You should drink (to) this

One hour ago in this e-space, we discussed food. Now, it’s time for, or to, drink (because it’s 5 o’clock somewhere).

Time magazine provides a valuable service by repeating the health benefits of beer, just time for October(fest):

As many studies have suggested, moderate alcohol consumption (one drink a day for women, and two for men) may be good for you: drinkers (even heavy drinkers) tend to live longer than nondrinkers, and the occasional drink has been associated with better heart health and lower stroke risk and may even boost bone density in women. …

Bone health: Beer is a rich source of silicon, which increases bone density, and may help fight osteoporosis, according to a February 2010 study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. “Beers containing high levels of malted barley and hops are richest in silicon,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Charles Bamforth in a statement. A July 2012 study published by Oregon State University researchers also affirmed that moderate drinking may be especially beneficial for bone health in postmenopausal women.

Iron: Dark beers contain more iron than light beers, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Valladolid in SpainIron is an essential part of a healthy diet because it helps distribute oxygen throughout the body.

Cardiovascular health: Moderate drinking is associated with a 25% to 45% lower risk of heart disease, heart attack and heart-related death. Numerous studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption boosts levels of “good” cholesterol, which is known to help prevent cardiovascular disease. It’s also linked with a lower risk of stroke.

Brain health: Moderate drinkers are 23% less likely to develop memory problems, Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia, according to a review of previous research by researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Researchers posit that alcohol may have anti-inflammatory properties (inflammation is thought to play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, along with other conditions like heart disease and stroke), or that it may improve blood flow in the brain, thus boosting brain metabolism. Another theory is that small amounts of alcohol can make brain cells more fit by slightly stressing them; that makes them better able to handle the greater stress that can cause dementia.

Better hair and skin: Yep, you read that correctly. Beer can help imbue your hair with more shine and volume. Marta Wohrle, co-founder of the beauty products review site Truth in Aging, says that German Oktoberfest beers are healthy for your hair because they boast fewer chemicals and more wheat proteins than the major commercial brands, as well as a neutral flavor and smell. “German beers use a little more hops, and hops has a lot of the proteins in it that give you healthy hair,” she told Healthland in a phone interview.

The sentence I like the best: “small amounts of alcohol can make brain cells more fit by slightly stressing them; that makes them better able to handle the greater stress that can cause dementia.”


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