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A schooner a day...

A schooner a day...

The skies are getting dull, that breeze can cause shivers and the rain is certainly pouring! Winter is slowly creeping up on us and we know what that means - flu season! Sadly this can leave us lacking in enthusiasm for the usual trip to our local, but a beer may be just what we need. Plenty of research shows that moderate beer consumption is linked to some surprising health benefits.

High Fibre, low cholesterol and fewer calories per volume than wines, spirits and even orange juice (approx 150 per 12oz bottle) are some of the advantages of beer, but there's so much more!

According to the Center for Human Nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, beer has more protein and essential B vitamins than wine - especially B3, B6 and B9.

Reported in TIME magazine, beer is a rich source of silicon, which can increase bone density, and may help fight osteoporosis, according to a study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. TIME also cited a case study from July 2012 regarding the bone health benefits of post menopausal women who drank beer. However, more than two per day can lead to higher risks of fractures. Want to avoid a break? Reach for a Pale Ale - studies show this has the highest levels of silicon!

We've all become obsessed with products that can keep our hearts ticking, but none of them can be as enjoyable as sipping a schooner of a Friday evening. Many studies have claimed that consumption of alcohol can increase HDL (good cholesterol levels). This can be a major contributor to lessening the hardening of arteries and thickening of blood, which can lead to heart attacks. Studies claim that moderate consumption of beer may actually decrease a drinker's risk of heart disease by about 30%. It can also be linked to a lesser chance of stroke, quite like the health benefits claimed by wine.

Although all beers contain fibre, studies have found that darker beers contain higher doses of fibre, which can assist in counteracting blood clotting which leads to serious health issues. They are also proven to contain plenty of antioxidants, curbing natural cellular damage and possibly some forms of cancer. Darker beers such as Porters and Stouts are also found to contain far more iron than lighter beers, which assists in distributing oxygen throughout the body.

For those winter sniffles, the hops in beer contain humulone, which can help battle certain seasonal illnesses in adults, along with cancers, diabetes and various other diseases. They also contain proteins essential for healthy hair.

As much as we love the idea of a beer or two a day, make sure not to over do it! We've all seen the warnings, and yes, alcohol does impair and damage the brain when consumption is not moderate. However, if you're a sensible drinker the benefits are a lengthy list, stretching from head to toe, from bone density to staving off Alzheimer's. So the next time you feel like a beer after work - have it! You owe yourself and your health that one refreshing cold medicinal wonder every now and then!

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