It’s no secret that, around here, we love beer. It’s the sweet nectar of life, and we grow hops in Canada to further the beer brewing ambitions of breweries, craft brewers and home brewers alike. But beer has gotten a pretty bad rap over the years, especially for its effects on the waistline.
It’s true, beer ranges between 100-250 calories per serving, depending on the type of brew. Too much beer is sure to have detrimental effects on those hoping to stay on the lower end of the BMI index. But who said anything about too much beer?
As it turns out, when consumed in moderation, beer actually has some pretty nifty health benefits. Don’t believe us? Read on!
Beer: Good for the Heart!
Everybody talks about the heart-healthy benefits of wine in a very continental way, but poor, humble beer can be beneficial too! In fact, check out this aggregation of thousands of studies about the health benefits of beer:
“Researchers analyzed 16 studies involving more than 200,000 participants and found that the heart disease risk for moderate beer drinkers – those who drank about a pint a day – was reduced 31 percent on average.”
Small amounts of alcohol every day can lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation, which in turn can help improve heart health. This goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: If your doctor has recommended you avoid alcohol because of a particular health condition, or you are currently taking a medication that contraindicates the consumption of alcohol, this advice doesn’t apply to you.
Beer and Bone Health
As we get older, our bones get more brittle than in our younger days. Unless you’re someone who enjoys a beer on a daily basis, in which case you’re doing your part to stave off osteoporosis with up to a pint a day of that delicious, golden liquid.
Tufts University researchers said “Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol has been found to be associated with greater bone mineral density in men and women mostly over age 60.”
This one comes with a qualifier, though. The bone density benefits of beer were most significant among those who consumed only ONE serving of wine or beer per day. Any more than that actually had detrimental effects on bone health. So, drink up, but make sure you savour every last drop of that single glass or bottle.
The Health Effects of Beer on Joint Health
In addition to brittle bones, some of us can also expect creaky joints as we get older. Note to our young readers: try to stay that way! Anyway, supple joints are another possible outcome of moderate beer consumption. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a damaging condition of the joints that disproportionately affects women.
However, according to recent findings from a study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston:
“Overall, moderate use of any form of alcohol reduced the risk by about 21 percent, but moderate beer drinking — two to four beers per week — cut women’s odds for the disease by nearly a third.”
There is some speculation that the abundance of naturally occurring silicon in beer is the reason for this health benefit, but they’re still trying to figure out why, exactly, moderate beer drinking is associated with a lower risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Hey, any reason to enjoy a tasty beer is a good enough reason for us.
Long Live Beer, Live Long With Beer!
Most of the things “they” tell us to do to make sure we live a long life are, quite frankly, boring. Choose vegetables over things that taste good. Choose exercise over Netflix. See? Boring! Well, here’s some news that should cheer you up.
News out of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology shows that beer can help you live a longer life! It doesn’t just help you unwind on a Friday night; beer can actually change your DNA:
“Working with a kind of yeast that shares many important genetic similarities with humans, the researchers found that caffeine shortens and alcohol lengthens telomeres — the end points of chromosomal DNA, implicated in aging and cancer.”
This could just be the best news we’ve heard all week! A very long life might actually be worth living it means we can drink more beer.
Wondering how you can strike the perfect balance between savouring beer and staying fit? Check out one of BC’s many “Bike and Beer” events this summer. Join fellow craft beer lovers for a bike ride that ends with a beer at a local brewpub. We can’t imagine a better way to spend an afternoon!
If you would like to start taking advantage of the delicious taste and health benefits of beer, we can help. Order fresh hops from Hops Canada today, and be sure to report back with the results!