Beer is (kind of) good for you
by Irina Vishnevskaya, Tastemaker in Residence
Poor beer has always gotten a bad rap for its beer belly inducing good-ness, and I actually have no intention of getting on a soap box right now and telling you that that a pint will beat your morning multi vitamin or that it’s basically as beneficial as breast milk or a green smoothie. It’s not.
The truth of the matter is beer is an alcoholic beverage and as such it must be consumed in moderation or else, well, you know the consequences. But what’s important to understand is that beer is actually a completely natural product, so drinking it (in moderation!) does have certain benefits. And you’re definitely better off drinking a beer instead of a sugary cocktail or a soda.
Vitamin B powerhouse
During my time at the helm of the brewery/ restaurant in Hungary, I was a vegetarian. And at the time, every doctor I visited was convinced that I needed to be taking Vitamin B12 supplements (because this trickster is only found naturally in animal products). So each time, they’d order a blood test and my body would prove them wrong- my B12 levels were in great, in fact in excellent shape. The reason, I realized much later, was beer. A typical glass of beer contains a range of B complex vitamins, including B1, B2, B6 and B12. In fact, a study found that beer drinkers had 30% higher vitamin B6 levels than their non-drinking counterparts, and levels that were twice as high as wine drinkers. Vitamin B levels are really something to care about: there are 8 of them and they play a vital role in keeping our bodies running like well- oiled machines, helping convert food into fuel and staying energized throughout the day, as well as promoting healthy skin and preventing memory loss. For more information on each specific B complex vitamin, reference my best friend and personal assistant: Google.
According to a recent study, each bottle of beer consumed reduces the risk of developing kidney stones by 40%. The increased fluid intake helps to keep kidneys functioning properly (flushing), and the hops in beer are responsible for slowing the release of calcium from the bone- which is then absorbed by the kidneys and forms into painful stones. If you’ve ever seen anyone suffer though a bout of kidney stone movement you know how valuable any ounce of prevention on this front can be.
A study has shown that women who drink three to five beer per week had a 31% lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis compared to women who abstained from drinking beer. This is just a fact. I can’t find any logical explanation for it; just believe science.
Canadian researchers have found that a single daily beer- particularly if it’s a stout or a lager- increases antioxidant activity that is vital for stopping cataracts from forming in the eyes. But beware, the opposite happens when over three beers are consumed per day. Told ya so; modesty is key.
Listen up, this fun fact blew me away: putting your meat in a marinade of beer can eliminate almost 70% of the carcinogens (cancer-causers) found in meat. Careful, this doesn’t transfer to drinking beer while you eat meat, you actually have to soak your pre-cooked meat in beer. But hey, that only makes it more delicious.
And remember, to get the optimum health benefits from beer (and maximum enjoyment) aim for drinking unfiltered and unpasteurized beer- this kind of beer is unadulterated and has the maximum amount of the right kind of ingredients.
Cheers to your health; till next time.