Beer: Properties and Benefits
Beer is a low alcohol drink with good nutritional properties. In recent years, thanks also to the birth of many craft breweries, it is also increasingly consumed in Italy
The beer is one of the oldest drinks, apparently has its roots from ancient Mesopotamia. It was not the same type of drink we drink today, especially as regards fermentation which was natural and uncontrolled as it is now.
Beer has 4 main ingredients: water, malt, hops and yeast. The most common cereal for its preparation has always been barley, even though, to date, there are beers made with wheat, rye, rice and corn.
- Chemical Composition
- Effects on the Heart
- Kidney Stones
- Craft Beer
- Diuretic Effect
The beer is not just an alcoholic beverage, has important nutrients properties and not surprisingly was called “liquid bread”.
Generally it contains much less ethanol than any other alcoholic beverage. For this reason it can rightly be considered a real food.
Among all its ingredients, it seems that hops are the ones that bring the greatest health benefits. Its dried flowers are used not only to give the drink its typical bitter taste but also to increase its conservation.
Thanks to its high content of phytoestrogens, hops were already used in herbal medicine in 1.500 as a medicine. According to various sources, this herb, among the various benefits attributed to it, also has anticancer properties.
|The chemical composition per 100 grams of beer|
The properties of beer are revealed starting from its composition. The presence of vitamins, minerals and potassium make this drink suitable for integration in a balanced diet.
Amino acids: aspartic acid and glutamic acid, alanine, arginine, cystine, glycine, phenylalanine,histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, proline, methionine, serine, tyrosine, tryptophan and valine.
100 g of beer have an average of 43 kcal.
Beer: Properties and Benefits
In general, it is the so-called raw beer, or rather, the typical craft , the one that brings greater health benefits. The absence of pasteurization allows to maintain its organoleptic properties intact. This way you have more health benefits.
Hops ( Humulus lupulus L.), one of the main raw materials of beer, has been widely used worldwide in the beer industry. This plant acts as a preservative to give beer its unique aroma and flavor. In addition, hops have been used as a medicinal plant for a long time due to its abundance of phenolic compounds. ( 2 )
A study conducted by the National Institute for Cancer Research in Genoa supports the anticancer properties of hops. Its inflorescences, commonly used in the brewing process, contain different types of prenylated flavonoids. These have shown anticancer properties in experimental laboratory systems.
Among these, the most abundant is xanthumol which is an ingredient in hopped beer. From the studies done, it turns out that xanthumol is able to inhibit the proliferation and viability of human cancer cells from breast, ovarian and colon cancers. Not only. ( 3 )
In this research, xanthohumol highlighted the ability to induce leukemic cell death by apoptosis.
Interferes with endothelial cells by inhibiting angiogenesis, one of the phenomena that often occurs during acute phases in leukemic patients.
However, not all beers contain such a concentration of xanthohumol. The best is the one with the highest hop content.
There are several studies that associate alcohol consumption with colorectal cancer risk. A recent Italian study claims that moderate beer consumption does not increase the risk of colorectal cancer. ( 4, 5, 6 )
Its antioxidant properties should not be underestimated. Thanks to the contained polyphenols, it prevents aging of the skin, acts against free radicals and therefore prevents the onset of cardiovascular diseases.
An all-Italian study confirms that moderate intake of this drink increases blood antioxidant levels. ( 7 )
It Protects the Heart
Drinking some beer, in moderation of course, during meals, can help prevent heart disease. This is what emerges from a study conducted by German researchers.
Moderate beer consumption appears to have an anti-inflammatory effect. In particular it induces to decrease the concentration of two inflammatory proteins which increase the risk of heart problems.
These two proteins are the C-reactive protein, which precisely promotes the inflammatory reaction, and fibrinogen, which contributes to the formation of clots.
Thanks to beer, CRP and fibrinogen levels are not only decreased, but the concentration of HDL which represents the so-called good cholesterol also increases.
