Beer and health
It has been known for centuries that beer, in moderation, is a healthy drink.
How much should you drink?
As you can see, opinions vary considerably. Therefore, it’s best to follow the rule of no more than four glasses a day.
Alcohol and mortality
The graph below indicates that alcohol protects against cardiovascular disease as long as one does not consume more than 5 to 9 units a day, where one unit contains 10 grams of alcohol (9 units corresponds to 2.1 litres of beer a day). Alcohol consumption is associated with a rise in the level of high-density lipoproteins (HD L) and apolipoproteins, which act to protect against diseases of the coronary artery. In addition, alcohol reduces low-density lipoproteins (LDL), which are associated with hardening of the arteries.
Beer does not contain any fat.
Calories in beer
A rule of thumb to calculate the calorie count in beer: multiply the alcohol content by 9 to obtain the number of kcal per 100 ml.
Believe it or not: beer contains fibres, around 3 to 10 grams per litre. The term used by brewers for these fibres, which originate from the barley grain, is “beta-glucans”. They can lower cholesterol in the blood and therefore protect against cardiovascular disease.
Beer contains 0.2 to 0.5 g/100 ml of proteins – more than wine, but much less than milk. Most beers contain all the essential amino acids.
Since beer is to a large extent composed of water, the mineral content of beer is highly dependent on the minerals in the brewing water. If we look at the most important minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus), we can say that one 33 cl PALM a day provides 10% of the requirement for these minerals. Beer is also a major source of bioavailable silicon, which in turn reduces the aluminium content in the body.
Vitamins and trace elements
Beer is a good source for a number of vitamins, mainly those in the B group: riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, pyridoxine and pantothenic acid. These are water-soluble vitamins, and one 33 cl PALM a day provides 10% to 20% of our daily requirement.
The polyphenols in beer come from the malt and hops. They also occur in red wine and have antioxidant properties; in other words, they can prevent cardiovascular disease.
Hops contain a wide range of components which have been studied intensively in recent years. One of the best known is 8-prenylnaringenin, a constituent that can prevent cancer.