8 Ways Beer Is Actually Good for You

Who knew?! From helping your heart to fighting cavities, a daily brewski (or two) can boost your health.

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Beer’s good for your ticker

Wine often takes centre stage during heart-health discussions, but don’t shortchange the health benefits of beer. According to a study done by researchers at the University of Cambridge and University College London, drinking one pint of beer a day has been linked to a reduced risk of developing some cardiovascular diseases. The study analyzed the electronic health records of nearly two million healthy UK adults. People that were moderate drinkers were less likely to see a doctor for seven conditions—including heart attacks and strokes caused by blood clots—than those who were heavy drinkers or didn’t drink at all.

Consider adding these other heart-healthy foods to your diet.

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Elderly woman sitting in nursing home room holding walking quad cane with wrinked hand. Old age senior lady wearing beige cardigan, metal aid stick handle bar close up. Interior background, copy space

Beer may protect against rheumatoid arthritis

Alcohol, including beer, has anti-inflammatory properties, which is likely why it’s linked with such positive implications for heart health, as well as other diseases triggered by inflammation. A study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, which included 1.9 million participants from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), found that women who drank two to four times per week had a 31 per cent decreased risk of rheumatoid arthritis compared to their fellow teetotalers.

Find out what doctors wish you knew about arthritis.

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Close up view of beaming orthodontic white wide male smile, african black man with healthy straight clean teeth isolated on grey studio blank background, tooth health care whitening dentistry concept

Beer is an antimicrobial for your mouth

Beer and hops (as well as red wine and coffee) contain antimicrobial compounds that may help fight unwelcome oral germs linked to plaque and gum disease. While one of the benefits of beer is a healthier smile, that doesn’t mean you should skip brushing and flossing altogether. They’re still necessary to have good oral health.

Check out the foods that are worse for your teeth than candy.

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Gorgeous girl close up of eye

Beer could protect your eyesight

Could drinking beer set you up for better long-term ocular health? Perhaps. A 3,654-person study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology found participants with moderate alcohol consumption had a 50 per cent lower incidence of cataract surgery (versus non-drinkers and heavy drinkers) over a period of five to 10 years. Antioxidants in wine and beer may be responsible for these benefits; a number of studies show that cataracts and macular degeneration are more prevalent when a diet is low in antioxidants. We’ll toast to that!

Make sure to follow these eye care tips from Canadian optometrists.

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Kidney Ultrasound

Beer could reduce your risk of kidney stones

Kidney stones are tiny, hard mineral deposits that form inside the kidneys, which may be a result of dehydration or certain food choices. If you’ve ever experienced them, you know that they can be very painful to pass. A Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology study following almost 200,000 participants found those imbibing about one beer a day had a 41 per cent lower risk of forming kidney stones. Researchers believe this may be due to the diuretic properties of beer and other alcohols.

Learn to spot the symptoms of kidney stones.

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Beer may lower the odds of type 2 diabetes

You hear phrases like “beer belly” and wonder how on Earth a brewski could reduce your diabetes risk. But a meta-analysis of 15 studies found that moderate alcohol consumption, including beer, may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 30 per cent. There may be many factors at play, including the anti-inflammatory effects of alcohol, according to study authors. Other research in people without diabetes has found positive effects of moderate alcohol consumption on insulin and triglyceride levels. It’s important to emphasize that moderate consumption is key; overdoing it may actually increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

These are the signs of diabetes you should never ignore.

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Beer can help your bones

Beer is a rich source of silicon, which is a key part of bone formation and maintenance in the human body. A study done by the International Journal of Endocrinology found that incorporating silicon into the diet has the potential to prevent and treat osteoporosis, especially in post-menopausal women experiencing bone loss. Other foods that have silicon are whole grains, cereals, and some vegetables including green beans.

Learn to spot the signs your body needs more calcium.

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Human Brain scan

Beer can keep your brain healthy

The silicon found in beer can also help your brain. It protects your brain from compounds that can eventually cause cognitive diseases. There is also a study that says a compound found in hops, xanthohumol, supports neuronal cells which can help prevent neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Cheers to a long, healthy life!

Next, check out the healthy habits proven to boost your brain health.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest

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