Dave Richmond has combined his work with his love of beer for more than eight years with the Madrigrano families, and is now Global Brands Manager at Beer Capitol Distributing-Lake Country in Sussex. In his position, Dave is responsible for coordinating the marketing and merchandising programs for all the Global brands. The beer products featured in his blog are primarily those distributed but not limited to by Beer Capitol Distributing Lake Country.
Well, we're nearing the end of the month, so I thought it would be fitting to check in on the most common New Year's resolution - the pledge to be more healthy - and how beer can help you keep that promise.
Many of us have gone on diets, joined gyms and cut out unhealthy behaviors - but that doesn't mean you need to give up beer. In fact, medical research has found that moderate beer consumption can improve health, ward off disease and increase brain activity. New studies proving additional health benefits of consuming beer continue to emerge. And that's news worth drinking to. Here are some recent findings
Hops for Heart Health
Last year, a team of doctors at Germany's Innsbruck Medical University found that beer offers anti-inflammatory effects that may reduce cardiovascular risk. The authors note that "this might be connected with the calming effect of beer," and that beer promotes "the availability of the 'happiness hormone' serotonin." Simply put, the happiness a pint or two brings us can have a "beneficial impact on coronary heart diseases." A few especially hearty beers to try include Leinenkugel's Red, Bell's Brewery Amber Ale and Capital Brewery Maibock.
Beer and Your Brain
Finally, evidence that beer makes you smarter. A couple years ago, researchers from University College in London found that drinking alcohol, even in low amounts, might be associated with higher cognitive abilities, particularly for women. The study found that drinkers performed better than non-drinkers on a battery of tests designed to measure intellectual ability. "Moderate consumption could be a proxy marker for good mental and physical health ... both of which are related to good cognitive performance," noted the astute authors. Some great beers to ponder all of this over include Sam Adams Boston Lager, Berghoff Pale Ale and Corona.
Beer Beats Water
Earlier this year, professors at a Spanish university released findings from a study that found that beer might be more effective than water at re-hydrating the body after working out. After strenuous exercise in 104 degree heat, the study's subjects who drank beer were had slightly better levels of hydration. Some brews that would serve as a great reward for pumping some iron or running a few laps include Heineken Premium Light, Miller High Life and St. Pauli Girl Lager.
Your Bones Need Beer
Two recent studies found that moderately drinking beer may prevent the bone disease osteoporosis. The first study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, found a striking relationship between the intake of dietary silicon and bone mineral density in the hips sites of men and pre-menopausal women. The second study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, shows that beer, in particular, is a highly-bioavailable source of dietary silicon. The silicon found in beer, which increases the strength of the bone, comes from the husks of grains used during the brewing process. Lift a glass of Paulaner Hefe Weiss or Lakefront Riverwest Stein to healthy bones through beer.
More Good News
In addition to all of these benefits, beer has no fat, cholesterol or caffeine. Beer also contains significant amounts of helpful nutrients and vitamins, such as magnesium, selenium, potassium and vitamin B. Another healthy advantage to beer is that you don't have to drink it to reap the benefits - you can also cook with it. Try substituting a stout or porter for oils and sugars in marinades. Or you can swap out the wine and use beer in stews, soups and sauces. And in baked goods, beer ads moisture but has few calories. The options are endless.