July 7, 2014

Beer is a health food

That beer has many health benefits was known to the ancient Greeks:

Sophocles on his philosophy of a moderate diet,  “[I recommend]… bread, meat, vegetables and beer.”
Plato, "He was a wise man who invented beer. "
Paracelsus, Greek physician, “A little bit of beer is divine medicine.”

And to our founding fathers:

Thomas Jefferson,  “Beer, if drunk in moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit and promotes health.”
Benjamin Franklin,  "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. "  

Now science is touting the benefits of beer: Full of vitamins, high in fibre, low on sugar and good for your hair

If you analysed beer you would  be amazed at how many super-nutrients there are in it,’ says Dr Stephan Domenig, medical director of The Original F.X. Mayr Health Centre in Austria. ‘Beer contains  all of the essential – and many of the non-essential – amino acids.’
As well as these protein-building blocks and minerals including phosphorus, iodine, magnesium and potassium, beer is rich in calcium  so could benefit your bones. 
A study by Tufts University in the United States in 2009 found that moderate beer consumption can protect bone mineral density.

For years Guinness was even prescribed to pregnant women due to its high Vitamin B content. ‘It’s  now recommended that pregnant women avoid alcohol but other  people could benefit,’ says nutritionist Vicki Edgson.

While high in vitamins, beer is actually low in sugar, high levels of which have been linked to diabetes and obesity. ...
‘Compared with soft drinks, it  will give less of a blood sugar  spike,’ says nutritionist Dr Kathryn O’Sullivan, who last year carried  out a scientific review of beer. ‘Beer is about 93 per cent water so it’s quite hydrating.’

In fact, moderate beer consumption may even help prevent diabetes. A 2010 study of more than 38,000 men in the US found that when men who rarely drank beer increased their consumption to one or two glasses a day, after four years their risk of type 2 diabetes fell by 25 per cent.

And despite the threat of a so-called ‘beer belly’, a study of nearly 2,000 regular beer drinkers by the University of London concluded it’s unlikely that moderate intake is associated with large weight gain.
Drinking beer increases the production of bile, which helps us to digest fatty food,’ says Dr Domenig. Beer is a rich source of fibre – two glasses provide between ten and  30 per cent of our recommended requirement. Fibre is known to help keep us full and ward off hunger.

Although beer drinking is usually associated with brain fog, research suggests it might help prevent Alzheimer’s. The disease, which affects almost 500,000 people in the UK, has been linked to high levels  of aluminium, but the silicon in beer may offset the damage.
A 2008 study published in the journal Food And Chemical Toxicology found the silicon was able to reduce aluminium uptake in the digestive tract and slow the accumulation of the metal in the body and brain tissue. But beware of overdoing it:  a University College London study warned that men drinking more than two pints a day could suffer memory loss.

Beer could also help heart health. A 2013 study at Harokopio University in Athens found it boosted the flexibility of the arteries. Scientists measured the cardiovascular health of non-smoking men under 35 two hours after drinking 400ml of beer and compared that with drinking vodka or alcohol-free beer. While all three drinks had some beneficial effect on the stiffness of arteries, beer had the greatest benefit.

Beer can raise good cholesterol too. ‘The main component that helps protect the heart is alcohol, which raises “good” HDL-cholesterol and has other benefits,’ says Dr R. Curtis Ellison, professor of medicine and public health at the Boston University School of Medicine.

 Toasting-With-Beer-Mugs-With-Sky-In-Background

Posted by Jill Fallon at July 7, 2014 4:13 PM | Permalink