The lastest edition of LOOKatOKC hits the news stands today. Here’s my latest contribution:
I once had a coworker at The Oklahoman who would purchase some pink lemonade concoction out of the vending machine at the office. He would twist the plastic cap, and upon hearing the sound of air rushing out of the bottle, he would hold the vessel aloft and declare the drink “quite possibly nature’s finest food.”
Today, I take issue with the purveyor of the pink lemonade. If nature does indeed have a finest food, I think I know what it is: Beer.
In my days as a beer blogger, I’ve linked to several articles about the inherent health qualities of beer. After my most recent post, something struck me. If beer is great for all these independent contributions to the betterment of mankind, then surely beer must be great in and of itself.
So where’s the proof that beer is nature’s finest food?
-A recent study out of the University of California, Davis, found that beer, especially more hoppy varieties, contributes highly absorbable dietary silicon that improves bone health.
-Oregon State University researchers found the hops in beer contain a nutrient that inhibits cancer-causing enzymes and also makes unhealthy compounds more water-soluble, thus easier for the body to filter out.
-Several studies have shown that those who drink one or two beers a day will be less likely to have a heart attack than those who steer clear of the golden beverage.
-Beer in moderation has been shown to increase HDL, or good cholesterol. It also makes blood vessels less likely to form a clot and may help protect against type-2 diabetes.
-Experts have reported that limited use of beer on a regular basis can help offset some signs of aging.
-A National Institutes of Health study showed men who drank beer regularly had a smaller risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
-A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed those older than 65 who consumed one to six alcoholic beverages a week have a lower risk of dementia. Another study showed people who drank beer were less likely to suffer a stroke.
-Beer contains mood-improving nutrients like protein, B vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, iron, niacin and riboflavin.
Of course beer in excess can be harmful to people, so don’t, you know, go crazy thinking you’re boosting your health.
But in moderation, it’s pretty clear beer has some serious perks. Heart health, brain health, bone health, cholesterol improvement, mood enhancement and cancer prevention, to name a few. Did I mention it tastes good, too?
Yes, I think beer is indeed quite possibly nature’s finest food.