[N.B. For sanity’s sake, do avoid the mass-produced stuff better poured back into the horse it came out of.]
“Beer, if drank in moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit, and promotes health.”–Thomas Jefferson
The Health Benefits (just google the phrases I have bolded for more than just one link to the info):
1.) Light-to-moderate beer drinking may lower stroke risk by as much as 20%.
2.) The polyphenols in red wine that have so much good press about their antioxidant effect reducing free radicals and reducing the risk of heart attacks? Beer has simmilar amounts of polyphenols and 2-3 servings a day can lower risk of coronary artery disease by 30-40%.
3.) Homocysteine has been shown to have strong links to heart disease, and Vitamin B6–great for controlling homocysteine levels–is abundant in beer. Beer drinkers show healthier homocysteine blood levels than wine or liquor drinkers.
4.) Moderate beer drinking has a stress-reducing effect (whereas almost everyone can envision the stress-inducing effects of heavy beer drinking–*heh*).
5. A glass of beer is a great soporific. 🙂 Beer is not the perfect sleep aid, but is beneficial to some. In moderation.
6.) Beer helps promote blood vessel dilation (many side benefits–especially for us old guys) and urination.
7.) A main ingredient in beer is a prostate cancer antagonist (!). (So, between hops’ xanthohumol and beer’s famous ability to promote urination, a wonderful benefit to guys as we age ;-)).
8.) A Finnish study indicates that beer seems to reduce the risk of developing kidney stones.
9.) Those clever Japanese have discovered that beta-pseudouridine found in beer actually helps reduce chromosonal damage from radiation exposure! (Maybe I can dispense with my lead cup and tinfoil hat, ya think? :-))
10.) Beer contains anti-inflammatory agents (from the hops). Nice for my joints–and maybe yours, too, eh?
The alcohol in beer–generally less than in many other alcoholic beverages–is also beneficial in several ways, including
11.) Lowering HDL levels
12.) In mice at least, alcohol spurs the growth of new brain cells. (I’m not a mouse, but the research indicates that moderate beer drinking may actually help me as much as coffee does! :-))
13.) Moderates insulin levels.
There are more, of course, but it seems the folk wisdom of yore reflected in the Jefferson quote above has much more basis in fact than 99% of Mass Media Podpeople or politicians’ *spit* statements.