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March 19, 2012

Beer, Chocolate, Good for You?

Beer, Chocolate, Good for You?Can Beer and Chocolate Be Good for You?

Who can believe that anything so good like beer and chocolate could possibly be good for you? No way you say, empty calories, high sugar content right? Well your wrong and I’m here to tell you all about it. The key to both of these treats is, you guessed it, moderation. Let me say that again, MODERATION! When used in this manner there are benefits to both these, that you may find amazing . I am not suggesting that anyone should use this as an excuse to binge eat or drink either of these. I will point out both the benefits and the amounts.

Chocolate

Not just any chocolate but dark chocolate is the one where the health benefits are found.  These benefits are obtained specifically from the dark chocolate and not the more common milk chocolate. Chocolate contains anti-oxidants which gobble up free radicals. These free radicals are destructive and have been associated with heart disease. These antioxidants are not absorbed in the milk chocolate variety due to the interference of milk on the anti-oxidant absorption. Cocoa contains  phenols ( phyto-nutrient) which have been shown to lower blood pressure in humans. These phyto-nutrients have also been shown to help lower cholesterol. This is not to suggest that we consume large volumes of chocolate but instead small amounts are adequate. To benefit fully one needs to consume only 3.5 oz. which contains 300-500 calories. This should not be on a daily basis but more like once or twice a month.

Beer

Yes, your eyes are right, I wrote BEER. It turns out that there are some benefits to the old suds. We have all heard someone say I’ll drink my lunch or call beer the breakfast of champions, while that might not be exactly correct there is an element of truth to it. Beer is composed of grains, usually barley and wheat, water and yeast. It is this combination that makes beer high in flavenoids and vitamins . Flavenoids are found in plants and have antioxidant properties, the flavenoids found in beer make it a more potent antioxidant than other alcoholic drinks including wine.

Beer has been shown to decrease the incidence of heart disease when consumed in moderation. There is an elevation of the good cholesterol and the antioxidant properties as stated above. These antioxidants are found in higher quantities in darker beers. Hops are also loaded with vitamins including B6 which decreases homocystiene levels. Elevated homocystiene is associated with abnormal methylation and heart disease. The high water content has also been shown to decrease the incidence of kidney stones, according to the Journal of Epidemiology there is a 40% decrease in stones in beer drinkers. Lets not leave out the women, The New England Journal of Medicine  has reported an increase in mental acuity in elderly females that consume a daily beer. also associated is an increase in bone density and the flavenoids have some benefit as a natural hormone booster. All and all not a bad deal for a beer a day.

Moderation

There current recommendation is 1 beer a day for females (12 oz) and 2  a day for males. That does not mean you can save them all up for saturday night. We are not in any way encouraging non-drinkers , persons with an addiction to alcohol or underage people to consume alcohol. By no Means is anyone to get behind the wheel of a car after consuming and alcoholic drink If you are going to drink these are the benefits and the limits!

CHEERS!

See related articles.

“Low Glycemic Foods”

“Coffee and Your Health”

“Fight Aging Deliciously with This Anti Aging Food”

 

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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