Beer is Healthy Part 3

I know I keep bringing this up. I’m sorry. It just seems people keep coming up with healthy reasons for drinking beer. I don’t particularly think you need healthy reasons to drink beer. It is delicious, and compliments a variety of foods. The health benefits just give me a greater pieces of mind, especially since the rest of my eating is pretty healthy.

I actually found an entire website about Beer and Health. It looks like an actual symposium about the health attributes of beer.  Some of the things they talk about are pretty basic, such as how alcohol helps the cardiovascular system, delays the onset of dementia, and the beer belly probably has a lot more to do with the things you eat along with the beer than the drinking of the beer itself. One interesting thing they brought up is that beer contains high levels of well absorbed silicone which helps bone health.

One real surprise that I found very interesting is their research of beer and exercise. I have heard many times (sometimes just joking) that beer is good for exercise recovery. Meaning, eating and drinking something within about half an hour of exercise when your body is most receptive to refilling glycogen levels. I have also heard that alcohol dehydrates you, and therefore wouldn’t be a particularly good form of hydration. This site claims “Research into whether alcohol content prevented adequate recovery and/or rehydration found that neither a specific nor a negative effect could be attributed to the intake of beer compared to the intake of just water. In conclusion, at least in healthy, young adults, beer in moderate amounts is as effective as water for rehydration and recovery after exercise.” That is very exciting to me.

Beer is Healthy Part 2

If the heart healthy benefits of alcohol, or the whole grainy goodness of the ingredients weren’t a good enough reason to take up beer drinking, don’t worry, I’m not done with the health benefits yet. I was reading Runners World Magazine the other day and it looks like drinking beer prevents colds. They did a study on people who were going to run a Marathon. I know from personal experience that training for a marathon puts a huge toll on your body, and people who are training are more likely to get colds because of the stress you are putting on your system. The study had half the runners drink a beer a day for 3 weeks before the Marathon and for 2 weeks after the marathon. The beer drinks had less respiratory tract infections and more T Cells. They used non alcohol beer, so we know that the benefits didn’t come from the alcohol like with heart disease. Meaning, it was a benefit you can’t get from other alcoholic beverages. So drink your beer, eat your barley, and live a long healthy life.

Beer is Healthy

Beer is healthy. That’s right, I said it. Are you telling me that it isn’t good for you? That it will make you fat? Oh, sure pounding back 6 beers a night probably will kill you in a matter of decades, and  if you are drunk all the time, every day events become a game of Russian Roulette. And sure, drinking liquid calories is a really easy way to increase weight if not careful, but I did not say being an alcoholic was healthy, I said beer is healthy.

Recently I have decided to eliminate as many processed food as possible. When I say processed food, I mean “complete” meals that come in boxes, or have ingredients that you can’t pronounce. I don’t mean things like cheese, tofu, or especially beer which also could be considered processed, but in an older fashion. It’s not that I’m a Luddite and hate modern things. I believe that one day science will understand nutrition so completely that eating will be a separate activity than giving  your body nutrients, largely in the same way sex is now separate from having babies. The problem is that it seems clear that modern processed food isn’t healthy. Eating  it seems to lead to increased rates of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

On the basic level, beer has natural ingredients and is made by a natural process. It’s not as easy to make a wine, which can simply make itself if you have enough weight on the grapes to crush the juice out, and let the natural yeast on the skin do its job. Nevertheless, the processes involved could all be reproduced in nature.

Beer is also made from whole ingredients. You have the wonderful benefits of whole barley, and on occasion, whole wheat, rye and oats. It is much healthier for you than bread made from highly refined flours. Now of course its more like a tea made from the grains than the grains themselves so there is some nutrient left, but of course you can use spent grains in all sorts of food. You’d also be surprised how hard it is to find bread that has strange and unpronounceable ingredients. Maybe one of you knows the reason, but I don’t understand the purpose of the monogycerides and triticales, in addition to the ubiquitous corn and soy in the The Brownberry 12 grain bread. A twelve grain bread should  have flour, water, yeast, salt and 12 different whole grains.

In addition to my opinions on the healthiness of natural food, studies do seem to show that alcohol is heart healthy. Up to 5 drinks a day could be good for your heart. Although, if you do drink that much you are risking increased chances of cancer and accidents. So drink no more than 2 glasses of beer if male and 1 glass if female and live forever.