Saturday, April 4, 2009

Brewtrution 101

One of the things I've missed out on since becoming pregnant with Baby #2 is the occasional brew. I recently visited my home state of Missouri with my husband and when we went out for dinner, I was eager to suggest a nice local brew for him to try. Oh how I miss that Schlafly from my days in St. Louis.

I am often asked which is better -- wine or beer? My answer...there are benefits to both {in moderation}, but since wine already gets so much attention, my focus today is all about the brew. Most research results support the health benefits of beer when consumed in moderation, so I think you'd benefit from knowing what moderation means when it comes to beer. One drink is12 oz and moderate consumption is 1 drink/day for women and 2 drinks/day for men. Anymore than that and research shows that the health benefits start to decline while health risks, such as high blood pressure, stroke, obesity and breast cancer, increase.

So, what are the potential benefits of {moderate} consumption?
  • A few studies suggest that beer may actually reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke. The risk reduction occurs in several possible ways. 1) Beer may help raise HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol) and lower LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels. 2) Antioxidants, such as melatonin and ferulic acid, found in beer may also play a role in decreasing heart disease risk. 3) A few studies have demonstrated that moderate beer consumption may help lower homocysteine levels in the blood. High blood homocysteine levels have been associated with increased risk for heart disease. 4) Some research also suggests that beer may lessen blood clot formation and inflammation of the blood vessels.
  • Drinking beer may help increase bone mineral density.
  • It may improve mental health.
  • Studies show that moderate consumption may also lengthen one's lifespan as well as enhance the health-related quality of life.
So, there you have it. If you've ever wondered, now you know. Please note that I am not advising that anyone who does not currently drink alcohol to start drinking to achieve these potential benefits; however, if you do imbibe, there are numerous potential benefits to doing so in moderation.


*Please note that there are certain instances in which consumption of alcohol is not advised: women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant; individuals taking certain prescription or over-the-counter meds that may interact with alcohol; alcohol abusers or recovering alcoholics; those under 21 years of age; someone with medical conditions that can be worsened by alcohol consumption; or anyone planning to drive or perform activities that require skill, coordination, and alertness.


Samantha said...[Reply to comment]

So then the big question is.... which is better for you, light or dark brew?

My Dad swears by light {less calories}, but Ben swears by dark {better tasting, according to him}.

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