DALLAS — Want to stay young and healthy forever? Then quaff a frosty mug of your favorite brew every day!
Red wine has long been touted as a healthful beverage, but only recently have researchers learned beer is good for more than just washing down pizza. In fact, some studies suggest beer is even better for you than wine because it contains important disease-fighting compounds that wine does not.
According to Dr. Norman Kaplan, a professor at the University of Texas, a brewski a day can raise levels of “good” HDL cholesterol by 10 to 20 percent, decrease arterial stiffness, improve clotting factors and provide antioxidants that help protect blood vessels against disease-causing free radicals.
In addition, the B vitamins in beer help control blood levels of homocysteine, a chemical known to boost your risk of heart disease.
These benefits to the heart and blood vessels are believed to prevent age-related mind disorders such as Alz- heimer’s disease and general dementia.
There is also very strong evidence that a beer a day can help ward off certain types of cancer.
Researchers at Oregon State University found that the hops used to make beer are poisonous to nearly 60 different types of cancer cells, including those responsible for cancer of the breast, colon and ovaries.
“Hops are rich in xanthohumol, a powerful plant compound that stops cancer cell growth in as little as six days,” explains Cristobal Miranda, PhD, DVM.
In addition, studies have found that risk of Type II diabetes is reduced by one-third to one-half among moderate beer drinkers when compared to nondrinkers.
The key to enjoying the healthful benefits of beer is to drink moderately, doctors stress. This means no more than one beer a day for most women, and two beers a day for the average man.
Miranda notes that people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol have less chance of dying from heart attacks than those who drink heavily or not at all, primarily due to reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
Experts say it’s also a good idea to enjoy your beer with a meal or some pretzels.
According to researchers at a Buffalo, N.Y. university, your risk of dying from any premature medical short-circuit goes down dramatically when beer is consumed with food.