Let’s be honest, you don’t really need an excuse to drink more beer. It’s tasty, brings us all together and makes people more sociable and happy. Well, most of them at least. Beer has been around for a very long time, crazy long, like early civilization early. Given its impressive staying power, you could infer that maybe, just maybe, there are a few healthy benefits of occasionally imbibing a cold brew.

Now, before we get carried away, what we’re going talk about isn’t advocating the replacement of your water with beer (even though that would be awesome). Just like anything else, moderation is your best friend. That said, here’s a few things that will make you feel even better about popping open a cold one.

Good for the Soul

An Italian study involving over 200,000 people found that those who drank a pint of beer a day reduced their chance of getting heart disease by 31%. Yep, a healthy ticker can be fueled by a pint thanks to the natural antioxidant called phenols that can be found in beer. The study also showed that those who consumed a higher amount of beer actually raised their chances of heart disease, so moderation is key.

Good for the Brain

Yeah, you read that right, you can laugh at people who say drinking beer just kills your brain cells because researchers at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine discovered that moderate beer drinkers were 23% less likely to contract Alzheimer’s disease after looking at various studies. The reasoning is that the silicon levels in beer are believed to help protect your brain from the harmful amount of aluminum in your body.

Taking it Easy

In general, moderation is key to everything when it comes to getting health benefits out of beer. Consumption at reasonable levels does a lot to help fight off various conditions like diabetes and cancer. The natural properties of beer are good for the body and can also reduce blood pressure, strengthen bones and reduce the chances of kidney stones and strokes.

All of these benefits are maximized when beer is consumed at reasonable levels. As always, binge drinking is highly unhealthy and will not only erase these benefits, but can actually do real harm to the body. So, next time you crack open a beer after work, enjoy it. You can relax even better knowing that what you’re doing can actually keep you healthy when done right.