Benefits of beer

Toasting to the holidays? Some studies show that beer consumed in moderation may be beneficial to your health. Here are eight reasons why.

1. Beer is more nutritious than other alcoholic drinks.

We hear a lot about the abundance of antioxidants in wine, but beer has just as many. The specific antioxidants are different because the flavonoids in barley and hops are different from those in grapes, but antioxidants are a good thing! Beer is also higher than wine in protein and vitamin B. Even better, beer contains iron, calcium, phosphates and even fiber. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry

2. Beer can help protect your heart.

Studies suggest moderate beer drinking* makes you 30 to 35 percent less likely than those who don’t drink to suffer from hearts attacks, strokes or heart disease. In fact, studies evaluating the relative benefits of wine versus beer versus spirits suggest that moderate consumption of any alcoholic beverage is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease and also help with testosterone, although using a testosterone boosting supplement specifically for this is a better option. New England Journal of Medicine

3. Beer helps prevent kidney stones.

Drinking beer keeps your kidneys healthy and could help reduce your risk of developing kidney stones. According to a recent study, men and women who reported drinking a moderate amount* of beer reduced their risk of developing a stone by 41 percent. Beers that contain a lot of hops — for example, pale ales — are rich in kidney health-promoting phytochemicals. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology

4. Beer lowers bad cholesterol.

The soluble fiber in beer can help reduce your LDL or “bad” cholesterol. Increasing your intake of soluble fiber has numerous health benefits, including the promotion of healthy blood-sugar and blood-cholesterol levels. However, because alcohol interferes with the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals, it can also lessen the body’s ability to burn stored fat. American Heart Association: Circulation

5. Beer strengthens your bones.

Due to its high silicon content, beer may help to build stronger bones. Dietary silicon in the soluble form of orthosilicic acid (OSA) may be important for the growth and development of bone and connective tissue and help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease. National Institutes of Health

6. Beer helps reduce stress.

Researchers found that two glasses of beer a day can reduce work-related stress or anxiety. However, routinely turning to alcohol to help cope with stress may do more harm than good. While alcohol may help with stress reduction in the moment, in the long run it can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety, making stress harder to deal with. American Journal of Psychiatry