Who doesn’t like beer? Ok, maybe not everyone, but I definitely do. This golden, bubbly refreshing beverage is one of the most popular drinks in the world. Many people even consume it on a daily basis. In this post we look at the nutritional value of beer. There are many conflicting reports whether beer is good for you or not. Let’s explore some of what we know…
Beer is a simple beverage that usually contains water, grain, hops and yeast. Malted barley is commonly used in beer and have a naturally sweet flavor which is why hops is used to add a bit of bitterness. Yeast is added to the brew to make it ferment and add the alcohol. Most beers end up with an alcohol content between 4 and 6%.
The average bottle of beer contains around 150 calories, however it contains very little carbohydrates. This doesn’t mean you can drink with abandon, but in moderation beer isn’t THAT bad for you. It also has more nutritional value than you may be aware of.
Since beer is made from grains, many of those nutrients are also found in beer. There are high levels of potassium, phosphorus and even some calcium. Vitamin B, zinc, riboflavin and niacin. It is also a decent source of fibre. You might also be surprised to know that beer contains antioxidants as suggested in a study done in the Journal of Nutrition and Biochemistry.
Different types of beers have different nutritional compositions. Darker beers have more fibre and other nutritional value. Some studies have found that darker beers have much higher flavonoid (Vitamin P and citrin) content than lighter beers. Flavonoids are beneficial to arterial health and therefore may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Beer has also been credited with a number of other health benefits. Through various studies and beer has been credited with:
- improved digestion through insoluble fibre
- curing insomnia
- lowers bad cholesterol
- boosts your memory
- helps to combat stress
- reduces heart attacks
Now, there isn’t a lot of empirical evidence from studies verifying all of the above, but at least it gives us beer-lovers something to brag about when we are consuming our favorite beverage. We can brag like the red wine drinkers.
This doesn’t mean that you should run out and purchase a 12 pack and polish them off in one night, but it also doesn’t mean that you should stay away from it. Just like everything else in life, beer is good for you in moderation. Drinking a beer a day is perfectly fine, but don’t overdo it.