Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Beer; Could It Be Better For You Than Wine?!

By now I think most of you know that I love beer. I'm one of those women who orders beer over wine any day!

Let's take a quick look at some of my experiences with this yeast, hops and barley-filled brew.....

When I went to Colorado to present my research at the ADA Food and Nutrition Expo, I met up with my good friend Sarah, and we did some beer tasting.

They were all delicious, but I tend to favor the wheat-beers (ironic considering I don't eat wheat....). I'm convinced that the fermentation process helps break down some of those sugars that my body malabsorbs.

When I was training for my job (in Pittsburgh) I took one evening to explore this great beer cave. This place had every beer imaginable!

Nick and I always ask for beer at weddings (especially when it's one we can't get in Columbus!)

And we always keep some of our favorites in our fridge at all times....

And when all the girls ordered Bud Light, Miller Light, or mixed drinks at this Bachelorette party, I enjoyed a giant Hefeweizen (Franziskaner is my all time favorite beer!).

And lets not forget Great Lakes Christmas Ale! It comes to stores in Columbus in November, but is sold out by the end of December. Nick and I bought two cases this year, and allowed it to last until Christmas. I'll be honest, we rarely let anyone know we had any when they came over! Muahaha

Not to say there aren't other great Christmas/holiday brews.....

But nothing compares to the Great Lakes Christmas ale, not even our own locally made Winter Warmer.

So why am I so excited about this post?? In January of this year I received my ADA Times magazine (American Dietetic Association) and on the front cover I saw this:

Health Benefits of Beer
(Source: ADA Times)

- Any alcoholic beverage (consumed in moderation) may actually increase good HDL cholesterol, lower bad LDL cholesterol, and reduce the risk of blood clots.

- Beer may help lower the risk of kidney stones. How? It has a high water content and a diuretic effect, both combining to help reduce kidney stone prevalence. The hops in beer may also help reduce the release of calcium from bones, another risk factor for kidney stones.

- The high silicon content of beer is associated with greater bone mineral density.

- Beer contains more fluid than wine (more than 2.5 times as much water) and therefore contributes to your daily fluid needs more so than other alcoholic beverages

- Dark beers can provide up to 1.3 grams of soluble fiber, per 12-ounce drink. Not bad!

- Beer is a plant source of B12, which is important for vegetarians and vegans

- Beer has more calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, B-vitamins and more selenium (per serving) than wine.

- Do you drink wine for its antioxidants? There are very few studies that have observed or tested the bioavailability of antioxidants in wine, or beer for that matter. However, one study did show that ferulic acid (an antixodant in beer) entered the body more efficiently than the ferulic acid from a tomato. Impressive!

- What about the resveratrol in wine? Beer may be lacking this "anti-aging" and "heart-protective" antioxidant, but in reality, the amount of wine you would have to drink in order to get any benefit from resveratrol would be enough to cause serious health problems.


- Darker beers have more fiber

- Beers with more hops (such as pale ales) have more phytochemicals (plant nutrients, which many times act as antioxidants)

- The more malt in the brew, the more B-vitamins it will contain (such as B-12, Niacin, folate, riboflavin and thiamin)

Question: Are you a beer lover like me?? What's your favorite beer?

** Warning: If you are not an alcohol consumer you should not start drinking just to get health benefits. You're better off just staying away completely! But now you know that if you do drink (in moderation, 1 drink for women, 2 for men, per day) it can be good for you! **


  1. my husband will be happy to hear this! :)

  2. you're the first person that likes beer for its taste... all the person I talked to said that they like beer for its effect but not the taste.
    I don't like it because I don't find it tasty.... maybe I should try different brands?

  3. Beer has fiber and B12?! That's crazy! Never would have guessed that. I tend to prefer wine, but then again I haven't tried many beers. I'm sure there's some brand out there I'd like, but I haven't found it yet.

  4. This reminds me when I did a Brewery tour in London. That was fun! I just did a video project on this place called the Foodery in Philly. They let you pick out a 6 pack where you can mix and match a bunch of different craft beers from all over the world. It's great. And I love that beer has b12. Who knew some has fiber too!?

