you that a bottle of beer gives you more than just a nasty hangover and a big belly? Whether you are on your own, or your loved ones, it’s a gathering, an occasion whatever it is a cold beer fit just right in. A cold chilled beer, some friends, some songs, and a celebration, does this bring back some memories?
You enter a bar, reaching the table, signaling the bartender, what do you ask for? “BEER.” So ladies and gentleman today we are going to talk about one of the oldest and most popular drinks consumed in the world, i.e. some of the amazing health benefits of drinking beer. Beer is the most widely consumed alcoholic drink in the world.
Some of The Facts:
- If you fear of your beer glass getting empty, you possibly have “Cenosillicaphobia”. Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass.
- In the United States, the beer industry makes an annual profit of over 100 billion dollars.
- There is an old belief that beer is given Viking warriors who made it to Valhalla.
Hey, do you know why beer is called beer?
You might hear beer called by many names such as ale, brew, lager, malt and the list never ends. But why is a beer called beer? There are different speculations for the origin of the name beer. Some consider that the word beer comes from the Latin verb bibere, which means to drink. Some say the word beer comes from the Proto-Germanic word beuwoz which is derived from beuwo which means barley. This might be because barley is mostly used to make beer. In old English, it was called beor meaning a strong drink.
Similarly, Old Frisian said boar, the Middle Dutch, German and Dutch said bier. The Old High German said bior. French says biere, the Turkish say bira and the Italians say birra. Whatever it be, beer is beer. What do you call beer as?
Now going ahead, let’s discuss the making of beer.
What Are The Ingredients of Beer?
“I really don’t know what beer contains, but I love it.” This was my exact answer when someone asked me this question one day, and this made me search and know more about beer. And it hit me really hard when I knew the components and beer making processes.
Yeah, you heard that right. Most beers consist 90% of water. But it’s not the water we drink or use daily, the water needs to be pure. Basically, they add different minerals to produce the required quality of water for beer production, and the taste varies from one place to another. Quality of water is very important in the beer brewing process. To get the best brew, they carbon filter the water and add conditioners to it.
Do you feel the difference in the amount of alcohol, color, and taste in different beers? There comes the “malt” in play. Malt is the most common starch source in beer which determines how strong the beer is, the flavor and color of the beer. By soaking in the water enough, germination begins and after malting, a male gets dry. Sugar is required in the beer to create alcohol in it, malt develops the enzymes that modify grain’s starch into sugar. They use Barley in most of the beers. But, they use oats, wheat, or any other cereals as malt too.
Remember the first time you had a beer? I do, it was really bitter. Now, where that bitter taste does comes from? That’s the department of ‘hop’. The flowers of the hop plant are used in brewing and hop makes the beet bitter, opposite of the malt. Hops give different tastes of beer, thus different beers, different tastes. Hop preserves the beer, it is a natural preservative. Imagine your beer was just sweet, sounds horrible, isn’t it? Hops balance the sweetness of the malt in beer.
Yeast has one job: turn the sugar into alcohol. They add yeast to the wort. Wort is the sweet liquid remains after the brewing process. Yeast is living microorganism which starts the fragmentation process. Yeast cells produce carbon dioxide and alcohol as waste products by taking in simple sugars, like glucose and maltose. There can be up to 50 million yeast cells in 1 ml of yeast.
“YEAST OR WEST, BEER IS THE BEST.” That’s it, and with a little bit of love, the beer is ready to serve.
How is a Beer Made?
Now let’s learn about the beer making process.
The brewing of beer starts with the grains. They soak the grains in cold water to saturate them and they change the water once a day. The germination process is complete in around six days usually. They heat the grains and dry them and cracking is done. The roasting duration of grains affects the flavor and color of the beer. At this point, the product is called as malt. Malting isolates the enzymes that are needed for brewing.
In this step the grains are soaked in hot, not boiling water for almost an hour till the mixture reaches porridge-like consistency. This mixture is mash. Then they raise the temperature of the mash is and the enzymes react, breaking down the starch in the grain and convert to simple sugars. After completion of this process, they drain out the water from the mash containing sugar from the grains. This liquid which is full of sugar is sticky and sweet called as wort.
They boil the wort from above step for about an hour. They add Hops and other ingredients from time to time. Remember the sweet liquid from the mashing process? Hops balance the sugar in the wort and provide the flavor in the beer. Adding hops also preserves the beer, for hops act as a natural preservative.
