Is Dark Beer Good For Your Health?

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You probably don’t drink beer for the sole purpose of bettering your health. Most of us sip on a cold one for its delicious flavor and the fact that it gives us a nice buzz. But, as we’ve explored before, beer actually does provide some pretty great health benefits. Dark beer in particular has been found to be healthy in ways that other types of beer aren’t. Let’s take a look at how dark beer can actually be good for you. That is, as long as you drink it in moderation.

How is Dark Beer Good for You?

Beer in general has been found to have some awesome health benefits, like reducing your chance of developing kidney stones. But any old beer can help you out in those ways. What can dark beer in particular do for you? Let’s take a look:

Reduce your risk of developing cataracts

Dark beer is packed with antioxidants – more so than lighter beers. Researchers in Canada and the United States found that beer, especially darker varieties like stouts and ales, was found to reduce cataracts by as much as 50 percent in animal studies. Your eyes will thank you.

Reduce heart problems

Antioxidants don’t just help your eyes. They also benefit the most important muscle in your body: your heart. The same researchers who discovered dark beer’s effect on cataracts found that dark beer may also reduce the risk of atherosclerosis by 50 percent. Atherosclerosis is a disease that involves plaque building up inside your arteries, potentially causing a heart attack, stroke or death.

John D. Folts, PhD, professor in medicine and director of coronary thrombosis research laboratory at the University of Wisconsin, told WebMd that dark beer may help prevent blood clots due to its antioxidants. If that doesn’t persuade you to choose dark beer over light, we don’t know what will.

Provide your body with iron

Though you may not know it, iron is an incredibly important nutrient for your body. It keeps you energized and helps you maintain healthy cells, skin, hair, and nails. The CDC reports that iron deficiency is the most common form of nutritional deficiency. That’s where dark beer comes in.

According to a study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, dark beers have the highest amount of free iron concentration than any other beer. They are essentially packed with iron due to minor ingredients. I’ll drink to that!

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Carla Lauter was the founder of The Beer Babe and has been a beer blogger and expert for several decades. She's been interviewed in beer publications and podcasts about her favorite brews and the craft brewing scene. While she's ceased her involvement with The Beer Babe, her legacy remains in the various reviews and articles she has written.