Yep, you read that headline right. I’ll admit it, the Hound has always enjoyed kicking back with a nice cold one! I recently had the pleasure of touring a local brew pub, and got an inside look at what really goes into making this golden beverage: hops, malted barley, yeast — all natural and actually quite healthy ingredients. So I thought to myself, as we approached the Memorial Day weekend, and the kick-off to the “Beer and Backyard Barbecue” season, there has to be more to this amber nectar than its much maligned rep for beer bellies! Turned out I was absolutely right! So take heart guys (and gals) there really are many ways that beer is good for you!
Just as wine drinkers were thrilled a few years back, when reports came out that red wine has many positive health benefits, now it’s beer drinkers turn. Recent research indicates that drinking beer can be at least as healthy as consuming red wine, maybe even more so.
Who knew there was so much virtue flowing deep within those tasty rivers of amber goodness? It has been shown that beer can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. I’ll drink to that!
These findings about the health benefits of beer, were announced at the recent International Conference on Beer and Nutrition, held in Copenhagen. Other health benefits of drinking beer announced at the Conference included:
- Beer can lower the risk of osteoporosis, especially in women who have passed menopause.
- Hops contain a number of nutrients that appear to prevent a variety of diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, obesity and depression.
- Beer can reduce your risk of kidney stones. The hops help slowdown the release of calcium from the bones. Calcium build up in the blood can lead to the formation of kidney stones. And, as any beer drinker knows, “you don’t buy beer, you just rent it.” All those trips to the rest room is because beer is a bit of a diuretic, which helps clear out those kidneys.
Beer also contains many vitamins and nutrients. It is very high in silicon, which strengthens bones, and this is why beer can help to prevent osteoporosis. In addition, depending on the brew, a 12-ounce beer averages around 1gram of fiber, and is loaded with B vitamins including niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, riboflavin, and vitamins B6 and B12
Now, hold on before you go and have yourself a “Kegger.” Like the consumption of any alcoholic beverage, even one with proven health benefits such as beer, or red wine, MODERATION is the key. The scientists at the conference suggested no more than three 12oz. glasses of beer a day for men, no more than 2 for women, and to space that consumption out. In other words, downing 5 beers one after the other in the span of one Karaoke Night is a definite “no-no.” But spaced out over time, maybe three beers a day can keep the doctor away!
Benjamin Franklin has often been misquoted as offering this wonderful bit of wisdom, Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. While I too love the quote, there is no proof that Franklin actually ever said it! However, there is a lot of proof that beer, in moderation, is actually healthy, so drink up – and to quote another famous beer enthusiast – “Stay thirsty my friends.”
Cheers and hope you had a happy and healthy Memorial Day!