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International Beer Day Special: Benefits of Beer

History is testimony to the fact that many great men were fond of hops and grains and the brew called beer. Plato, Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln were all partial to it.

The brew is an immensely popular drink in many countries. Only water and tea are more preferred drinks over it. And it is a partial myth that beer is a reason for pot-bellied and obese people. It has a lot of nutritional value as well despite it being a mild-alcoholic beverage because it is brewed from cereal grains. So on International Beer Day, I would like to clear the myths that beer is a villain in the lives of people who want to lose weight.

As with any other food or beverage, moderation is the key to beer. The drink has protein, Vitamin B and potent antioxidants. It also has minerals which boost the metabolism. Before I venture into what are the health benefits one can get from that pint, I would like to insist that don’t go overboard with it.

Health Benefits 

  1. Prevents Cancer – Hops is used to brew beer and it has flavonoids which play a major role in the prevention of cancer. The grains used for fermentation provide polyphenols which are also effective in preventing cancer.
  2. Protects Heart – The prevention of formation of a compound called homocysteine due to Vitamin B6 found in Beer protects the heart. Beer thins the blood which effectively prevents clots from forming. Hence, blockages in the coronary arteries also do not take place. Risk of inflammation is also reduced if the beer is consumed in moderation.
  3. Increases Bone Density – Risk of fractures and osteoporosis also decrease with moderate intake of beer.
  4. Controls Diabetes – It has been found that those who drink beer in moderation have a lower prevalence of Type 2 diabetes.
  5. Prevents Anaemia – Beer has Vitamin B12and folic acid which prevent anaemia and helps in concentration and normal physical growth.
  6. Lowers Blood Pressure – Beer relaxes those who drink it in moderation thereby keeping their blood pressure in check.
  7. Delays Aging – Vitamin E is an important antioxidant found in the body which keeps the skin healthy and young. The potency and impact of Vitamin E are increased by moderate consumption of beer.
  8. Prevents Gallstones – Beer lowers cholesterol levels and bile concentration thereby reducing the risk of developing gallstones.
  9. Prevents Dementia – Good cholesterol gets a boost through regular and moderate consumption of beer which reduces the risk of dementia and cardiovascular diseases.
  10. Improves Digestion – Beer stimulates digestive properties through gastrin, gastric acid, choleocystokinin and pancreatic enzymes.
  11. Reduces Risk of Kidney Stones – Beer contains potassium and magnesium which prevents the formation of kidney stones. It also has silicon which prevents osteoporosis.
  12. Stress Buster – Beer reduces stress and facilitates sleep.
  13. Diuretic Quality – The diuretic quality of beer increases removal of toxins and waste materials from the body through urination.
  14. Cleanses Gastrointestinal Tract – Beer has a lot of soluble fibres which keeps the digestive tracts clean.

Conclusion

Beer is definitely good for health but moderation is the key. It contains a lot of nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, fluoride and silicon as well as soluble fibres. Dietary silicon boosts bone health and prevents osteoporosis. Moderate drinking of beer improves good cholesterol, reduces the risk of Type-2 diabetes and also boosts cognitive and psychological health. It reduces stress and increases the feeling of well-being. However, imbibing more alcohol like binge drinking in any form reverses the benefits. Beer can be used to cook too for it enhances the flavour of the dish by incorporating the subtle and sweet flavours from the hops and malt. It has been found that less alcohol is retained if the dish is cooked for a longer time. The effect of the alcohol is different from person to person. It depends on the quantity and quality of alcohol, frequency of drinking, age, health and family history.

 

Text by Avni Kaul 

Avni Kaul, Founder of Nutri Activania, believes in a holistic approach to optimal living and considers other wellness factors such as sleep, exercise, environmental exposures, and stress levels to create an individualized nutrition plan. She does not believe in gimmicks or starvation plans. Which is why she insists on being called a ‘wellness coach’ and not just a ‘dietitian’.

 

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are entirely of the author and do not represent those of The Humming Notes. 

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