Health Benefits of Beer
First, please be sure to read our disclaimer at the bottom of the page regarding the contents and opinions expressed in this article. Now that we got that out of the way we can begin. We’ve pretty much all heard about this miraculous beverage we know as beer, it has saved the lives of many from starvation “Liquid Bread,” some people call it, this could be the world’s first health drink. [more…]
A Mother’s Milk
Some doctors in countries across the pond, do actually prescribe beer to lactating mothers. For example, in Ireland they advise mothers to drink stouts, you know which one in particular I am talking about, yup…Guinness™. In Denmark, at least back in the 70’s, the strongly recommended the consumption of Carlsberg Elephant™, a malt liquor. My own mother drank it when I was nursing, guess that explains a lot.
There are polysaccharides in barley malt which seems to stimulate prolactin, which helps moms make more milk. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), recommends not doing this, because alcohol can hamper milk production, though they go on to say that a drink now and again is okay. Personally, I’m going to side with the Europeans on this one, though, if you are lactating and you don’t want to risk anything, there are non-alcoholic beers and barley malt beverages out there.
Boosting Brain Power
Wow, when I read some of the studies on this one, I ran right to my wife and told her that this is why I should drink beer more often. “But you work at a brewery!” some people say to me. Well, I have actually decreased my alcohol intake and do drink in moderation.
A study from the University of Illinois in Chicago found that men who drink a few beers were better at solving brainteasers than their sober counterparts. The researchers who oversaw these test subjects, invented their own game to perform the study.
They had to do a few word association exercises. Half the men drank two pints, while the others got nothing. The beer drinkers got 40% more of the problems than their opponents. The men who drank beer finished the problems faster than the sober players.
The beer drinkers needed about 12 seconds while the non-drinkers needed 15.5 seconds or longer. Wow, good enough for me, and to think it has been thought that alcohol impairs logical thought. Okay, it does, but we’re not talking about binge drinking an high gravity beers. I’ve joked before that if a nagging significant other scolds you for drinking a beer or two while watching television, just tell them, “Shhh…I’m studying.”
Beer isn’t just for the guys brains, it also has benefits for older women. In moderation, it can help decrease mental decline. The finding: older women who consumed moderate amounts scored better on cognitive tests. This suggests that it can do what is says according to this study’s claim.
People who drink moderate amounts of beer and other alcoholic beverages, are less likely to to suffer from heart disease according to a 2008 Journal of the American Dietetic Association article. It is thought that alcohol thins the blood a bit making it less sticky so you’re less likely to clot by increasing levels of “good” HDL cholesterol while lowering the bad LDL cholesterol. I’m living proof, it lowered my bad cholesterol.
A Good Source of Fiber
Beer has these beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber, said to improve heart health by lowering cholesterol levels (see above). A 12 ounce bottle of lager has about 0.75 grams of fiber while the same amount of darker beers have about 1.3 grams. Think about that the next time you sit in front of your Cheerios™ in the morning. I worked with a guy back when I was an apprentice shoe maker, every morning he brought in what he called his morning nutritional supplement. It was a thick drink comprised of stout, a raw egg, and some powdered oatmeal.
Be Kind to Your Kidneys, Drink Beer
In the Winter 2011 edition of the ADA Times, an article claimed that a beer could help reduce the risk of getting kidney stones. Researchers found that beer lowered the risk of kidney stones in men especially, compared to other alcoholic beverages. Could it be possibly due to its high water content and diuretic effect? Most beers, excluding the high ABV beers, contain anywhere from 89-99% water.
Hops may also slow the release of calcium from bone that is implicated in kidney stones. You can check out the article I wrote on hops by clicking here.
Wow, I’m almost overwhelmed, wait till I show my wife my blog entry. Bones too? Yup, a few beers a day could actually make them stronger. My favorite beverage is rich in silicon, which is found in several foods and drinks, which has been linked to stronger bones.
Tufts University conducted study, it stated that men who drank between a couple of beers a day had hip bone densities 3 1/2 times greater than those who completely swear off alcohol.
Not Without its Dangers
We all know the negative side of drinking. I won’t even get into a car until I’ve sobered up, and the only thing that helps you sober up is time. Those supposed cures for drunkenness, don’t buy the hype. Try going to an Alcohol Awareness class and they’ll tell you the very same thing. Don’t drink and drive.
For legal purposes, we have to add a disclaimer. The TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) also frowns upon medial claims. We urge you to drink in moderation.
GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.
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