Weekly Wellness July 2, 2018

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COLUMBIA - In the past, I’ve done segments on the health benefits of wine and coffee, items that sometimes are considered health-related contraband. Beer could probably be added to that list, too. So now, we’re going to focus on the positive aspects of that cool refreshing beverage.

Decreases the risk of heart disease: Like wine, beer can also help reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering inflammation in the body, thinning the blood and preventing clots.

Increases good cholesterol: Beer can lead to higher levels of high-density lipoprotein (aka good cholesterol). Good cholesterol helps to remove the bad cholesterol and plaque in the arteries.

Strengthens your bones: Beer contains dietary silicone, which supports bone health and development. A number of studies have found that beer drinkers have increased bone density.

Boosts nutrients: Beer contains a number of nutrients due to their ingredients. Wheat, maize, rice, fruits and spices can contain ingestible soluble fiber, iron, potassium and magnesium.

Reduces the risk of kidney stones: Beer is 90 percent water. A study in Finland found that drinking a bottle of beer every day can reduce the risk of kidney stones by up to 40 percent.

Reduces the risk of stroke: Blood flow improves after drinking alcohol. So it has the ability to thin the blood and prevent small clots that can block arteries. This can reduce your risk of ischaemic strokes by 25 - 40 percent.

Lowers risk of diabetes: A Harvard study found that middle-aged men were able to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by moderately increasing their alcohol consumption, which in turn boosted their insulin sensitivity.

Improves eye health: The antioxidants found in ales and stouts can help protect your eyes by preventing mitochondrial damage. According to a study from University of Western Ontario, one beer a day can minimize this risk.

Boosts mental health: Merely tasting a beer can increase the amount of dopamine in the brain, leaving you feel more relaxed.

Minimizes cancer risk: Beer contains a flavonoid compound (from the hops) that is an antioxidant shown to potentially reduce prostate and breast cancer risk.