How Much Beer Is Healthy? Are There Nitrates In Beer?
Is Beer Actually Good For Us?
How many beers can a person drink and still be healthy? Is beer actually good for us, in moderation?
Are the nitrates in beer good for our health?
OK, before any of you start gnashing your teeth, pursing your lips, and/or clutching your pearls, I would like to do a disclaimer. Loud and clear. With this article I am in no way encouraging or condoning alcoholism, or even just the moderate consuming of it. In fact if you have fought the excruciatingly hard fight for sobriety, or know someone who has, perhaps it would be best if you skipped over this article. But new evidence has come to light regarding beer that I find very enlightening, and thought our readers might as well.
Beer is one of the oldest beverages in the world and has been important in human culture for thousands of years. It is made by brewing and fermenting cereal grains with yeast, hops, and flavoring agents. More and more research has been revealed that shows just how incredible beer can be for your health.
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However, it cannot be stressed enough that, even though this robust beverage is healthy in many ways
it is still alcohol and as such must be imbibed in moderation. This is defined as ‘having one glass per day for women and up to two for men.” Now ladies, do not begin your cry of outrage at the unfairness of that statement. I believe it has to do with size and tolerance and not the fact that we are women.
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How Is Beer Actually Good for Us?
We have all heard or read of the health benefits of moderate amounts of wine. Well, apparently beer contains more protein and B vitamins than wine and the antioxidant content is the same. A professor of brewing sciences at the University of California has claimed that beer also contains more phosphorus, folate, and niacin, as well as protein and fiber.
In addition, beer is one of the few dietary sources of silicon, which helps to prevent osteoporosis. It has been suggested that the brew may also contain prebiotics that feed the good bacteria in our gut, but the jury is still out on this one.
Beer also contains small amounts of potassium, calcium, thiamine, iron, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Are There Nitrates In Beer?
There may be small amounts of nitrates in beer–especially cheaper beers, and the popular brands that are not even brewed anymore, but made from a syrup (no kidding). The preservatives they use in their beer may contain nitrates, and they may also be present from the water used, depending on it’s source. But chances are there are very little nitrates in most beer, and as one person cleverly stated, “If you drink a lot of beer, nitrates are not your biggest worry”.
I don’t know why anyone would make beer with tap water, but if you drink tap water, nitrates aren’t your biggest worry, either!
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The Benefits of Moderate Beer Consumption:
- increases bone density (due to the above-mentioned silicon)
- helps protect your brain from cognitive diseases
- cleans your teeth by preventing the growth of bacteria or biofilm, which causes tooth decay and gum diseases.
- contains hops, which have anti-inflammatory properties
- dark beer is a good source of antioxidants
- helps lower the risk of heart diseases
- improves blood sugar levels, thus reducing diabetes risk. Light beer is best for this purpose.
According to a study in Italy where scientists analyzed the molecular content of craft beers, it was concluded that they, as opposed to mass-produced varieties,
contain higher concentrations of phenols and antioxidants, which fight off dangerous free radicals, thus maintaining proper cell health.
These ingredients also keep the skin smoother and more supple.
What Are the Disadvantages of Drinking Beer?
Yes, there are downsides to drinking alcoholic beverages besides the risk of alcohol dependence and all the misfortunes that accompany it. Including its toll on your pocket book, I might add )Not sure about elsewhere, but the price of beer in Western Canada has become obscene).
You probably know this, but here is a quick reminder of the disadvantages of drinking beer, with regard to health:
- a significantly higher risk of depression
- liver disease
- weight gain
- increased risk of throat and mouth cancers
- reduced life expectancy
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Other Uses for Beer
Good old beer has other uses as well that are not so well-known. No you do not have to drink it to reap some benefits. Stale beer is a powerhouse for the following:
- Spilled something on your rug? Pour stale beer over the stain and blot dry.
- Restore the luster to wooden furniture by putting beer on a clean cloth and rubbing gently
- Adds body and shine to dull hair. Administer over your head in the shower, wait a few minutes as
you do with conditioner, and rinse.
- Even flies and mosquitoes like to imbibe apparently. Pour stale beer into buckets and place them
around the perimeter of your yard when sitting outside. They will
leave you alone as they will be too busy enjoying a cold one.
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So how much beer is good for you? It really depends on who you are and how much you like it. The benefits for people who like it too much tend to be overshadowed by things that are disadvantageous, at best. But it does seem that beer is actually good for us more than it isn’t, if we can keep our consumption to an occasional event, and not exceed one or two when we do partake.
It is always a benefit to hear of any product that aids our health and well-being. We must keep fighting the good fight to keep the nasty things now present in our
day to day life from winning.
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