If you study history, culture, or France, you’ve probably heard about the so called “French paradox.” Basically, the French drink more wine and have more fat in their diets than any other country, but their heart disease rate is lower than in the United States. Sounds strange. There was a time when everyone thought alcohol was bad for you (think prohibition era), and many people still hold to this philosophy on some level. Today, I’ll attempt to refute this age old thinking once and for all. But first, here’s a brand new infographic I built to sum up some possible health benefits of beer:
Thanks to medical research, we can finally say that beer is good for you! Truth be told, I (like many beer drinkers) had no idea, and that’s why I decided to write this post. Most in the medical community would agree that beer has some benefits. A study from the Harokopio University in Athens hinted that drinking beer might help you stay heart healthy, like the French. Other research has made similar claims, showing how beer is just as heart healthy as wine and drinking a pint a day can make you 30% less likely to suffer from strokes, heart attacks, and heart disease. Why? Because beer loosens up your arteries within an hour of drinking. This helps your blood circulate smoothly; it’s like changing the oil in your car. Okay…maybe not quite like that.
When digging around the internet to build my case for this post, I found that Germany has the second highest beer consumption per capita. And guess what? Their average life expectancy is two years longer than America. That’s not to say that the beer is making them live longer, only that it’s not killing them. Maybe we should call it the “German Paradox.”
Beer is a good source of fiber because of the barley it is made from, although it depends on the type of beer you drink. Fiber helps keep your cholesterol down and also helps regulate blood sugar levels. It helps you stay full after you eat, so beer could actually help you lose weight (possibly). Plus, I enjoy having a good beer more than eating other sources of fiber. Luckily, beer can contain as much as 60% of your recommended daily value, so you can pass up the beans, rice, and brans and just have a beer instead.
Surprisingly, beer hydrates you even better than water in some circumstances. Oddly enough, this is in spite of the fact that alcohol is generally dehydrating. Again, that’s what they say around the block, and they have smart people backing it up. Beer isn’t recommended after workouts though, even with all its antioxidants and hydrating powers.
If nutrition is your concern, moderation is definitely the key. For men, two drinks a day is considered moderate, while one beer per day is moderate for women. So what are your thoughts?
Stay tuned for more beer blogging!