The wort after boiling for about an hour is cooled, strained and filtered. This cooled wort is then added to the vessel where fermentation is done and yeast is added to it. The brewing process completes and the fermentation process begins at this point. As the yeast works its magic, fermenting the beer, they store the beer for a couple of weeks at the room temperature. Yeast eats up almost all the sugar releasing carbon dioxide and alcohol as the waste. Longer the storage time, more the alcohol content in the beer.
Bottling and aging
You have got an alcoholic beer now. However, the beer you have now is still flat and not carbonated. The flat beer is artificially carbonated, just like soda and bottled. Or you can also allow it to carbonate naturally with the carbon dioxide produced by the yeast. After allowing the beer to age for a few weeks or few months, now you have the beer ready to drink. CHEERS!
Nutrition Values of Beer
The nutrition in a six pack beer in a typical regular beer is,
- Water = 327.4g
- Calories = 153
- Alcohol = 13.9g
- Protein = 1.6g
- Carbohydrate = 12.6g
- Fat = 0.0g
- Cholesterol = 0.0g
- Calcium = 14mg
- Magnesium = 21mg
- Phosphorous = 50mg
- Sodium = 14mg
- Niacin = 2mg
- Folate = 21mcg
**The numbers are just approximate and may vary**
We know the ingredients of beer, but how many beer per day is good?
Is Beer a Day Good For You?
Drinking up to one pint of beer a day is good for your health. It can also reduce the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. But more than one can harm you if you take it for a long time. Any kind of alcoholic drink, if taken more and for a long time surely hamper your health. A beer per day is good for you, but I recommend you not to drink more than one. In a long time, beer may harm you too. But drinking beer every day puts you at a higher risk of alcohol abuse.
Several experts and scientists have found that drinking a moderate amount of beer- yes, only ‘moderate’ can make you healthy and cut off risks of several diseases. Without further wasting any time let’s find out some of the amazing health benefits of drinking beer.
Health Benefits of Drinking Beer
It’s time you go for your guilty free drink and know the amazing health benefits of drinking beer.
The first health benefits of drinking beer on my list are it strengthens our bone. Beer contains a high amount of silicon, which helps you to build stronger bones. The high amount of silicon in beer, especially the pale ales helps to slow down the thinning of bones and boosts the formation of new bones. The researches have shown that moderate intake of beer also results in increasing bone density thus preventing the risk of fractures too.
According to a finding in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, drinks are good at fending off brittle bones, especially in the case of women. Usually, lighter beers with greater use of hops contain the most silicon. Moderate beer drinking helps to fight osteoporosis. It is a disease where the victim has low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. The elevated levels of silicon in beer contribute to higher bone density. This cuts off the risk of fractures, brittle bones, and osteoporosis. So ladies, who are concerned about suffering from osteoporosis, drink it off! Studies have found that beer drinkers are less likely to suffer from bone diseases than non-drinkers.
Reduces Risk of Kidney Stones
High in potassium and magnesium, beer reduces the risk of kidney stones. A study found that men and women drinking a moderate amount of beer reduced the risk of developing kidney stone by 40%. There is also a myth that says that beer helps to reduce kidney stones. This is because when you drink beer, you tend to urinate more and this helps you to pass the kidney stones. Drinking in moderation amount of beer is okay and can be helpful. But, in other cases, if you are a heavy drinker, it might make harder for your kidneys or vital organs to function well.
Beer is good for digestive health and it also prevents the risk of kidney stones. Beer contains 90% of water which is beneficial in flushing out all the toxins in your blood, boosting filtration. A study posted in Washington Post by the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology showed that certain beverages like beer and coffee reduced the risk of kidney stones. In the study, those who drank sugar-sweetened colas per day had a 23 percent higher risk of kidney stones than those who drank other beverages like orange juice and tea. The beer reduced the risk of kidney stones by 41 percent!
Protects From Cardiovascular Diseases
The third benefits of drinking beer on my list is that beer protects you from cardiovascular diseases. Drinking beer not only reduces the risk of kidney stones, but it also reduces the risk of heart diseases by lowering inflammation in the body, preventing blood clots and thinning the blood. Thick blood can block your coronary arteries resulting in pulmonary emboli. This results in a lack of oxygenated blood into the lungs, causing several problems. Don’t worry guys, beer is on the rescue!
