The Exercise Space

The Healthiest Beer

April 4, 2015

Beer & healthy in the same sentence? Yes!

Like wine, beer brings it health benefits too. Recent research suggests a moderate daily serving of beer (no more than 2):
  • Lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Linked to increased bone density & better cognitive health
  • Contains disease fighting antioxidant compounds (flavonoids)
  • Bioactive compounds found in beer may help fight cancer, give your metabolism a kick, help clean your arteries & reduce stress.
  • Is caffeine, cholesterol, and fat free
  • Contains significant amounts of magnesium, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, biotin, and vitamin B’s
  • Is 92% water

That’s all I need to hear! But which beers are the ‘healthiest’? Most common varieties (Miller, Budweiser, & Coors) have an average of 150 calories per 12 ounce bottle. As far as microbrews go (my fav!) here’s the skinny:

1. Stouts: Heavy looking dark beers like Guinness are on top as far as health benefits and waist line conscious. They tend to be lower in alcohol but higher in iron and flavonoids. The high temperature roasting process of stouts, porters, and brown ales fuels the formation of antioxidants. Average around 200 calories per 12 ounce serving.

2. Hoppy IPA’s: The high hop content gives you a boost of cancer fighting, virus destroying, and cholesterol lowering compounds (polyphenols) Average 175-200 calories for 12 ounce serving.

3. Ales: Ales have a higher concentration of silicon, which helps  prevent osteoporosis…but also a bit higher calorie content near 200-230 per serving.

3. Light beer: Light just means the beer has fewer calories than the same brands regular version. Light beer typically carries about 90-100 calories per 12 ounce bottle…and a few as low as 55 calories.

4.Wheat Beer: The cloudier the beer, the higher the calories! Unfiltered beers, like wheat beers are lighter in color but tend to contain 20 or more grams of carbs per serving. This is due to the higher content of wheat versus barley and other grains compared to other brews. Average 250+ calories in 12 ounce serving.

*German doctors used to prescribe bottle-conditioned wheat beer to patients with vitamin deficiencies. (Brewer’s yeast is added right before bottle is closed: yeast helps your body break down nutrients, regulates your digestive system, maintains your nervous system, and even helps modulate blood sugar levels)

5. Non-alcoholic beer: With approx 80 calories per 12 ounce bottle are a good choice if you like the taste of beer but don’t want all the alcohol….although they due contain a trace of alcohol.

Cheers & Happy Holidays!

Sources:

Shape Magazine March 2012

Men’s Health October 2010
Insurancerate.com

 

 

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