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Is Beer Healthier Than Wine?

By MoodMe
We’ve all heard a lot about the supposed health benefits of a daily glass of red wine. It is not only rich in antioxidants, but wine is also said to improve heart health, reduce cholesterol, regulate blood sugar and more. Most of us have heard decidedly less about the “health benefits” of beer. While long thought of as one of the most unhealthy drink choices, studies are beginning to prove these long-held assumptions wrong. The question becomes, is wine truly healthier than beer, or could the opposite actually be true? We set out to find out.

What’s in a Beer?

To start, you might be surprised at all of the minerals and nutrients that can actually be found in a can of beer. Most notably, beer contains more selenium, folate, niacin, phosphorus, and vitamin B than wine does. Beer is also a source of fiber, protein, silicon and gut-health promoting probiotics. Beer, like wine, also provides antioxidants that combat free-radicals (twice as many as white wine but about half as many as red wine to be specific). However, the specific antioxidants contained in beer are smaller molecules than those found in wine and tend to be more readily absorbed by the body.

Beer Drinking Benefits

It’s one thing to merely list off the components found in beer, but quite another to actually list out their potential benefits. Those ingredients not only make for a more “nutritious” drink, but also may help lower bad cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease, increase bone density, reduce stress, ease anxiety and combat insomnia. The hops in beer may even have a hand in staving off obesity.  

The Downside of Beer

Here’s the thing, though: the calories in beer can add up quickly. A can of beer has roughly 180 calories, some 50% more than a small glass of wine. For the most part this difference comes down to mostly empty calories with little nutritional value. While there are a variety of low-carb and light beer options to choose from, beer might not be the best choice if you are struggling with weight loss or weight maintenance. Also, as with any alcoholic beverage, there is always the chance for negative effects like hangovers from over indulging or even alcohol dependence.

So, which drink is actually healthier? Beer is definitely the more nutritious of the two, thanks to its protein and fiber content - but it doesn’t actually contain enough of these ingredients that makes it a substitute for real food. Wine boasts its higher levels of antioxidants and polyphenols which are great for heart health and can potentially provide some anti-aging benefits, but, as with beer, it's probably better to up our antioxidant consumption through whole foods. Since moderate drinking of any alcohol is linked to better heart health, lower cholesterol, and even better mental wellbeing, and you probably aren’t drinking for the health benefits anyway, you might as well drink what you enjoy.

Now That's A Mood: Fun & Responsible Drinking

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