Vitamin B6, by preventing the build-up of a substance called homocysteine, it protects against heart disease. In addition, moderate beer intake thins the blood prevents the formation of dangerous clots in the arteries.
A study conducted at the Harvard Medical School and one at the American Stroke Association demonstrate its benefits. In fact, these studies have shown that people who drink moderate amounts of beer reduce the risk of stroke by 50% compared to those who do not drink.
This happens because when you take this drink the arteries become more flexible and the blood flow improves tangibly. As a result, blood clots do not form with cardiovascular health benefits. ( 8 )
Another study conducted in collaboration with several researchers from Italy, Luxembourg and Spain analyzed the effects of moderate beer consumption. ( 9 ) The results confirmed that moderate consumption brings more cardiovascular health benefits than any other alcohol. Its effects are very similar to those of wine.
The same result came from a 2018 study conducted by Spain and Brazil. ( 10 )
For the Memory
The vitamin B12 together with folic acid, prevent anemia, vitamin B12 is also important for normal growth and for the proper functioning of the memory.
A Japanese study found that moderate intake of this alcoholic beverage reduces chromosomal aberrations caused by radiation in human lymphocytes. ( 11 )
The consumption of beer in moderately increased levels of good cholesterol HDL in a maximum percentage that can reach 20%. This reduces the risk of dementia and cardiovascular disease.
A study conducted in Finland has shown the beneficial effects this drink has on the kidneys. Studies have shown that drinking a glass with meals reduces the chance of developing by 40% kidney stones. The authors of the study found that the drink is capable of increasing and diluting the urinary flow. Besides, alcohol can also increase the expulsion of calcium and thus prevent the formation of kidney stones.
The drink is an excellent remedy for insomnia. Obviously we are not talking about getting drunk before going to bed. The benefits are actually due to 2 specific compounds: nicotinic acid and vitamin B2. These 2 substances are in fact known to have properties that promote sleep.
In addition to this property it also seems that some types of beer such as Ales, Stout and Lagers, stimulate the production of dopamine. In fact, this compound can be prescribed by the doctor to those suffering from insomnia.
According to a study conducted in USA, moderate consumption of the drink increases the amount of dopamine in the brain. Just think that these effects are obtained with just 15 ml of beer, or a spoon.( 12 )
A 2012 study found that women who drank non-alcoholic beer at dinner decreased anxiety and improved sleep quality. ( 13 )
A Finnish study analyzed 27.000 people who were not in the habit of drinking. These people began to drink beer moderately for 4 years. At the end of the studies it emerged that moderate intake of this drink (1 glass with meals) significantly reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. ( 14 )
Strengthen the Bones
The drink contains good levels of silicon which result from the presence of hops. This element is known to promote bone growth. Scholars have found that 1 to 2 glasses of beer per day are able to strengthen bones. The benefits in this case also extend to nails and hair. ( 15 )
Research conducted by the International Journal of Endocrinology claims that beer is potentially useful for bone growth. To confirm this, a study conducted on 7.958 women found that those who drank beer moderately had higher bone density. ( 16, 17 )
It Reduces Alzheimer’s Risk
The first study on this dates back to 1977. Scholars in this case found that beer drinkers could be up to 23% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. A more recent study has provided encouraging data.
In fact, it seems that those who drink alcohol moderately have benefits from the cardiovascular point of view. These translate into an increase in good cholesterol and an improvement in blood flow to the brain. ( 12, 13 )
Even the silicon is considered responsible for these benefits . In fact, it seems that its properties protect the brain from the harmful effects of aluminum which are one of the possible causes of Alzheimer’s.
Scholars of the ‘ University of Western Ontario have discovered that this drink can help in the prevention of cataracts. Cataracts are formed when mitochondria become damaged and make the lens opaque.
The antioxidants present in this alcoholic beverage protect the mitochondria which so they do not damage the lens. Study managers established the quantity in one glass per day for cataract prevention. ( 14 )
A survey commissioned by the Assobirra showed that the consumption of beer has exceeded that of wine, especially in eating out and over the weekend.
