In recent years, Russians are increasingly abandoning spirits in favor of wine and beer, which is in first place in popularity among alcoholic beverages. The country’s beer industry has reached a very decent level and offers the consumer a huge selection of different varieties. Due to its low strength, beer is often equated with soft drinks, which leads to abuse, so it is important to know what the benefits of beer are and what harm it can do to your health.
Beneficial substances in beer
Beer is one of the very first types of alcohol known to mankind. People began to brew a hoppy drink from barley and wheat even before they learned how to bake bread. The classic recipe for its preparation includes malt, hops, water and yeast. A high-quality product is made exclusively from natural ingredients, so the beer contains many useful components, including:
- vitamins D, P and group B;
Beer contains more protein and B vitamins than grape wine. The plant component hops has established itself as a rich source of flavonoids – antioxidants that prevent the development of inflammatory processes in cells. The minerals that make up the drink play an important role in metabolic processes.
However, do not forget that beer is alcohol. The ethanol content depends on the grade and production method. For example, the strength of porter is already 6-7.5%, which equates it to Italian sparkling wines. Therefore, beer can only bring health benefits when consumed wisely.
The benefits of beer for the body
Due to its high vitamin B6 content, beer inhibits the accumulation of homocysteine, which causes cardiovascular disease. The useful component promotes blood thinning and prevents the formation of blood clots that interfere with blood flow in the coronary arteries. The foamy drink lowers blood pressure and serves as a prophylactic agent against hypertension.
According to a study by ICTAN in Spain, moderate consumption of beer by adults for a month resulted in positive changes in their blood lipid profile. Lowering cholesterol levels eliminates the formation of plaque on the walls of blood vessels that interfere with blood flow.
Among the useful components of beer are iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid, the lack of which leads to the development of anemia. Dark varieties are especially rich in microelements, which makes it possible to use them as an aid to increase hemoglobin. Also, the drink promotes the production of ferritin, which helps to increase iron stores.
Positive effects of beer:
- cleanses the intestines due to the content of dietary fiber;
- prevents peptic ulcer disease caused by Helicobacter pylori;
- reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes;
- slows down the aging of the body.
Beer has a beneficial effect on the body only in a reasonable amount. A safe dose is no more than 0.33 liters per day. The most useful variety is considered by British brewers to be porter, which is rich in melanoidins, which prevent inflammation.
The benefits of beer for women
After the onset of menopause, the female body begins to rapidly lose calcium, which after 65 years leads to the development of osteoporosis. Beer slows down these processes and strengthens bone tissue. The flavonoids in its composition act as natural substitutes for female hormones, therefore, facilitate the course of menopause.
The drink helps to maintain intelligence in old age. The New England Medical Journal published a report on a study in which 12,000 older women took part, some of whom had been drinking beer daily for a long time. These women showed significantly fewer cognitive impairments than those who were sober.
Beer and men’s health
The benefits of beer for men is that it has a beneficial effect on the state of the nervous system, reduces the risk of heart attack and prevents early baldness. There is evidence that the drink prevents prostate diseases and maintains potency.
It is believed that the plant estrogens in beer can cause hormonal disruption in the male body. As a result of an increase in the level of female hormones, testosterone ceases to be produced, which causes:
- breast augmentation;
- obesity of the female type;
- weakness of the abdominal wall (beer belly);
- change the timbre of the voice.
In fact, the harm of beer to men is greatly exaggerated. The theory of the feminization of the male body under the influence of phytoestrogens was actively promoted in Soviet times and turned into a stable stereotype. There are not so many hormones in beer that they could affect the endocrine system, moreover, these hormones are of plant origin.
All of the above symptoms occur with regular abuse of alcohol and high-calorie foods.
The harm of beer to the body
Moderate consumption of beer is considered safe for health in the absence of allergies to its components. Regularly exceeding safe doses leads to the formation of an addiction that is difficult to treat (beer alcoholism).
Beer slows down the nervous system, so you need to abstain from it for two weeks before surgery.
Excessiveness can exacerbate a number of diseases:
- heart failure;
- liver disease;
The harm of beer for women during pregnancy is that even small doses of the drink are fraught with fetal malformations and subsequent developmental and behavioral disorders in the child. Alcohol is especially dangerous in the first two months, as it provokes a miscarriage.
It is strongly not recommended to drink beer during breastfeeding due to the high probability of the child developing muscle coordination disorders and sleep problems. Alcohol also negatively affects the production of breast milk.
Attention! Self-medication can be dangerous, consult your doctor.