Alcohol, especially in beer, can have very positive effects on your body and mind when used in careful moderation. Beer has been used for centuries to cure everything from insomnia to blood clotting and bladder issues. Unfortunately, alcohol can be used to the extreme and the it ends up reversing the healthy properties of the drink, turning it into something harmful – and even deadly.
Contrary to popular belief, beer alone does not give you that chubby belly that’s so often referred to as a “beer belly”. Beer is actually something that could help you achieve a better looking body – not only does it not have any of the bad cholesterol, but it’s also completely fat free. Beer also has obvious and well noted stress relieving effects, and stress has been said to be one of the biggest triggers of overeating and other, more serious eating disorders. Beer, unlike many other forms of alcohol, contains certain ingredients that can even help get you more restful sleep.
It’s been known for generations that drinking alcohol can decrease your risk of heart disease and cardiovascular problems, and it’s even been linked more recently with lowering the percentage of elderly people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. If that wasn’t enough deadly or life-altering things beer can help prevent, add stroke to the list – light to moderate drinkers were said by the New England Journal of Medicine to have a 20% less risk of stroke in their lifetime.
I think here it’s important to specify the difference between a moderate (healthy) drinker, and a heavy (problem) drinker. The line seems thin between them, and that’s not entirely the case – but it’s a line that needs to be boldly drawn, because the effect of heavy drinking effects everyone around you. As for the difference in health – moderate drinkers experience increased protection against physically and mentally crippling illnesses, and heavy drinkers have increased risks of the same illnesses. Moderate drinkers get healthy doses of vitamins that the body can easily filter and distribute. Heavy drinkers on the other hand are harming their livers, their brains, and their overall health. Knowing where to draw this line is important, because your life truly is at stake.
Not only can beer and other moderate alcoholic drinks decrease your stress level as well as your risk of deadly heart disease, but the alcohol in beer raises your level of good cholesterol – and that helps reduce the risk of blood clots and other circulation problems as well. Beer is also a good source of carbohydrates, protein, calcium, and B vitamins, so downing a glass or two could give your body the pick-me-up it needs…in more ways than one!
Not convinced? Here’s CBS news report and an ABC news article on beer’s health benefits.
Healthy Reasons to Drink Beer – Forbes
Beer and Your Bones – MSNBC