The 42% of Italians drink at the restaurant, against 39% who prefer wine. It is a historic overtaking, which represents the completion of a run-up that has already started for some years. This drink is suitable for any type of meal and compatible with the concept of healthy eating.
The beer is a drink that helps the body to purify heavy metals and in particular is the only product that fails to eliminate the aluminum from the body.
The origin of this drink dates back to about 7,000 years before the coming of Christ. It is believed that the ancient populations already knew the health benefits of beer as they used it for the treatment of depression, cholera, cardiovascular diseases, and also for states of weakness.
There are reasons to believe that the brewing profession originated in Mesopotamia. The first written evidence of laws governing its production and sale, however, are reported in the Hammurabi Code.
Beer Does not Make you Fat
Contrary to what is claimed by many, beer does not make you fat , quite the contrary! It is low in calories. Obviously the calorie intake depends on the type of beer. In general, we can say that for 100 g of normal beer we reach 43 calories. From a minimum of 28 for the light ones to a maximum of 60 for the stronger ones.
Among alcoholic beverages, it is the least caloric one ever, and even has lower values than many soft drinks.
In fact, as shown by several studies conducted by British scientists, beer does not make you fat. As previously written, I would like to emphasize that the beer that brings greater benefits to the human body is raw beer , so being able to choose, do not hesitate.
A nice foam hat is an indication of the freshness of the drink and an indicator of a careful selection of ingredients. The foam the preserves by a rapid oxidation and makes it more digestible because devoid of any excess carbon dioxide.
The yeasts found in beer can interfere with prostate cells and create inflammation. Where there are individuals with ongoing prostate problems, its consumption is strongly discouraged.
Obviously in healthy subjects, in order to avoid problems of various kinds, it is recommended to drink in moderation.
For some years now the fashion of homemade beer has spread in Italy. With an expense of around 60-70 euros you can buy a complete kit for the production of beer in a domestic environment, with results that can be considered more than satisfactory.
Parallel to this domestic brewing activity, several micro breweries were also born in Italy. The latter are places where beer is produced, not in large quantities and usually raw, or not pasteurized.
The pasteurization is a preservation process which consists in bringing, usually via steam, the bottles of beer (in this case) at a temperature of 60 ° approximately for about half an hour.
This causes many microorganisms present in beer to die, thus avoiding unpleasant transformations of the product after a certain period of time.
The negative side of pasteurization is that with it all those microorganisms that have a positive effect on our body are also eliminated . This is only to allow a longer life of the drink.
Usually, annexed to micro breweries, we find rooms where you can consume it raw, not pasteurized and very often at really affordable prices. This is the reason for the success and proliferation of micro breweries.
The Diuretic Effect of Beer
Another very positive aspect of this drink are its diuretic properties. When we drink it our body produces more urine than usual as the presence of mineral salts such as potassium and magnesium and a reduced quantity of sodium, favor the acceleration of the diuretic process.
The good supply of magnesium instead translates into a reduction in the risk of developing kidney stones.
So, if taken in moderate quantities , it helps the natural activity of the kidneys without however altering the balance of liquids and minerals present in the body. This can lead first of all to a decrease in the formation of kidney stones and then to an improvement in general health.
The hop has two basic functions:
1 gives the classic bitter taste of beer.
2 performs a natural preservative function.
There are different qualities depending on the type and origin to be used depending on the style of beer you want to obtain, but good results are also obtained with Italian hops.
Dried flowers or oil are mainly used.
Hops contain the highest concentration of anticancer molecules.
These molecules have been given the name xanthumol which is the polyphenol contained in hops ( Humulus lupulus ) present in beer which has such surprising properties.
- Non-alcoholic beer was invented to accompany soy meatballs and a somewhat sad life.
- Better to die in the brewery than die in the pharmacy
Beer: Properties and Benefits
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