It's a common complaint that everything we enjoy in life will kill us eventually — but I have good news for the booze lovers in the crowd: There are actually a surprising number of health benefits to beer, so if you enjoy a little tipple every now and again, that's your cue to go ahead and enjoy it. Not only that, but now we've got a handy guide to the myriad ways beer can be good for you in the form of an infographic from lifestyle blog Fix. The key, of course, is — as with pretty much everything else in life — moderation.
I'm willing to bet that the most significant finding for most people identified here is the one that says drinking beer can extend your life: According to a study published in 2010 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, moderate drinkers outlive those who abstain from alcohol entirely. The study, which followed 1,824 participants between 55 and 65 years of age for 20 years, saw the deaths of 69 percent of the abstainers during the course of the study — but the deaths of only only 41 percent of the moderate drinkers. Weirdly enough, heavy drinkers did slightly better than the abstainers, too, with 61 percent passing away during the study's 20-year span.
Of course, though, we always have to remember that correlation is not causation; the correlation is there, but that doesn't mean that the booze itself is necessarily the reason for the longer lifespans of the moderate and heavy drinkers. As WIRED pointed out at the time of the study's publication, it's worth considering the cultural history of drinking: First, drinking alcohol has historically been a method of relaxation; and second, it's also often a social occasion. We know that chronic stress is terrible for us, so if booze helps us relax, then it stands to reason that we'll see some health benefits from it. Furthermore, regular socializing has also been tied to healthier lifestyles and longer lives — so if booze is also a way to get to together with other people, there are even more health benefits to be drawn from it in that capacity.
The bottom line? Drinking more beer isn't necessarily the direct answer to improving your health — but some of the things associated with it might help out a little. Check out the full infographic below for more.