A Beer a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

A study conducted by Harokopio University in Athens, Greece found that drinking beer is good for the heart because it improves blood flow. Now, the study researches drinking beer in moderation, so this study doesn’t encourage excessive drinking! However, the key findings of the study include:  

  • Drinking two-thirds of a pint improved blood vessels within 3 hours
  • Same effect was not observed in non-alcoholic beer however
  • Findings support the growing body of evidence that moderate beer consumption may protect against heart disease

Click here to read the full article from Daily Mail.

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Top 10 U.S. Craft Breweries (by sales volume)

bells-oberon-ale-1

A few of these were obvious, but I was a bit surprised by some. Can you guess which breweries make the list?

  1. Boston Beer Company (Massachusettes): Top Selling Product: Sam Adams Boston Lager
  2. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (California): Top Selling Product: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  3. New Belgium Brewing Company (Colorado): Top Selling Product: Fat Tire Amber Ale
  4. Deschutes Brewery (Oregon): Top Selling Product: Black Butte Porter
  5. Lagunitas Brewing Company (California): Top Selling Product: Laguintas IPA
  6. Bells Brewery Incorporated (Michigan): Top Selling Product: Oberon Ale
  7. Matt Brewing Company (New York): Top Selling (beer) Product: Saranac Pale Ale
  8. Harpoon Brewery (Massachusettes): Top Selling Prodcuct: Harpoon India Pale Ale (IPA)
  9. Stone Brewing Company (California): Top Selling Product: Stone IPA
  10. Brooklyn Brewery (New York): Top Selling Product: Brooklyn Lager

Drink Your Fiber & Enjoy It!

Photo Courtesy of blogs.extension.iastate.edu

Photo Courtesy of blogs.extension.iastate.edu

According to WebMD, “How much fiber do you need? Women need 25 grams per day and men should get 38 grams per day, according to an Institute of Medicine formula based on getting 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories.” Unfortunately, most Americans eat less than half of the recommended amout.

There are both soluble and insoluble fibers. Both types are good for your health and have been proven to reduce the risk of various types of cancer, obesity and coronary disease.

A 2009 study published in the  Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists, found that beer contains soluble fiber. So put away that fiber powder, bran and leafy greens and drink a beer! Lager contain about 2 grams of soluble fiber per liter, while darker beers contain up to 3.5 grams of soluble fiber per liter.

Top 3 Gluten-Free Beers

Photo Courtesy of www.uvmbored.com

Photo Courtesy of http://www.uvmbored.com

If you love craft beer but are gluten free, no need to worry! Many craft breweries now offer gluten free options. Here are my top 3 picks.

1. Endeavor

  • Brewer: Green’s Original Gluten Free (Belgium)
  • Availability: Year-round
  • Style: Belgian Dubbel
  • ABV: 7% alcohol
  • Key Information: Won an award at the Calgary (AB) International Brewfest in 2013

2. Tweason’Ale

  • Brewer: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Delaware)
  • Availability: Seasonal (January, February, May, August and December)
  • Style: Fruit beer
  • ABV: 6.0 % alcohol
  • Key Information: Uses mild sorghum base as a substitute for barley. It is brewed with molasses, pit-fruit, strawberry and buckwheat honey.

3. Dragon’s Gold

  • Brewer: Bard’s Tale Beer Company, LLC (New York)
  • Availability: Year-round
  • Style: Brown Ale
  • ABV: 4.3% alcohol
  • Key Information: This beer is brewed with 100% malted sorghum.

If you want to know more about what being gluten-free is or are looking for some other great gluten-free foods check out this great post on Rachel’s fitness blog, Pretty and Pumped.

Top 6 Surprisingly Healthy Craft Beers

1. Left Hand Good Juju (Colorado)

  • Style: Herb/Spice Ale
  • ABV: 4.5% alcohol
  • Calories: 131 calories
  • Carbohydrates: 12.1 grams
  • Special ingredients: Ginger

2. Abita Purple Haze (Louisiana)

  • Style: Lager
  • ABV: 4.2% alcohol
  • Calories: 128 calories
  • Carbohydrates: 11 grams

3. Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale (California)

  • Style: IPA
  • ABV: 5.6% alcohol
  • Calories: 175 calories
  • Carbohydrates: 14.1 grams

4. Fort Collins Major Tom’s Pomegranate Wheat (Colorado)

  • Style: Witbier
  • ABV: 4.8% alcohol
  • Calories: 145 calories
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Special Ingredients: Pomegranate

5. Guinness Draught (Ireland)- Okay this one’s not a craft beer, but I was surprised by how healthy it is!

  • Style: Irish Dry Stout
  • ABV: 4.2% alcohol
  • Calories: 126 calories
  • Carbohydrates: 17 grams

6. Magners Original Irish Cider (Ireland) – My friend Rachel has been training for a body building competition, so she is VERY cautious of what she puts into her body. When she is not training, she allows herself to cheat a bit, and this is one alcoholic beverage that she is allowed to have!

