Few beer lovers would say they imbibe the stuff for their health. Most of us just love the taste and the way it makes us feel, and we try not to think about the calorie count and what not.
On the occasion of #WorldHealthDay and #NationalBeerDay coinciding on the same day (has there been some kind of astrological intervention or did the international hashtagger committee forget to check the calendar?), we did a little research and discovered that beer, when consumed moderately, actually has a surprising number of health benefits.
Today, before you take the first sip of that post-work (or midday, we do not judge!) brewski, toast to your health. (Side note: do people still say “brewski”?)
To reiterate, these health benefits are associated with moderate alcohol consumption, which is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism as up to one drink a day for women and two for men.
Your favorite craft draft is high in cancer-fighting antioxidants
IPA lovers, listen up. The hops that give the brew its bitter, and at times floral or citrusy notes, contain flavanoids, plant-based compounds which are high in antioxidants — which help bolster the immune system and decrease inflammation — and have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
It’s good for your heart
If you love beer with all of your heart, good news: it loves your heart back. (Sorry). Research has shown that moderate consumption — one to two beers a day — can lower the risk of heart disease. That’s due to the fact that beer is rich in heart-healthy Vitamin-B6, and, as with wine, drinking beer in moderation can increase levels of HDL, known as “good” cholesterol, which decreases the risk of heart disease. Alcohol in small doses thins the blood and helps prevent blood clots, as well as lowers blood pressure (which also is part of the reason why it relaxes you).
It’s even good for your brain
Studies have shown that xanthohumal, a common flavanoid found in hops, can improve cognitive function. A report published in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment revealed that moderate drinkers were 23 percent less likely to develop signs of memory loss or Alzheimer’s Disease.
Bonus: It (allegedly) brings out your hair’s natural shine
Next time you’re enjoying a shower beer —one of life’s great little pleasures — massage some suds in with your shampoo. Beer contains proteins and nutrients that add to its shine and repair damaged ends, and the silicon increases circulation to your scalp and reduces hair brittleness. Catherine Zeta-Jones swears by it.