Nutritious Beer: The Darker the Better

By Blake Potolicchio | August 24, 2010 | 2 Comments |
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Reminiscent of the turning seasons, beer styles often change just before the first spring bloom or last falling leaf. Seeing that we are approaching the fall season, the seasonal change is taunting our taste-buds to crave a heartier, autumn inspired brew.

Interestingly enough we were pleased to read an old article provoking the benefits of the darker, maltier flavors of fall and winter. A study first conducted by the University of Wisconsin in 1997 found evidence that drinking darker beers may reduce the risk of heart disease. Obviously, we stress that not like Popeye’s spinach, drinking as much dark beer as you can does not increase health benefits more, but rather in moderation, the micronutrients in a more malty brew can actually be more beneficial than those found in a lighter beer.

Researchers from Wisconsin, compared the results of drinking Guinness or Heineken on arterial health. They fed the two styles of beer to ~8 canines suffering from clogged arteries. At the end of the day, the dogs were not drunk but rather researchers found that those nourished by the dark ale (Guinness) improved more significantly than those nourished by the light beer (Heineken). How does this happen?

Simply put, darker beers such as Guinness have almost three times the flavonoid (also collectively known as Vitamin P and citrin) content as lighter pilsners or lagers. As a comparison, much of the wine universe loves to boast about the high flavonoid content in red wine. For all my beer lovers out there, beer may have attributes that suggest its flavonoid content could rival aspirin, although these are preliminary connections.

Don’t let the weight of dark beer or the so-called caloric escalation stop you from enjoying your daily darker brew. The truth of beer bellies comes from people over-indulging and many of us (guilty) eat more when we drink. Thought: next time you want to enjoy your beer without being concerned with the calories, have one less soda at the office (typically regular soda has more calories than beer). To receive the amount of flavonoids to acquire the benefits seen by the University of Wisconsin you get to have at least two delicious dark beers a day!

Can you think of other reported health benefits from drinking great craft beer responsibly? We would love to get the word out about rumors, myths and even facts about the benefits of drinking beer at any excuse. So help us tell the world that beer doesn’t just taste amazing and make you happy but also could have ingredients that show significant results in maintaining our great quality of life.

Your Choice. Your Beer. Drink Up.
- Beer Universe



2 Comments · Nutritious Beer: The Darker the Better

  • Mmm...I love me a nice stout - we got lots of them in Maryland!

  • Drink vs. not drink? That's the real questions (I'm assuming since we're on a beer site - drink is the right answer!)

    Either way, what is more interesting about this article is that it reinforces that wine is not the only choice when it comes to "healthy" drinking. Beer in moderation is an alternative and often times better tasting :)

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