Vitamin B6 is present in beer, which prevents building up of a compound called homocysteine and thus protects you against the heart diseases. Studies show that drinking a moderate amount of beer makes you about 35% less likely to suffer from heart attacks than those who do not drink beer. Beer contains a high level of antioxidants, and these compounds clean out harmful chemicals that might result in heart attacks.
Another benefit of drinking beer is that it prevents insomnia. Beer facilitates better sleep. It reduces stress and helps prevent insomnia. The lactoflavin and nicotinic acid present in beer calms the nerve and promote better sleep. Also, researchers have found that drinking a tiny amount of beer can increase dopamine activity in the brain, potentially relieving insomnia.
Drinking beer helps to sleep better
Beer is a cure for insomnia. Beer contains lactoflavin and nicotinic acid. This lactoflavin and nicotinic acid help to promote sleep, and thus you can sleep better. But at the same time, alcohol can make you go to the bathroom again and again which might disrupt your sleep. Because of the fermented liquid, this helps to stimulate good bacteria for intestinal flora and also balances the pH. This improves digestion.
Beer helps for better digestion
Beer contains up to one gram of soluble fiber in each 30 cl glass. This fiber plays an important role in intestinal transit. Deficiency of these fibers might lead to gastric and intestinal disorders. These fibers help for better digestion.
Beer lowers your blood pressure
Studies show that people who drink beer regularly have lower blood pressure compared to the people who consume a similar amount of wine or other drinks. In one study, Harvard researchers found that moderate beer drinkers are less prone to develop high blood pressure than those who drink other drinks.
Beer lowers the bad cholesterol in the body
Beer can help to reduce your LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol with the help of soluble fiber in beer. The soluble fiber has numerous benefits on your health such as promoting blood-sugar and blood cholesterol levels. Alcohol also interferes with the ability of your body to absorb the vitamins and minerals, as a result, it can also lessen the body’s ability to burn stored fat. Barley contains polyphenols, and polyphenol lowers your cholesterol levels and also promote your heart health.
Beer delays aging
The ninth benefits of drinking beer are it delays aging. Beer result in an increase in the influence of vitamin E in the body. Vitamin E is a major antioxidant in the body. It is also important to maintain healthy skin and also slows down the aging process. Drinking a moderate amount of beer regularly results to the healthiest aging patterns, and is better than not drinking from alcohol at all.
Beer prevents you from cancer
Xanthohumol found in the hops which is a flavonoid compound. This compound plays a major role in the prevention of cancer, including prostate cancer too. Hops contain acids called humulones and liposomes which has both anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Grains used for fermentation is also a good source of polyphenols, which is effective in fighting cancer.
Beer prevents you from anemia
Anemia is a condition where you face the deficiency of red blood cells or hemoglobin. Deficiency of vitamin B12 and folic acid may lead to anemia. Beer is rich in both vitamin B12 and folic acid, thus lowering the risk of anemia. Your physician might put you into a diet with rich in vitamin B12 and folic acid, for the treatment of anemia. Since beer is rich in both, beer is a way to remedy the problem.
Beer improves your memory
The secret ingredient in hops ‘xanthohumol’ helps to improve the cognitive function. This flavonoid helps to slow down the process of degradation of memory. Beer improves the memory, however, more researches is still being done in this matter. Drinking beer helps your memory to function properly and makes you sharper, however over drinking is bad for your health.
Beer is a cold remedy
Warm beer is an excellent remedy of cold. Warmed up barley improves blood circulation and helps you breath better. Just heat a bottle of beer and add some teaspoons of honey and say goodbye to cold.
Good news for all the ladies! Beer can actually help your skin cells to regenerate. It’s important to drink that contains vitamins and other minerals. Most beers are made with whole grains like wheat, maize and fruits and spices. Drinking beer regularly increases the effect of vitamin E, a major antioxidant for the skin. Hence, beer improves your skin and delays the aging process.
You might also be interested in Are Antioxidants Good For Skin?
Lower risk of diabetes
You might be worried if you will be diabetic in your late 40s? If yes, then it’s time to drink up! A study conducted by Harvard University found that the middle-aged men who drank beer daily had lower risks of developing type 2 diabetes than those who don’t. Drinking beer boosted their insulin sensitivity that ultimately cut off the risk of developing diabetes.
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I hope you now know lots of facts and knowledge and benefits of drinking beer. Comment below if you have any queries. I would be glad to answer them. So, please go ahead.