Next time you pour yourself a pint, remember to cheers to your health!
We’ve all been told that beer is bad for you, aka drink too much and look out for the dreaded ‘Beer belly”. While excess drinking is obviously not good for you, and beer does contain calories, there are some significant health benefits to drinking craft beer; in fact, craft beer can rival wine in the health department!
To start, both mass-produced and small-batch beer contains helpful ingredients like selenium, B vitamins, phosphorus, folate and niacin, as well as protein and fiber. It’s also one of the few dietary sources of silicon, which can help prevent osteoporosis.
In addition, while red wine contains healthy antioxidants, Michael McCullough, an associate professor at California Polytechnic State University, told the Australian Associated Press, that in fact a pint of beer has more than just that. “Your instances of heart disease and your instances of type 2 diabetes decreases on an amount that’s comparable, if not a little bit more, than if you are drinking red wine,” said McCullough.
Now it does seem that unfiltered craft beer tends to have more positive health impacts than filtered, and those ‘yeasty’ brews are going to have more healthy bacteria for your gut. But that’s not all! There are a lot of potential health benefits from craft beer, for example:
- Decreased risk of weight gain among women who drink moderately, compared to those who don’t drink.
- Decreased risk of hypertension.
- Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, among healthy men, men who have had heart bypass surgery, women and among drinkers with type II diabetes.
- As mentioned, beer is a rich source of silicon, which plays a role in increasing bone mineral density and may help prevent osteoporosis.
- Decreased risk of heart failure, especially for moderate consumers.
- Consumption of alcohol is associated with lower risk of arthritic conditions and lowers the risk and the severity of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Consumption of alcohol can help lower your cholesterol by raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels.
- Decreased risk of diabetes by roughly 40 percent compared to abstainers.
- Decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, particularly in female non-smokers.
- Decreased risk of poor cognitive function for men and women.
- Decreased risk of osteoporosis by increasing bone mineral density.
- Increases absorption of dietary fiber.
- Hops contain Xanthohumol, which has been found to have significant anti-cancer activity in liver cancer cells and also in colon mucosa.
It would be negligent of me to list out all these favourable health benefits without listing the potential risks as well.
Obviously alcohol consumption can lead to alcoholism and hangovers, and in excessive amounts can lead to liver failure, gout, pancreatitis, strokes, heart failure, etc. But, that being said, in moderation it does appear that craft beer can be a boost to a happy and healthy lifestyle!