  • Style: Hard Cider
  • ABV: 4.5% alcohol
  • Calories: 125 calories
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Special features: Magner’s is gluten-free and it’s made with no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.

If you live in the area and want to try this cider, The Heights Bar & Grill in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ has it on tap and in bottles.

If these healthy beers inspired you to get into shape, check out Rachel’s fitness blog, Pretty & Pumped, for some great workout tips. Here is her amazing transformation!

racheldel

Eat Your Steak and Feel Good About it Too

Cooking with beer can add flavor to many of your favorite meals, but did you know it can actually make your food healthier? A 2009 study conducted by the University of Porta revealed that marinating red meat in beer can significantly reduce the number of carcinogens, or cancer-causing agents, in the meat. A number of publications have reported on this finding, but I particularly liked this article I found on Medilogy. Here is an excerpt:

“Isabel Ferreira and her colleagues at the University of Porta in Portugal have found that marinating meat in beer or red wine marinades reduces the amount of carcinogens by up to 89% in some trials.  To the surprise of many, beer was actually more efficient at cutting down on the amount of heterocyclic amines than red wine because of its water retaining sugars.  Cooking foods in various condiments including olive oil, garlic marinade, lemon juice, or vitamin E powder also helps significantly reduce the amounts of cancer causing compounds in not only red meats, but also grilled chicken.  The antioxidants and polyphenols in green tea help excrete HAs from our bodies.” Click here to read the entire article.

After reading the results of this study, I want a steak! Summer is right around the corner and I’m ready to start grilling again. I found a great recipe for Beer and Brown Sugar Ribeye Steak on Food Republic that incorporates a beer marinade.

Photo Courtesy of www.foodrepublic.com

Photo Courtesy of http://www.foodrepublic.com

So, next time you’re cooking a steak, why not marinate it in your favorite beer? Doing so will make the meat more tender, add some flavor and reduce the amount of carcinogens. Bon Apetit!

Beer: Reason #2 to Drink Up

Beer & Whiskey Bros. had a great article entitled “Beyond TODAY: Why Craft Beer is Better for You Than Milk,” which features some interesting information about craft beer. The brothers interviewed Clyde Soles– an author, freelance writer, consultant and photographer. He shared some of his wisdom about craft beer with the Beer & Whiskey Bros.

Photo Courtesy of www.rei.com

Photo Courtesy of http://www.rei.com

The article features an excerpt from Soles’ book, Climbing: Training for Peak Performance (2nd edition), that takes a look at the health benefits of craft beer as opposed to mass distributed beers.

“Mass-produced ‘beer’ that nutritionists and aficionados revile is made with rice, corn, coloring, flavorings, and enzymes. This insipid drink is the equivalent of white bread—bland and lacking most of the good nutrition. A 12-ounce can contains about 1 gram protein, 25 mg sodium, and only a trace of potassium or B vitamins.

But a finely crafted beer is only made with barley, wheat, hops, and water. This is akin to good whole-grain bread, better tasting and better for you. A good microbrew contains about 2.2 grams protein, 75 mg sodium, 195 mg potassium, and 5 to 15 percent of the DRI for riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, and vitamin B-6. Plus the high hops content contains nine flavonoids that you won’t find in sport drinks. Even better, if you can find them, are cask-conditioned ales, which are unfiltered and naturally carbonated; rather like fine artisan bread pulled fresh from the oven.

Beer contains zero fat and zero cholesterol; moderate consumption may even raise your level of HDL (the good cholesterol). The typical 12-ounce serving of light beer has about 100 calories; a normal beer is around 150 calories; stouts run around 225 calories; and a triple bock or barley wine is upwards of 330 calories. Although two-thirds of the carbohydrates in a beer come from alcohol, which does not convert to glycogen, you still get about 12 grams of restorative carbs per bottle.”

If you’re contemplating drinking that craft beer tonight, here is another reason to do so. Cheers!