Most people believe beer to be unhealthy simply because it contains a small amount of alcohol, but when it is consumed responsibly, this delicious and ancient elixir has a surprising number of health benefits. Beer is made with only a few simple ingredients: water, hops, malt and yeast. Together, they create a beverage unlike no other. No matter whether you drink it or use it in a totally different manner, following are 25 amazing benefits of beer:
1. Beer reduces the risk of heart disease.
Several studies show that beer can help prevent heart disease. One study found that people who drank one pint of beer each day were 31 percent less likely to develop heart disease than the average person.
2. Beer lowers the risk of diabetes.
A 2011 Harvard University study showed that men who drank one to two beers per day were 25 percent less likely to develop type two diabetes. This benefit occurs because the small amount of alcohol in beer increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
3. Beer prevents kidney stones.
A study in Finland found that beer reduces the risk of developing kidney stones by up to 40 percent. Because beer is more than 90 percent water, it helps flush toxins out of the body, and hops prevent calcium from accumulating in the kidneys.
4. Beer may protect you from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
A study at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine found that people who drink beer in moderation benefit from a 23 percent reduction in the risk of developing dementia and other forms of diminished cognitive functioning, including that caused by Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Beer may lower your risk of developing cancer.
Beer contains several antioxidants, but one of the most beneficial, xanthohumol, can rid the body of certain enzymes that are responsible for causing cancer. Two types of cancer xanthohumol can stop prostate cancer and breast cancer.
6. Beer can lower your cholesterol.
Those who consume small amounts of beer have much lower levels of bad cholesterol than average people do. This is because the barley used in the brewing process contains beta-glucanase, a soluble type of fiber that reduces cholesterol in the blood.
7. Beer increases your good cholesterol.
Beer is full of amazing properties. Not only does it lower your bad cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, but it also increases your level of good cholesterol or HDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol helps clean your arteries, and it prevents them from hardening and collecting plaque.
8. Beer helps prevent strokes.
The American Stroke Association states that moderate beer drinkers benefit from a reduced risk of stroke by as much as 50 percent over the average person. This is because beer helps circulation and prevents blood clots from forming.
9. Beer reduces the chance of developing gallstones.
The Mayo Clinic states that drinking small amounts of beer, one to two 12-ounce servings per day, reduces the risk of developing painful gallstones by one-third.
10. Beer keeps your bones healthy.
Beer is high in silicon, which is a very important nutrient even though it is rarely discussed. Silicon is linked to increased bone strength and general bone health. A study at Tufts University shows that seniors who have been drinking moderate amounts of beer have above-average bone density.
11. Beer is great for your skin.
Drinking beer has a great side effect in that it helps re-hydrate your body after a workout or after heavy water loss. Beer helps rid the skin of toxins, and it keeps it moist even in dry climates.
12. Beer protects you from anemia.
Beer is high in vitamin B12 and folic acid, and deficiencies in these nutrients often lead to anemia. Also, the high level of vitamin B12 helps improve memory and concentration.
13. Beer helps your digestive system work more smoothly.
Beer contains several compounds that have been proven to aid in digestion. First, the alcohol in beer helps to stimulate appetite. At the same time, other compounds in beer stimulate the production of gastric acid and digestive enzymes created by the pancreas.
14. Beer reduces stress and helps you sleep.
Having a beer in the evening is a surefire way to relax after a stressful day. One or two beers will help you eliminate stress, fall asleep and maintain a restful sleep throughout the night.
15. Beer reduces social anxiety and helps to lubricate social situations.
If you are one of the many people who feel tense or nervous in social situations, beer can help you break down your mental barriers and stimulate conversation. If nothing else, you can use beer as the centerpiece for starting new conversations.
16. Leftover beer can be used to fertilize your lawn.
When you or your guests leave half-empty bottles of beer around your home, don’t dump the contents into the sink. Instead, pour them over your garden or lawn to promote the growth of beneficial microbes in the soil.
17. Beer helps protect your garden from slugs and snails.
The most effective and eco-friendly way to get rid of slugs and snails is to trap them in shallow dishes of beer. These hungry creatures love the taste of beer, but they cannot digest the alcohol.
18. Beer can be used to polish wooden furniture or interior trim.
After your beer goes flat, it can be used to polish wood by gently rubbing it in with a soft cloth. No one is sure why beer gives wooden furniture such a rich luster, but it does no harm and is a good substitute for chemical polishes.
19. Beer removes tarnish and rust from metal objects.
In addition to being a classic polish for wood, beer is also excellent for polishing metal. Because it is slightly acidic, beer eats through tarnish and rust without harming the metal underneath.
20. Beer can help control insect populations in your yard.
Insects are attracted to the rich scent of warm beer, and this can be used to your benefit in two ways. First, you can use beer to draw insects away from you and your guests while outdoors. Secondly, beer attracts bees and other pollinators to your garden.
21. Beer makes a killer marinade for poultry and meat.
Beer has been used for centuries as a marinade for meat and poultry. It tenderizes beef and pork overnight, and it makes the most deliciously moist chicken you will ever taste.
22. Beer is also an optional ingredient in many tasty dishes.
If you want to bring out the flavor of your favorite recipes, chances are that a bottle of beer will do the trick. Beer can be used in chili and other hearty, tomato-based soups, it makes a delicious batter for deep-frying vegetables, and nothing is better than freshly baked beer bread.
23. Beer can be used as a treatment for dandruff.
While many people have heard that beer can improve the health and appearance of their hair, very few know that it is also a natural treatment for dandruff. The yeast and high level of vitamin B in beer work wonders for those with dandruff.
24. Soak your feet in beer for a pedicure you will never forget.
Soaking your feet in beer may sound gross, but it will help soften calluses and smooth the skin on your feet after only 20 minutes. For an even better soak, try adding a little warm peppermint tea to the foot bath.
25. Beer can help you lose weight.
Although many people associate beer drinking with obesity, there is no evidence to support such claims. In fact, beer has fewer calories than soda does, and it comes in apportioned 12-ounce or 16-ounce sizes, making it easy to count how many calories you need to burn.