Reasons why beer may be good for you

Beer contains a high proportion of silicon, a key component of bone construction, research shows.
Beer contains a high proportion of silicon, a key component of bone construction, research shows.

Thomas Jefferson once said: "Beer, if drunk in moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit and promotes health." Though he may not always be right about the temper - ask the bouncers at any nightclub - he may be surprisingly correct about the health claim.

We take a look at some of the biggest benefits beer drinking has for your body.

1. It may reduce the risk of heart disease

Perhaps the most proven positive of a well-placed pint: drinking beer is good for your heart. According to a 2012 study published in the European Heart Journal, beverages rich in polyphenols, like beer, have been shown repeatedly to carry substantial cardiovascular benefits, and drinking one half to two pints of beer a day lessens your chance of heart disease by around 25 per cent.

2. It can be good for your long-term memory

With an emphasis on 'long-term'. After a boozy night out, don't expect to know what you did or said after your seventh pint of Stella. However, studies suggest that chemicals found in beer can slow the progress of degenerative cognitive diseases like Alzheimer's. Sipping on your beer of choice won't help you study for your exams, but, decades down the line, it might help you remember which ones you passed.

3. It's apparently good for your bones

According to a 2013 study, beer contains a high proportion of silicon, a key component of bone construction, in quantities not found in most foods. Products high in hops and barley are particularly effective.

4. It could increase your creativity

Evidence suggests a light tipple increases creativity and outside-the-box-thinking. A 2017 study published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition, found participants with a small amount of alcohol in their bloodstream outstripped their sober counterparts in cognitive tests, despite losing, in the words of the study, "a degree of executive control". It's as Hemingway (supposedly) said: "Write drunk, edit sober."

5. It may help your sight

This may sound like alcoholic mysticism but there is evidence to suggest that unlatching a lager might be just as good for your eyes as gulping down a carrot smoothie. According to researchers from Canada, one beer a day releases antioxidants that help to stop the formation of cataracts. Unsurprisingly, there's a catch: Drinking three or more beers a day reverses this trend, on top of fuzzying your faculties.

6. It could reduces the risk of kidney stones

No one seems entirely sure why beer carries this particular benefit, but a 2013 study suggested that a bottle before bedtime could reduce the risk of kidney stones by 40 per cent, or even more. Some put it down as a component of hops, others to the increased fluid intake, but all agree that periodic beer drinking is doing your kidneys a kindness. Quaff them into shape at your leisure - just get used to the odd bathroom break.

Australian Associated Press