The month of October may be famous for Halloween season but if there’s another reason to celebrate, it would be Oktoberfest—a month long celebration that involves beer and merry making. Throughout the world, many celebrate Oktoberfest with various events and celebrations to honor the annual tradition. Considering it is one of the most participated events in the world, there is no surprise why the number of beer consumption increases during this time of the year.
Beer is one of the most unappreciated beverages because many believe it is not good for the body. Apart from water, wine is the beverage that gets the most credit for the number of benefits it brings to one’s health. But because there are plenty of health advantages that beer can produce, it’s good to reach for a cold glass of beer at the end of a busy day every now and then. Not only does it taste great, it does have health benefits especially when taken in moderation. Get to know more about beer and what it can do to your health.
What is Beer?
Beer is an alcoholic beverage that comes from malted cereal grains such as barley, rye, wheat, corn or rice. Its other ingredients include hops, water and yeast. Once the yeast is added it consumes the sugar then divides before finally producing ethanol and carbon dioxide (alcohol). It is a much-loved beverage among individuals because it is able to produce a relaxing effect after consumption. Whether drinking it after work or at a party, a glass of beer can always do the trick.
There are actually a number of types of beer available commercially. Each type has its own name and a selection of brews under it. Here are the most popular types available:
- Ale – A full-bodied type of beer with a touch of fruit or spice. Some of the famous varieties include bitters, milds, pale ales, abbey ales, nut browns, and many more.
- Lager – Originated in Germany, lager beers are referred to as the most popular type of beer in the world. Its taste ranges from sweet to bitter. Compared to ales, lagers have been stored for several months with near-freezing temperatures.
- Porters – While it can still be considered an ale, porter beers are brewed using a variety of roasted malts to create different colors, flavors and aromas.
- Stout – Similar to porter beers, stout beers have been top fermented with a black roast brew. It does not have a sweet taste but it does have a creamy and rich top produced by barley.
- Malt – Compared with the rest of the types of beer, malts generally possess a sweeter and darker flavor. It also often contains hints of other flavors such as nuts, toffee, and caramel.
Health Benefits of Beer
It is hard to believe that beer contains health benefits, especially since drinking too much of it can be dangerous. At the same time, beer normally does not have a nutritional label attached to its bottle. Because of this, there is still some confusion over the health advantages of beer. But thankfully, the combination of beer’s ingredients (yeast, grains, water, and even alcohol) works together to produce some benefits to one’s health.
Having a cold glass of beer at the end of a busy day at work produces a relaxing result. With moderate consumption, beer can reduce stress and anxiety. This also helps in reducing the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Lowers Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
Studies have shown that beer drinkers have a lower risk for contracting type 2 diabetes by about 30% compared to those who stay away from the beverage.
Contains Anti-Microbial Properties
Beer contains hops, a bitter flower that it uses during its brewing process. Hops are known to contain anti-microbial properties. As a result, beer is able to help fight disease because of hops.
Apart from having anti-microbial properties, the hops in beer are believed to possess aphrodisiac-like qualities in the sense that they act as a relaxant. The phytoestrogen found in hops are able to help low libido, minimize hot flushes, and the other symptoms that are often associated with menopause.
Improves Muscle Health
Hops also contain a substance that helps keep the muscles from deteriorating. This is why it is recommended to consume beer moderately.
Improves Bone Density
Studies also show that beer can help make your bones strong. Together with wine, beer has a positive effect on hip bone density. However, heavy drinking has been known to lead to bone loss. This is why it is best to consume alcoholic beverages moderately.
Keeps the Brain Sharp
By keeping with the recommended moderate intake of beer, individuals can benefit from beer. One example of this health advantage is that beer helps in improving mental health. Based on various studies, beer has the ability to keep your memories intact compared to those who do not drink it at all. Thanks to its high silicon content, beer limits the brain’s absorption of aluminum. This helps in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Contains High Amounts of Fiber
Beer contains a high amount of fiber, which makes it as a natural laxative. At the same time, beer acts as an appetite suppressant in the sense that it slows down the rate wherein food leaves the stomach, making the individual feel full.
Improves Your Social Skills
It is no secret that beer can help improve an individual’s social skills. Since beer contains relaxing properties, it can boost an individual’s courage and lead him to be more sociable than normal. This is why beer is usually served in parties.
There is a reason as to why beer is sold in a bottle—apart from knowing how many bottles you’ve had, it helps in keeping your intake to a limit. While beer may have some benefits to your health, it is always best to limit your intake. Moderate intake of beer is recommended at up to 12 ounces a day for women and 24 ounces a day for men. It is best to be careful about the intake, however, as drinking beer excessively can also produce dangerous results. To get the health benefits of beer, make sure you limit your intake.
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