Beer is a healthy drink that provides very interesting nutritional properties. Know its benefits, how many calories it contributes and its nutritional contribution.
The beer has become one of the most popular alcoholic beverages consumed, not only for its distinctive flavor and great power refreshing, but by the different nutritional qualities and benefits it brings. Of course, we must not forget that it is an alcoholic drink, so its consumption should always be moderate and never excessive.
That said, it is true that, from a nutritional point of view, it is not the same to drink wine or beer as other alcoholic beverages, such as rum or spirits, which contain a higher alcohol content. In fact, the latter tend to contain a high content of alcohol, harmful to the body when taken in excess, and in addition to containing only empty calories, they do not provide any essential nutrients to our body.
Thus, we can talk, for example, about the different benefits of wine that the best broths give us, we can find that it is a heart-healthy drink, which taken in moderation (maximum 1 glass of wine a day, and as long as it is not contraindicated) is extremely rich in polyphenols, a group of antioxidants that help prevent cardiovascular diseases and cancer, as well as improve arthritis and reduce hypertension. In addition, it is especially useful in case of high cholesterol, improves blood circulation in the brain and increases estrogen levels.
But, we repeat, any drink that contains alcohol is not beneficial for health, since despite the fact that they can provide us with nutritional benefits, the effects of alcohol on our body do not precisely compensate for these qualities. However, this time we want to inquire about what properties beer gives us.
What is beer?
The beer is also a nutritious drink, which provides interesting nutritional benefits. Of course, as long as it is consumed in moderation and its consumption is not abusive (many nutritionists advise drinking a glass of beer a day).
It basically consists of an alcoholic drink with a bitter taste that is made with water, barley, yeast and hops. The starch of the germinated barley grains is fermented in yeast water, to finally be flavored with hops.
It has an alcohol content that ranges between 3% and 9%, although there are beers that can reach around 30% vol.
What are the ingredients with which the beer is made?
There are basically 4 ingredients with which beer is traditionally made. Do you want to know what they are?
- Water: It is the main element, since it makes up about 90% of this drink, and without it, beer would not exist. The flavor of this will depend on the water used in its preparation, although the ideal is that the water used is rich in calcium, chlorides and sulphates.
- Barley: It is the ingredient that adds color and body to the beer. To use it, it is first moistened, dried and toasted in different degrees (which later influences its organoleptic properties; that is, flavor, aroma and color).
- Yeast: There is no doubt that brewer’s yeast provides incredible benefits for our health. In this case, yeast is also a fundamental ingredient, since it has the peculiarity of converting fermentable sugars into carbon dioxide and alcohol.
- Hops: It is essential when it comes to promoting the activity of the malting yeast, and is the “culprit” of its delicious bitter taste. In addition, it helps to preserve it better.
All the benefits of beer
A very nutritious drink
Not counting its alcohol content, beer is made with hops, barley, yeast, malt and water, all ingredients that make it a nutritious and healthy drink.
For example, from a nutritional point of view, beer is very rich in B vitamins, especially the presence of folic acid (also known as vitamin B9).
It also provides interesting amounts of minerals, among which we find especially calcium and magnesium. However, its mineral contribution depends directly on the water used in its preparation.
On the other hand, did you know that beer is also rich in fiber and antioxidants? Fiber, in fact, is essential as you will surely know for the proper functioning of our intestinal transit, in addition to helping us in the prevention of constipation. Whereas, antioxidants are especially recommended when it comes to preventing the negative action of free radicals.
Interesting heart-healthy benefits
The beer is a drink that is made with healthy ingredients, as in the case of the hops, barley, yeast and malt, as I commented in the previous section.
This means that beer is a heart-healthy drink, helping in a very positive way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, as well as to lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. As demonstrated by a study carried out in 2012.
But this heart-healthy quality does not stop there, since it also helps increase HDL cholesterol, also popularly known as good cholesterol.
It reduces blood clotting, and thanks to its folic acid content it is suitable for reducing homocysteine levels in the blood (an amino acid that is used as a vascular marker and predicts the risk of suffering a cardiovascular accident).
Stronger and healthier bones
Beer is tremendously rich in silicon, which helps promote the density of our bones and is useful precisely to prevent bone loss. That is why it is commonly said that beer is good for menopause, because it not only improves your symptoms (by promoting phytoestrogens), but also prevents osteoporosis.
Protects against Alzheimer’s
Aluminum present in both plasma and brain tissue is especially linked to certain neurodegenerative pathologies, such as Alzheimer’s.
Thus, it has been discovered that the silicon found in beer helps protect us from neurodegenerative diseases, by reducing the bioavailability of aluminum.
As we briefly indicated in a previous section, beer is tremendously rich in antioxidants. In fact, the presence of polyphenols (especially xanthohumol) make this drink a drink with great antioxidant power.
For this reason it helps to reduce the levels of fats in the blood, prevents cardiovascular diseases, protects us from heart attacks and also reduces the negative action of free radicals.