Don’t be afraid to go a little overboard this 4th of July, because you’ll be doing your heart a favor. Researchers from Greece’s Harokopio University have found that beer is good for the heart.
Okay, so you shouldn’t go overboard. But drinking a pint of beer every day could improve the health of your heart, researchers said. Scientists found that blood flow to the heart improves within a few hours of drinking beer, and that the effect is more powerful than drinking anything else.
Arteries also become more flexible and blood flow there similarly improved.
Alcohol-free beer does not produce the same effect, by the way.
The recent findings support other studies that have suggested that moderate beer consumption can prevent heart disease. This study, however, is believed to be the first that actually looks at what happens to the heart and cardiovascular system immediately after beer is consumed.
A few other things: Hard alcohol doesn’t seem to have the same effect. Researchers believe that the combination of alcohol and antioxidants in beer might be the key pieces to the drink’s healthy effects. Darker beers like stouts and ales are better for the heart, as well.
In Britain, the average person drinks 130 pints of beer a year, but heart disease is still the country’s biggest killer. Roughly 270,000 people a year have a heart attack, and one in three of them die before they even reach the hospital.
Heart disease is usually attributed to other lifestyle choices like fatty diets, lack of exercise and smoking.
Excess alcohol consumption might increase the dangers of heart disease, but there isn’t much by way of concrete science on that yet. But take heart – moderate beer and wine consumption is good for you.
Will you be downing a pint of beer for your heart this 4th of July?
[Image via: Jill Chen / Shutterstock]