Enjoy A Light Beer On A Hot Day

By Dr Harold Gunatillake - Health Writer

Beer is commonly made from a recipe of water, grain (barley), hops, and yeast. Malted barley is the most common carbohydrate source that is usually flavoured with hops, which add bitterness, balances the sweetness of the malt and acts as a preservative. Finally, brewers yeast ferments the brew into alcohol.

Drinking beer every day
Doctors have suggested that drinking up to a pint of beer a day is good for the health and can reduce the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.

Lose weight
Moderate consumption could even help people lose weight if combined with a healthy diet. Beer pot bellies are due to drinking beer excessively. Something that beer lovers should know is the fact that beer can provide the same health benefits as wine. Whatever ale or lager beer you drink in moderation (up to 2 drinks a day can and will reduce your chances of stroke, as well as heart and vascular disease).

Sports people, like the cricketers, rugby players, and golfers, all enjoy a few schooners of beer at the end of the game, to replace ones electrolytes and water, proving the health benefits of beer.

Dr Margo A. Denke, an Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Texas South-western Medical School, believes that beer as a more beneficial alcoholic drink than spirits because beer contains many more nutrients per serving, such as protein and B-vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, cadmium and iron. She found that one to two beers a day provides 14 percent of dietary calories, 11 percent of dietary protein, 12 percent of dietary carbohydrates, nine percent of dietary phosphorus, seven percent of dietary riboflavin and five percent of dietary niacin.

Cancer preventer
A compound found only in hops, which is used to make beer, has been discovered as benefits of beer to prevent cancer. Of course we all know that hops are an ingredient in beer and therefore Xanthohumol has high hopes of making beer a new anti-cancer drug.

Xanthohumol flavonoids have been tested and its use is hoped to be a preventative treatment against prostate and colon cancer and even may be a form of hormone therapy for women.

Reducing chance of heart disease
Another benefit of beer is that its drinkers have higher levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, often called the "good" cholesterol, which is a protective form of blood fat. They also had lower levels of fibrinogen, a protein that promotes blood clots, as well as elevated levels of other molecules (platelets) that prevent the clotting and stickiness of blood cells.

The April 18, 2001 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that found that drinkers of beer and other alcohol had a lower risk of dying from a heart attack. The study, led by Dr. Kenneth J.Mukamal of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, studied 1,913 patients at 45 hospitals between1989-1994. Each patient had been hospitalized with a heart attack. The report concluded that moderate drinkers had 32 percent lower risk of dying from a heart attack than those who didn't drink alcohol. Another study conducted by Dr. Monique M.B. Breteler of the Erasmus University Medical School in Rotterdam, the Netherlands found that its moderate consumption reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke."

Beer is better than milk
It is reported by David J. Hanson, Ph.D. that beer is indeed better than milk for health, as are both wine and distilled spirits. Not only do beer, wine and spirits all have fewer calories and less sodium than in milk, but also none has any fat or cholesterol, with which milk is loaded. And while milk is associated with weight gain, alcohol beverages are not. But there is one important difference. You can drink all the milk you want before driving – not so with alcohol.

Reduction in Kidney stones
A Finnish-U.S. study of beer-drinking published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 1999 stated that an increase in beer consumption may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. Results showed that there was a 40 percent lower risk of kidney stones in beer drinkers, but the researchers were stumped as to whether the benefits of beer results were due to water, alcohol or hops.

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