6 Health Benefits of Drinking Beer

Editor’s note: This Care2 favorite was originally posted on March 16, 2013. Enjoy!

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. If you’re still eating healthy from your New Year’s resolution this year, you might be glad to learn that drinking beer has many surprising health benefits. So, go ahead and enjoy that green beer – because it might just be doing you some good! Remember, though, always drink in moderation, and be sure to get a designated driver  to get home safely.

1. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease

All 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, moderate consumption of alcohol makes blood less sticky — and less likely to clot. Alcohol can also increase good cholesterol, as well as lower blood pressure. A Harvard study of 70,000 women found that those who consumed beer had a lower blood pressure than those who consumed wine or hard alcohol.

2. Helps the Kidneys

Alcohol gets a bad rap for being hard on the kidneys, but beer can actually help in that department. According to the 2011 ADA Times, beer can reduce the risk of kidney stones. The hops not only help slow the release of calcium from the bones — too much calcium can cause kidney stones — but beer also has a high water content, which helps clear out the kidneys.

3. Packed with Nutrition

Beer is a surprising source of many nutrients. One 12-ounce beer contains around one gram of fiber. It is also packed with B vitamins like niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, riboflavin and vitamins B6 and B12. Beer is also rich in silicon, a nutrient that can help strengthen bones.

4. Reduces Risk of Diabetes

In 2011, Harvard conducted a study of 38,000 middle-aged men which showed that, when they upped their intake of beer to two a day, their risk of developing type 2 diabetes decreased by 25 percent. There was, however, no noted benefit from drinking more than two beers a day.

5. Reduces Risk of Cancer

Just marinating meat in beer can eliminate almost 70 percent of carcinogens, a Portuguese study found. That might not transfer to drinking the beer, but who doesn’t love a good beer marinade? If you do just drink beer, though, it contains loads of helpful antioxidants that can keep you healthy.

6. Increases Brain Health

Researchers think that a few beers a day can also stave off Alzheimer’s and reduce risk of stroke. In 2005, a study examining 11,000 older women found that those who consumed one beer a day had better mental function than those who didn’t. In fact, the beer drinkers decreased their risk of mental decline by as much as 20 percent. The Harvard School of Public Health also conducted research suggesting that a few beers a day might reduce the risk of stroke by thinning the blood and preventing blood clots from traveling to the brain.

Related Stories
5 Vegan Beers for a Truly Green St. Patrick’s Day
5 Ways to Use Leftover Beer
How to Drink Truly ‘Green’ Beer on St. Patrick’s Day

Photo Credit: Patrick Fore/Unsplash

1142 comments

Hannah K
Hannah K4 days ago

thank you

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DAVID fleming
DAVID fleming4 days ago

TFS

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Amanda M
Amanda M5 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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Amanda M
Amanda M5 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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John P
John P8 days ago

Bring me a beeeeer!!

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One Heart i
One Heart inc17 days ago

Thanks!

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Carl R
Carl R17 days ago

Thanks!

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Isabel G
Isabel G18 days ago

Cheers!

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Amanda M
Amanda M19 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Amanda M
Amanda M19 days ago

thanks for sharing

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