Who knew?! From helping your heart to fighting cavities, a daily brewski (or two) can boost your health.

Is beer good for you? Well, it’s good for your heart, and there is science to back that up. Wine often takes center stage during heart-health discussions. But don’t shortchange the health benefits of beer. According to a study done by researchers at the University of Cambridge and University College London drinking one pint of beer a day has been linked to a reduced risk of developing some cardiovascular diseases. The study analyzed the electronic health records of nearly 2 million healthy UK adults. People that were moderate drinkers were less likely to see a doctor for seven conditions including heart attacks and strokes caused by blood clots than those who were heavy drinkers or didn’t drink at all.

Alcohol, including beer, has anti-inflammatory properties, which is likely why it is linked with such positive implications for heart health, as well as other diseases triggered by inflammation. A study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, which included 1.9 million participants from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), found that women who drank two to four times per week had a 31 percent decreased risk of rheumatoid arthritis compared to their fellow teetotalers. Use these tricks to open a beer without a bottle opener if you’re ever in a pinch.

Beer and hops (as well as red wine and coffee) contain antimicrobial compounds that may help fight unwelcome oral germs linked to plaque and gum disease. While one of the benefits of beer is a healthier smile, that doesn’t mean you should skip brushing and flossing altogether. They’re still necessary to have good oral health.

Could drinking beer set you up for better long-term ocular health? Perhaps. A 3,654-person study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology found participants with moderate alcohol consumption had a 50 percent lower incidence of cataract surgery (versus non-drinkers and heavy drinkers) over a period of five to ten years. Antioxidants in wine and beer may be responsible for these benefits; a number of studies show that cataracts and macular degeneration are more prevalent when a diet is low in antioxidants. We’ll toast to that!

Kidney stones are tiny, hard mineral deposits that form inside the kidneys, which may be a result of dehydration or certain food choices. If you’ve ever experienced them, you know that they can be very painful to pass. A Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology studyfollowing almost 200,000 participants found those imbibing about one beer a day had a 41 percent lower risk of forming kidney stones. Researchers believe this may be due to the diuretic properties of beer and other alcohols. Since there are many benefits of beer, crack open one of these beers that every beer-lover needs to try.

You hear phrases like “beer belly” and wonder how on earth a brewski could reduce your diabetes risk. But a meta-analysis of 15 studies found that moderate alcohol consumption, including beer, may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 30 percent. There may be many factors at play, including the anti-inflammatory effects of alcohol, according to study authors. Other research in people without diabetes has found positive effects of moderate alcohol consumption on insulin and triglyceride levels. It’s important to emphasize that moderate consumption is key; overdoing it may actually increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

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Beer is a rich source of silicon, which is a key part of bone formation and maintenance in the human body. A study done by the International Journal of Endocrinology found that incorporating silicon into the diet has the potential to prevent and treat osteoporosis, especially in post-menopausal women experiencing bone loss.  Other foods that have silicon are whole grains, cereals, and some vegetables including green beans. 

The silicon found in beer can also help your brain. It protects your brain from compounds that can eventually cause cognitive diseases. There is also a study that says a compound found in hops, xanthohumol, supports neuronal cells which can help prevent neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Cheers to a long, healthy life! Now that you can answer the question, “Is beer good for you?” with a confident, “Yes!”, check out the best craft beer in every state.

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