One Good Reason to Have a Beer Today

A beer a day may help keep the doctor away.

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Photo by David Bishop Inc./Getty Images

Heading to Happy Hour tonight might actually be good for you. A compound found in beer hops may ward off Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, according to new research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

The compound, xanthohumol (Xn), is an antioxidant, protecting brain cells from oxidative damage, which is commonly linked to the onset of both diseases.

Xn may also help prevent many types of cancer, according to an earlier study. And while putting on the beer goggles can be hazardous to your health, having a drink every now and then may help your eyes. Occasional, but light, drinkers had a six percent less chance of developing visual impairment than people who hadn't had a drink for at least a year, according to a study published in the journal Ophthalmology.

Although wine often takes all of the glory, drinking beer moderately (defined as one drink per day for women and two for men, according to the CDC) offers many of the same health benefits. It may lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and stroke, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can even make you think more creatively, a recent study shows.