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BEER AS PART OF A HEALTHY LIFE STYLE ...THE TRUTH ABOUT CALORIES, BELLIES, NUTRITION, AND MORE



‘Tola Atinmo, FAS Prof of Human Nutrition Department of Human Nutrition University of Ibadan
 Beer’s relationship to health is captured in this quotation by Paracelsus a German physician of the 16th century:“Whether wine (or beer) is a nourishment, medicine or poison… it is a matter of dosage.”


Life is a story. We are writing one chapter of it now. We are here to tell the story of beer’s role in the human diet and its contribution to a healthy lifestyle. This is a story backed by evidence from numerous scientific and social researches over time.
This is about the review of the nutrients content of beer and the potentials of such nutrients in the promotion of a healthy lifestyle.

However, this is not about recommending beer as a healthy drink but to showcase the associated nutritional benefits of beer from the perspectives of findings from evidence-based scientific researches.

You may ask:
What positive or negative effects can beer have on my health and life style?
How can beer affect my reputation?
Nutrition is all about eating and drinking appropriately for good health and wellness.
Food/Nourishment sustains and enhances life.

What is a healthy life style?
A healthy lifestyle is a desirable way of life, which stipulates that we focus more on preventive health rather than the curative.
A healthy lifestyle is by choice, not by chance
A healthy life style is a sustained practice and it is based on a solid foundation of:
 Good nutrition: healthy eating and drinking
 Physical and spiritual exercise
 Good hydration
 Adequate rest and stress management
 Abstinence from smoking
 Good general hygiene

What is beer?
 ‘Beer is an alcoholic beverage made by brewing and fermentation from cereals, usually malted barley, and flavoured with hops and the like for a slightly bitter taste’ (Dictionary.com)
 ‘Beer is an alcoholic beverage usually made from malted cereal grain (as barley), flavoured with hops and brewed by slow fermentation’ (Merriman-Webster).

Nutrient components of Beer
Our bodies need food to provide energy (calories) and the building blocks of our tissues (not ablyamino acids)
Foods are taken in to the body in the form of protein, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, minerals and water. Our well being is therefore in controvertibly related to what we eat and drink.
If any individual nutrient component of the diet is present in excess or is insufficient in quantity, then the diet is imbalanced.

Beer is classified as a foodstuff.
‘Beer is not a medicine to be prescribed by doctors but rather a food stuff that should be approached within social environs that are mature, considerate and reasonable’(Wall Street Journal, 1988).

What is in Beer?
 Water, malted barley, hops, yeast and corn are some of the ingredients used to brew beer.
 Beer is about 90-92% water.
 Malted barley is the soul of beer
 Hops add spicy aroma and bitter flavors
 Yeast changes sugars into alcohol
 Corn and other adjuncts give beer a milder and lighter-bodied flavour.
So, what is in beer that is not in other commonly consumed foods?

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!

 Beer has nourished and comforted Homo sapiens for millenniums in a safe manner and has been part of the daily food intake. Many people are not aware that drinking beer actually benefits their health through some of the components present in beer.

Beer is one of the best sources of silicon in diet. New researches suggest silicon is important for the formation of strong bone mineral density.
Beer contains folic acid which offers some protection against coronary heart-diseases through homocysteine.

 Beer is equivalent to wine in anti-oxidative capacity
 Bio active substance in beer is prelynated flavonoids
 Xanthohumol is one of the 20 most active compounds known up to now
 Chemo-preventive effect of prenylated flavonoids is most distinct against hormone –caused cancers such as;
• Mammary cancers
• Uterine cancer
• Prostate cancer
 Contents in Beer: Between0-21μ/L depending on Hopping

Health Advantages of Beer
 Silicon for strong bone mineral density
 Folic acid for heart health
 Antioxidants for protection against many forms of cancer
 Digestive health
 Healthy hydration -92% of beer is water (can count as part of the recommended 8 glasses of water per day but should not be a substitute for water)
 Stress relief
 Sexual health
 Lactation
 Old age cognitive health
 Helps with kidney stones, dementia, osteoporosis etc.
 Beer is a great social barrier breaker. It promotes the psychological, mental and emotional advantages of socializing.

Beer Belly
 Beer alone does not give one a ‘beer belly.’
 ‘Beer belly’ is caused by too many calories in an individual’s diet (from over-eating, sugary food and beverages etc) and a sedentary lifestyle.
 More calories are ingested than what is burned. The excess is stored in the body as fat. Fat is stored more in the belly by men, hence the prevalence of ‘beer belly’ in them.


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