Food & Drink
Why giving up beer shouldn’t be your New Year’s Resolution
It’s 2020, and that means New Year’s Resolutions. Doing something different for the new year. It’s a fact that that the number one resolution seems to be getting healthy. But what about beer?
Maybe there’s a reason the Czech phrase for “cheers”—na zdraví—translates roughly to “here’s to your health.” As much as we blame alcohol for our problems, there’s actually a wealth of research showing that moderate beer-drinking (keyword: moderate!) can be good for your heart, bones, kidneys, and even your skin and hair. By moderate, we mean one 12-ounce serving per day for women, two per day for men.
To be clear, this is no reason to binge drink—consuming too much alcohol can wreak havoc on your health. But when you’re living in the country with the highest rate of beer consumption in the world, you’ve got to think of some reason to justify it. Here are ours:
Beer can help lower bad cholesterol and aid digestion
A 30 cl glass of beer—and especially dark beer—contains up to one gram of soluble fibre.
While this may not seem like a lot, soluble fibre both aids digestion and lowers levels of LDL cholesterol (AKA “bad” cholesterol), and just two glasses of beer can provide 10 percent of your daily recommended fibre intake. Wine, on the other hand, doesn’t contain any soluble fibre at all.
Beer is chock-full of vitamins and minerals
Beer has been long-known for its high levels of vitamin B, including vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12. But it also contains high levels of potassium, calcium, and phosphorus, which help promote a healthy diet.
Beer may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s.
This is not a drill. Though it may not help you remember what you did last night, beer may protect against degenerative disorders, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, according to a 2015 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. This is thanks to xanthohumol, a compound in hops used to flavor beer.
Beer may prevent kidney stones
Ever found yourself sprinting to the WC after a couple of beers? The good news is, the diuretic effects of beer may actually help prevent kidney stones. Drinking one 12-ounce serving of beer per day can reduce your risk of getting a kidney stone by 41 percent, according to a 2013 study in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Beer can be an effective sleep aid
Odds are, you’ve already experienced with this one. But what you probably didn’t know is that beer contains lactoflavin and nicotinic acid, both of which promote sleep.
Beer can help build strong bones.
The high levels of dietary silicon in beer can help raise bone density. So don’t feel too bad next time you skip the gym and head to Pivo Karlín for a brew (or three) instead.
Beer supports a healthy heart
Numerous studies have found that those who drink a little over a pint of beer per day have a reduced risk of suffering from heart attacks, stroke and heart disease. Unfortunately, this doesn’t prevent you from catching the feels after one too many glasses.
Beer can be good for your skin and hair
High levels of ferulic acid in beer help protect skin from sun damage, and the many vitamins found in your brew can help reduce acne. The malt in beer nourishes hair and promotes growth, while yeast strengthens and volumizes. There’s a reason Prague’s Hotel Vinohradský Dům is home to a beer spa, where you can bathe in the stuff in a process known as balneotherapy.