Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drinks in the world, and the third most popular drink overall after water and tea.
Beer is made from four basic ingredients: Barley, water, hops and yeast. The basic idea is to extract the sugars from grains (usually barley) so that the yeast can turn it into alcohol and CO2, creating beer.
How its made
For the longest time, people have been led to believe that beer only causes health problems like obesity, heart problems and high blood pressure as well as addiction. However, beer is not at fault here, at least not as much as human tendency to overdo everything that is remotely good. The case with beer is the same. However, when taken in measured quantities, beer has the following benefits:
1. May Prevent Cancer:
In 2004, the journal Phytochemistry published a study conducted by Page JE and Stevens JF. The two researchers looked at the potential of prenyl flavonoids like “Xanthohumol” and their potential in preventing cancer. The studies showed that xanthohumol is a broad range chemopreventive prenyl flavonoid. In 2007, the Carcinogenesis published a study report by Lamy V et al, who studied the anti-carcinogenic effects of lupulone a beta acid found in hops, used to make beer. They used rats for the experiment and it was revealed that lupulone can wipe out tumors in rats with colon cancer. In 2010, the journal Mutation Research published a study conducted by Ferk F et al. who studied the effects of xanthohumol on rats exposed to carcinogenic chemicals. The study revealed that not only does xanthohumol prevent DNA damage caused because of carcinogenic chemicals, it also ends abnormal growth of cells. Researchers believe that these cancer preventive chemicals will react with the human body in a similar manner and can prevent the development of some kinds of cancer.
2. Helps Control Diabetes:
In 2011, The American Journal of Diabetes, called Diabetes published a study conducted by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and their counterparts from Wageningen School, Netherlands. The study focused on over 38000 participants, whose alcohol consumption was documented for 20 years. Data was collected through a survey which was conducted every 4 years. At the start of the study, no participant suffered from type II diabetes, however, some studies were reported during the course of the study. A further study, led the researchers to conclude that limited drinking of beer daily, reduces risk of diabetes by 25% as it increases insulin sensitivity. The researchers have however, cautioned people into drinking beer without regulation.
3. May Prevent Kidney Stones:
Well, it is true! Beer primarily consists of water and a high intake of liquids helps prevent the development of kidney stones. In 1999, the American Journal of Epidemiology published a study conducted by Hirvonen T et al. Based in Finland, the study involved over 27000 Finnish citizens, the research revealed that every bottle of beer drunk reduced the risk of developing kidney stones by 40% in the bodies of men between the ages of 40 years to 59 years.
4. Reduces Inflammation:
Hops added in beer not only lend it a bitter taste, but are also rich in bitter acids. In 2009, Molecular Nutrition and Food Research published a study conducted by Van Cleemput M et al on the anti-inflammatory properties of hops. The researchers concluded that hops do reduce local inflammation. To further strengthen this assertion, Japanese beer manufacturer Sapporo funded a research on Humulone, a kind of bitter acid found in hops and its capacity to prevent as well as treat viral respiratory diseases. The study was conducted in 2013, and published by Medical Molecular Morphology and carried out by Fuchimoto J et al. The researchers established that humulone is a powerful natural chemical which can both prevent and treat viral respiratory diseases.
5. Protects Heart:
Yes, Beer can protect you from heart diseases! In 2003, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a study by Vinson JA et al. The study conducted tests on the cardioprotective properties of beer on cholesterol fed hamsters. The study revealed that dark lager and dark beer are great antioxidants and in controlled quantities can also reduce the bad cholesterol and triglycerides levels in the body thereby, protecting the heart from cardiovascular diseases. In addition, Beer is known to increase the good cholesterol in the body. Beer also is a blood thinner, making it clear out any plaques on the heart, and can also prevent the risk of strokes.
6. Improves Mental Health:
Tasting beer can increase the levels of dopamine in your body! Some of you may be surprised, but it’s true! In 2013, researchers from the Indiana University of Medical Sciences, conducted a series of experiments and concluded that even before the alcoholic effects of beer takes hold of your brain, the mere taste of beer can lift your mood by encouraging the production of dopamine. In 2013 itself, almost a world away, researchers in Australia established that some chemicals found in beer, promote the growth of neurons in lab tests. In 2015, The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, published the results of a study conducted in China, the result proved that alcohol protects brain cells from oxidative stress, thereby, preventing the growth of oxidative damage related diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.
7. Regulates Blood Pressure:
In 1985, the American Journal of Epidemiology published a study report by Jackson R et al. The research was designed to study drinking patterns and its effects on blood pressure. The study concluded that light drinking (one to two pints of beer per day) lowers blood pressure. However, the researchers were not able to establish a definite pattern. In 1994, the American Journal of Hypertension published a study by Seppa K et al who also studied the relationship between drinking patterns and blood pressure levels and concluded that different drinking habits affect blood pressure differently. While blood pressure was lowered in people who binge drank occasionally or on weekends or drank controlled amounts of beer daily, binge drinking high amounts of any alcohol daily led to high blood pressure.
8. Strengthens Bones:
In 2009, the journal Nutrition, published a study conducted by Pedrera-Zamorano JD et al, who conducted a clinical trial on the effects of beer on bone strength of women. Over 1600 women participated in this study, the study proved that beer drinkers have higher bone density, because of the intake of dietary silicone present in beer. This makes them less prone to developing osteoporosis than people who don’t drink beer.
9. Aids Digestive Process:
In 2012, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a study conducted to test the digestive aiding properties of five German and Austrian Beers. The researchers discovered that the bitter acids present in hops, which are added to beer have stomach acid releasing properties and stomach acids not just help with easing out the digestive process, gut acids also prevent the multiplication of bad bacteria present in the gut. The researchers also discovered that the more bitter the beer was, the better stomach acid releasing abilities it displayed.
10. Prevents Anemia:
In 2011, the journal SINC published a study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Valladolid. The researchers studied 40 types of beers and discovered, that all beers have some iron content in them. This iron aids their oxygenation process. Thus, darker the beer, the higher amount of iron they would have. Drinking a regulated amount of beer can thus give the body necessary amount of iron.
11. Beauty Benefits of Beer:
Nearly all of us have used the famous beer shampoo at least once in our lives to test out exactly how good a conditioner it is. We have also been advised by our friends to wash our hair with beer for better conditioning, well, if you have been sceptical so far, don’t be! Beer really does condition our hair. In addition, beer also helps minimize pimples, hydrates skin and makes it soft and glowing.