Beer of all styles has long been used in the treatment of a virtual plethora of ills. It is my goal to share with you, on a monthly basis, tidbits I run across regarding our beverage of choice as it relates to better living and greater health. As I have not had an original thought in years, I will simply be forwarding tips found and research reported within medical and wellness periodicals as well as other sources. Thanks go out in advance to all the scientists, dieticians and historians from whose work I will be paraphrasing.
Long used as medication, mixed with plants and a variety of ingredients, beer was thought to cure ailments of all types: from skin disease to stomach problems, not to mention insomnia and strong fever. Today, studies prove that double- or triple-fermentation beer is good for the health, particularly given the vitamin B present in the yeast. Its beneficial effects are linked to its dietary, diuretic and sedative properties. Moderation is important, however, to avoid negative effects.
Though beer has the reputation of causing weight gain, its calorific value (about 450 calories per liter for a rich beer) is inferior to that of apple juice (500 calories) or wine (770 calories). Moreover, thanks to the amino-acids, vitamin B and the iron it contains, beer is an energizing beverage recommended for anemic and convalescent persons, as well as those who have lost a lot of weight.
The diuretic action of beer is due to the hops resin, which stimulates the kidneys, thereby contributing to the elimination not only of excess water in the body, but also of wastes and toxins. The sedative action of the hops joined with the calorific effect of the alcohol make beer a light and pleasant sleep-inducing beverage. Beer is also known to be a remedy against itself: the unpleasant memory of an evening spent drinking a little too much can become a thing of the past with the subsequent absorption of one glass of very cold pale beer, such as a pilsner. Wow, and I thought downing a brew to rid oneself of a hangover was a college myth.
Thanks to the kind scholars at Unibroue (Beer 101) for digging up the aforementioned information.
Remember, however, although beer is wonderful for most, it’s not for everyone. Don’t drink it against your doctor’s advice and as always… “everything in moderation, including moderation!”