Sunday, April 28, 2013

Beer And Wine: The Hidden Health Benefits

                Alcohol is a difficult topic, because it has health benefits as well as major risks. Studies have shown that when consumed in moderation, meaning two glasses a day or fewer, there are generous health benefits. Beer and wine are slightly different, but both have health benefits you may not have expected.
                Beer is a good source of trace minerals such as folate, biotin, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6, niacin, phosphorous and thiamine. Studies show that moderate alcohol consumption, including beer, decreases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and dementia. Beer can also lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase your good cholesterol (HDL). Niacin helps the body convert fat to energy. One can of beer contains 153 calories, and 1 gram of protein. A common critique of beer is that it causes “beer belly.” The average beer has twelve carbohydrates per serving. When consumed in moderation, along with a healthy diet and exercise, weight gain is unlikely.     
                Wine also has its health benefits. It has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, hypertension, dementia, and certain types of cancer. It can even keep the mind sharp by increasing blood flow to the brain. But there are some conflicting reports. One study showed that women who abstained from alcohol had a higher cancer risk than those who drank in moderation. One the other hand, another study showed that one drink a day could make a woman more prone to breast and uterine cancer because alcohol is believed to boost estrogen production.
                Note that these health benefits only apply to alcohol consumed in moderation. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to weight gain, alcohol addiction, cirrhosis of the liver, or hepatitis of the liver just to name a few.

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