Beer: It’s Good for You

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We’ve got plenty of ideas and info on tap to keep a brew enthusiast happy and–who knew?–healthy. 

The sudsy stuff is one of the world’s oldest prepared beverages, possibly dating back to the early Neolithic Age (9,500 BC) as found in the written history of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia; Contrary to what anyone who’s ever spent time near a fraternity house might think, some historians speculate that beer may have been instrumental in the formation of civilizations.

good beer for healthDespite its reputation as a belly builder (many standard American lagers actually have fewer calories per glass than most mixed drinks and about the same as wine), the health benefits of beer–when enjoyed in moderation–are many:

  • Beer has been proven effective in preventing cancer. A flavonoid compound, Xanthohumol found in hops used in brewing beer has been identified to play a major role in prevention of cancer, including prostate cancer.
  • Beer contains vitamin B6 which protects against heart disease by preventing the build-up of a compound called homocysteine. Moderate beer consumption also reduces the risk of inflammation, the cause for atherosclerosis.
  • Moderate beer consumption is shown to increase bone density, preventing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
  • Beer consumption also boosts the level of “good cholesterols,” which reduces the risk of dementia and coronary disease.
  • Beer is shown to possess a number of digestion-aiding properties, including stimulation of gastrin, gastric acid, cholecystokinin and pancreatic enzymes.
  • Beer increases the potency of vitamin E which is a major antioxidant in the body; apart from being vital in maintenance of healthy skin it counteracts the aging process.
  • Beer is a good source of vitamin B12 and folic acid, the deficiency of which may lead to anemia. Vitamin B12 is also essential for maintaining normal growth, good memory and concentration.
  • Studies have linked moderate beer consumption to lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes.
  • Regular consumption of moderate levels of beer affects the cholesterol levels and decreases bile concentration leading to reduced risk for development of gallstones.
  • The silicon present in beer is readily absorbed by the body, explaining the protective effect of beer against osteoporosis.
  • Regular beer drinkers have been found to have lower levels of blood pressure, compared to people consuming similar amounts of wine or other spirits.

Beer and BBQ

In addition to being a refreshing beverage, beer makes a good meat tenderizer due to its slight acidity, so you can marinate dad’s favorite grilled goodies in it–beer won’t change the meat’s flavor at all. Whether it’s pork chops, beef tenderloin or T-bone steak, place his favorite cuts in a plastic container, add salt and spices, and pour a pilsner or an ale over the meat; cover it up and leave it overnight in your fridge. Then simply put the meat on a grill or baking pan and pour the marinade over it while grilling or baking.

More beer facts and cool ways to enjoy a cold one:

Twenty informative and awesome beer facts from The Oatmeal.

The growler is a decidedly old-school method of beer transport that’s catching on with the microbrew movement; it’s sustainable, convenient and gives your lager legs (Green Upgrader).

This giant walk-in beer cave may wind up on next Father’s Day’s wish list (Cool Things).

More stuff you can do with beer (Men’s Health).

Check out our guide to green, healthy grilling.

 

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