Beer has been enjoyed as a beverage literally for millenniums. The ancient Egyptians and Babylonians documented their brewing and fermenting processes thousands of years ago, and the process today is little changed.
While no one would deny that it is still a favorite beverage, there are very mixed feelings about the potential benefits and potential risks of drinking beer. This article will briefly consider the pros and cons of drinking beer, thus allowing you to draw an educated conclusion. It will surely also provide you with some interesting content for conversation the next time you enjoy a beer in the company of your friends and the confidence to brew your own beer at home.
Is It Healthy To Drink Beer?
Wine, a similarly ancient alcoholic beverage, is accepted as having many health benefits. Therefore many wonder about beer and whether it also may have similar benefits. The truth is that there are many pros to drinking beer. Below we list the main ones along with any cons that are related to each point:
1. Beer Contains Vitamins And Minerals
Pros: Since beer is made from wheat, barley, and yeast, it naturally contains traces of vitamins and minerals that our body needs. For example, beer contains iron, zinc, calcium, thiamine, and vitamin Bs. These vitamins and minerals have obvious health benefits.
Cons: Caution should be used. In order to experience benefits from beer consumption, it must be drunk in moderation. While beer can supplement these minerals, it cannot supply us with our daily requirement of them.
2. Beer May Have Cardiovascular Benefits
Pros: There are several studies out there that seem to indicate that moderate beer consumption may be beneficial to our hearts. One particular study showed that a moderate daily intake of beer could positively affect the good cholesterol in our blood, increasing its antioxidant properties. It is suggested that moderate intake may have the same positive effects against heart disease as a daily glass of wine.
Cons: This applies only to moderate consumption, which is generally accepted as one to two glasses/bottles per day. A higher intake has been proven to have the opposite effect and increase the risk of cardiovascular problems.
3. Beer Consumption May Improve Blood Sugar
Pros: Moderate consumption of beer has been linked to better insulin resistance. Several studies have linked this to a lower risk of developing diabetes. One study showed the possibility of moderate beer drinkers developing diabetes to have decreased by around fifty percent.
Cons: Heavy drinking has been proven to have the exact opposite effect on our bodies, greatly increasing the chances of developing diabetes. It is worth noting that beers with added sugar will not positively affect blood sugar or insulin resistance, but they will have a negative impact.
4. Beer Consumption May Be Beneficial To Your Bones
Pros: There are studies out there that link moderate beer consumption to stronger and denser bones. This is due to the silicone content found in the barley and hops rich in this micronutrient. So the higher the malt level in a beer, the better it is for your bones.
Cons: Excessive alcohol consumption will leach the calcium content from your bones, weakening your bone structure. So, once again, the benefits are only seen with moderate consumption.
5. Beer Consumption May Help Fight Dementia
Pros: Several studies have concluded that moderate amounts of alcohol lower the risk of dementia, both when compared to non-drinkers and heavy drinkers.
Cons: Heavy drinking causes damage to the brain and is solidly linked to disorders such as dementia. Once again, there are great benefits to moderate drinking, which contrasts the risks of heavy drinking.
Summary: Is Beer Good For You?
This ancient and popular beverage has stood the test of time. As we saw above, there are many types of beer that offer several benefits if consumed moderately. For example, it improves your cardiovascular system, helps control your insulin and blood sugar levels, and helps your bones and nervous system.
So, yes, beer can be good for you. However, too much of anything is bad for us. Few things illustrate the truth of this better than beer consumption. While moderate consumption has many benefits, heavy consumption eliminates these benefits and pushes in the opposite direction.
In other words, all of the pros of moderate consumption become cons of heavy drinking. In addition to the above-mentioned negative effects of heavy drinking, we can add a long list of other undesirable effects. For example, depression, alcoholism, premature death, cancer, abnormal weight gain, and liver problems are recognized effects of over-drinking.
In conclusion: drink moderately and responsibly, and beer will improve your health, but avoid over-drinking at all costs! If you follow this advice, you will receive some great health benefits for the time that you spend drinking a beer in the company of your friends.