The drink of choice for most men, beer has some health benefits that justify its consumption. Yes, that means that beer is actually good for you. Given a choice between beer or liquor, the prudent decision would be to choose beer every time. You’re probably thinking that your beer belly would disagree, but, research has shown that a beer belly is not just due to excessive consumption of beer.

In fact, beer has been called liquid bread by some due to its nutritional value when compared to most other alcoholic drinks. Beer has higher levels of selenium, niacin, phosphorus, B vitamins and folate than most other alcoholic beverages. This makes it almost ideal if one plans to have a drink, though it might, like all other forms of alcohol, do extensive damage in the long run.

Health conscious people reach for beer, not wine

The truth behind the beer belly

Beer unlike most other forms of alcohol, is richer in significant protein and fiber, and if consumption can be managed effectively, this is probably the best type of alcoholic beverage one can consume. The famed antioxidants in wine are also present in beer, along with the addition of probiotics which help in replacing the good bacteria present in the gut, thus aiding in the digestive process. Beer, has long been maligned by the wine industry, who have propagated the health benefits of wine over beer, and blamed it for causing unsightly beer bellies. This statement is baseless, as wine contains similar amounts of calories. The difference then, lies in the food consumption while drinking alcohol. Beer drinkers tend to binge on fatty food while drinking. Yes, there is a love for fried food, bacon, cheese and red meat that is almost synonymous with beer consumption. Add to this a bag of chips and the constant need to munch on something with the beer and you have an unhealthy lifestyle. This unhealthy lifestyle, not the beer, is the reason for most beer bellies. A lack of physical activity can also lead to the beer gut forming, and once it’s there, it is extremely difficult to get rid of. Alcohol is not recommended for minors, for obvious reasons. However, adults who have these beer guts tend to find a variety of reasons to blame it on. An unbalanced life is the only reason they put on as much weight as they do; in situations where better habits, such as control over lifestyle and a balanced diet might have helped, we blame the drink, rather than the bowl of chips lying at its side that seems to be eroding over time.

Also read: The importance of consuming a healthy breakfast

Wine not as healthy as thought

The benefits, claimed as incredible for your health by wine connoisseurs all over the world are not that easily applied to all. The antioxidants present in red and white wine may be more difficult for the body to absorb than the antioxidants in beer. For example, Ferulic acid, present in beer is almost always easily absorbed. Beers can have varying levels of antioxidants though, so expecting them to be as effective each time is not accurate. Different types of beer have different levels because of the type of ingredients used and the different preparation and fermentation processes.

Beer manufacturers are also partly to blame. With the creation of low carb beers, they have directly implied that all other types of beer are high-carb, making them a strict no-no for the health conscious individual. The health benefits of beer are not limited to the type of beer either. A pint of stout ale might have the same number of calories as a much lighter looking lager.

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Other benefits of Beer

Beer is also known for other benefits to the human body. It is specifically better at fighting kidney stones than other types of alcohol in the fight against kidney disease. Beer serves as a diuretic as well, which explains the frequent need to pass urine when consuming large amounts of beer in most adults. In some countries, beer is considered the staple beverage as well. Belgium is known for producing some of the best beers on the planet. They have taken the art of artisanal crafting to the masses. Beer sampling sessions are also a hit amongst younger generations, and if left to choose between beer or liquor, the beer lovers seem to be growing in number. Other forms of liquor such as whisky, rum and the white spirits are also targeted at an older market by alcohol companies, with their pricing designed in such a way that it becomes tough for younger generations to buy the spirits. The spirits tend to have a higher concentration by volume of alcohol as well, making them harmful to the body if consumed in large quantities. In comparison, beer is less harmful because of the lower levels of alcohol by volume.

Temperature plays a great role in the sale of beer as well. In medieval periods, beer was served warm and enjoyed by many patrons at taverns across the world. While the method of cultivation varied, the popularity of the drink always remained high. Hops, which give beer its characteristic bitter taste, were often used to help treat diseases like arthritis, insomnia, fibromyalgia and various menopausal issues. It continues to be recommended for use to treat these issues amongst herbal practitioners. Beer has been served chilled since man invented methods to create artificial cold temperatures. Cold beer tastes better on the palate than warm beer and has a cooling effect on the body. It is routinely suggested as a home remedy to combat hot flashes. Doctors even treat insomnia with beer and a mixture of valerian. It tends to have a sedative effect.

Also read: Carbohydrate Tolerance

From happy hours to healthy hours

In the end, when compared to all other types of liquor, beer would triumph. The problem lays in public perception and opinion, which has been manipulated by competence of the incredible marketing teams of hard liquor manufacturers and seeming acceptance of beer being unhealthy. This perception is slowly changing across the globe, with beer awareness festivals a mainstay in many cities. Over time, and hopefully with a little marketing support, beer will hopefully be appreciated for its benefits.

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