  5. I love beer! So tasty. Not a huge fan of dark or IPA's but I love a good blackberry wheat.

  6. I have that issue of the ADA Times sitting on my desk and I haven't cracked into it yet - thanks for the great summary, Gina! I confess that I had no idea that beer contains B12 (I'm always looking for vegetarian sources of B12 to add to my mental list!)

    I'm not an alcohol drinker in general - if I have something, it'll be a dessert wine that tastes like juice (how uncouth! ;) ). I actually tried a jalapeno cream beer at this pub in Utah last night ... definitely had a kick ...

  7. i showed my hubby that same article when i got that in the mail!! he's just started brewing his own beer and is kind of obsessed :) you guys would get along well!

  8. husband is going to be so happy! ha! I actually love beer as well, although I dont drink it that often. Fat Tire is one of my favs but I generally love a really dark beer. Really cool info. Thanks!

  9. I'm so not a beer lover! But I can appreciate beers like this---you just won't catch me ordering anything like coors light ever!

  10. Blue Moon with an orange is my all time favorite. I had a beer called Honeyweiss once on a trip to Minnesota, so good! Too bad I can't find it down here in the south.

  11. there is seriously nothing better tasting then a fresh cold brewski on a hot summer day! i love hefferfeiseinfskn hahaha however you spell it. have you ever had banana nut beer? its DELICIOUS or chocolate? also equally yummy! i do love white zin but beer comes after that. lately deej has been ordering black & tans when she goes out and everyone is like uh whaaaat. she'll be glad to know shes getting a bit of fiber!

  12. i had no idea beer was so good for you! however i still love my wine :)

  13. such an awesome post!! Love all the beer facts, especially because I'm having one right now :) It's Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss- super good! I don't know that I have an absolute favorite, but Stella is way up there on my list :)
    I'm glad there are B12 vitamins in here- I'm usually worried that I'm not getting enough since I'm a vegetarian.
    And, love the warning at the end of your post :)

  14. Great post! Made me want to get a good beer! :)

    My favorite summer beer is Hefeweizen. Franziskaner is one of my favorites. Right now, I'm really into dark beers. I never used to like them, but I'm having fun exploring them a bit lately.

  15. Really, really good info, Gina!

    I'm not a big drinker and when I do it's usually wine but every once in a blue moon I'll drink a beer (like today) and I always want to make the best choice for my taste buds and my body.

  16. I'm allergic to wine, so beer is fine with me.

  17. Hehe this is awesome! I much prefer wine, myself :)

  18. I am so going to share this with my husband. He's a bit more of a beer lover than I. I'll usually go for wine 75% of the time and beer the other 25%, but when we go on our vacation in April we'll be hitting up many many breweries with beers galor to try.

  19. I love beer. It was actually sort of a joke in Australia because at our dorm events it would be girls drink the wine and Kelly + the boys drink beer. I kinda like that image I won't lie. I now will drink wine but I still prefer beer. Sadly, my stomach prefers bud light over any other beer so that kind makes me more boring when it comes to beer but I'll still taste others :)

  20. No, I don't like the taste of beer. Only a couple times a year do I drink wine. I prefer to eat my calories I guess!

  21. First, I spotted that ADA magazine and laughed in my office yesterday, great topic. Second- my husband loves beer (me not so much) and Sierra and Anchorsteam are 2 of his faves. Doesn't your bar contain puffed wheat?

  22. I didn't get that ADA Times!!! My mail man probably got pulled in by the cover and kept it himself! Kidding :) But I really didn't get that one!!! So interesting! I love dark beers...not as dark as porters always, but ambers. Mmmm!!! The fiber and B12 is interesting!

    Have a great weekend, Gina!

  23. woo-hoo! I didn't used to like beer that much until I went dark! I love porters and darker beers, not hops so much though. Great info!

  24. I love a good beer - super psyched to read the health benefits too! Wow! So cool! :-) Especially that beer is a plant source of B12 - completely fascinating. I love the Franziskaner Hefeweizen... My all-time favorite beer is definitely the St. Bernardus Abt 12 - it's a work of art... *dreamy sigh* :-)