At this time of year, beer-lovers everywhere enjoy celebrating Oktoberfest. (Yes, most Oktoberfest celebrations actually begin in September…and end on the first day in October.)
But I encourage you to keep your steins handy—and some beer flowing—all year-round, as beer contains many powerful and natural constituents that support your health.
So, kick back, relax, and pour yourself a cold one. Here’s why…
Six HUGE health benefits to beer
1.) You’ll BUILD strong bones as you get older. Silicon is a natural component of beer that helps stimulate bone-building cells. In fact, in one recent study, drinkers who had one or two beers per day showed greater bone mineral density compared to those who drank either fewer, or more, beers!
So, I recommend adopting this natural (and enjoyable!) approach to building stronger bones rather than resorting to any of the popular bone density drugs, which actually work by poisoning certain bone cells. (Not to mention, those drugs don’t even prevent bone fractures in aging populations, in the first place!)
2.) You’ll BOOST your healthy GI bacteria. When consumed in moderation, beer is great for your gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome. That’s because beer, like yogurt, is packed with gut-friendly probiotic bacteria.
In a recent study, beer drinkers had much higher levels of two key probiotics (good bacteria) compared to non-beer drinkers. Plus, they had more butyric acid in their GI microbiomes—which some research links to improved gut health.
Of course, we should credit the hops found in many types of beers, too…
Hops are the flowers (also called seed cones or strobiles) of a plant called Humulus lupulus. Beermakers add them to help with the brewing and preserving processes because of their remarkable antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
India Pale Ale (IPA) brews typically contain the most hops of any type of beer and carry the bitter taste of the plant. These hearty beers date back to the period of British rule over the Indian subcontinent, when British merchants learned that brewing beers with high hops content kept it from spoiling during long ship voyages.
3.) You’ll TRANSFORM your heart health. As you know, moderate drinking of ANY kind supports blood circulation and helps support cardiovascular health. And beer, in particular, seems to work well against blood clotting…which can trigger a heart attack or stroke.
In fact, in a recent study in Israel, researchers found drinking just one beer a day lowered risks of blood clotting.
4.) You’ll AVOID painful kidney stones. In a Finnish study, men who drank beer had a 40 percent lower risk of kidney stones. This finding certainly makes sense, as beer contains mostly water. And you have to “keep the flow going” to maintain clear, healthy kidneys. Also, the hops in beer help to slow the release of minerals from bone, which prevents kidney stones from forming (while also helping to keep your bones strong).
5.) You’ll stay SHARPER mentally. Maybe your high school Driver’s Ed or health class teacher told you that drinking alcohol destroys millions of brain cells. And—yes—continual, excessive intake of alcohol can impair brain function.
But moderate intake can actually support cognitive function!
In fact, in a landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers looked at the alcohol consumption of about 11,000 women over 15 years. Those who enjoyed one drink per day had a 20 percent lower risk of suffering cognitive decline compared to non-drinkers, as measured by memory and brain function tests.
Again, this finding makes sense, as alcohol stimulates healthy circulation, which increases delivery of oxygen, energy, and nutrients in the blood to the brain. In addition, beer contains many natural constituents and neurovitamins that support brain health.
6.) You’ll WIPEOUT certain cancer risks. Cooking meat at high temperatures may cause the formation of heterocyclic amine (HCA) compounds, which some believe may contribute to cancer. But BEER prevents formation of these HCAs!
In fact, a Portuguese study found that marinating steak in beer before cooking can eliminate nearly 90 percent of these carcinogens.
Plus, adding beer to your marinade kicks up the flavor of your meat. (Carbonat, a delicious staple of Belgian cooking, uses beer and apparently helps keep all those European Union bureaucrats in Brussels well-fed.)
In the end, the misguided, politically driven, neo-prohibitionists would try to make us think that any amount of alcohol is bad for everyone…at all times. But as the studies I mentioned today show, moderate drinking actually BOOSTS your health in many key ways.
So, when enjoying a few pints for Oktoberfest, you can feel good about toasting “to your health.” (Or, as they say in German, Prosit!)
“Effects of beer, wine, and liquor intakes on bone mineral density in older men and women.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2009; 89(4): 1188-1196. doi.org/ 10.3945/ajcn.2008.26765
“Effects of moderate alcohol consumption on cognitive function in women.” N Engl J Med. 2005 Jan 20; 352(3):245-53. doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa041152.
“Nutrient Intake and Use of Beverages and the Risk of Kidney Stones among Male Smokers.” Am. J. Epidemiol. (1999) 150 (2): 187-194. doi/org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a009979.
“Association of Moderate Beer Consumption with the Gut Microbiota and SCFA of Healthy Adults.” Molecules. 2020 Oct 17;25(20):4772. doi.org/10.3390/molecules25204772.
“Effect of Beer/Red Wine Marinades on the Formation of Heterocyclic Aromatic Amines in Pan-Fried Beef.” J. Agric. Food Chem, 2008; 56(22): 10625–10632. doi.org/10.1021/jf801837s