Beer Is Good For You, No Really!
Healthy Beer Bonne Année mes amis! Here we are in 2012, the festivities are over & it’s time to reflect on our yuletide indulgence. I would like to see how beer fits in with my new health & beauty regime. In the interest, once again, of investigating all things beer related, I have become your secret agent. I have discovered that there are benefits that can be gained from the ingredients used in beer that can be applied both internally & externally!
When consumed in moderation, the vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants & many other nutritional elements contained in beer can be good for you, according to research. Even hops have been proven useful in the medical world & are now used in supplements like “MenoHop”, a treatment to alleviate the symptoms of Menopause. Hops have long been used as a sleep aid!
It’s nothing new though. In the Middle Ages it was widely believed that it was better to drink beer than water as the brewing process eliminated water borne diseases. In my home country of Belgium, monks were able to offer their monastic brews to keep the locals from harm.
Mamma Beer For generations, new mothers have been recommended beers like Guinness that are high in iron in order to boost stamina. The alcohol content of beer has been frowned upon in more recent years, with concerns that it may be transferred to the baby. Polysaccharides found in beer have, however, been shown to stimulate lactation. Kirin Brewery Co. even went so far as to give out samples of their new 0% alcohol beer in 2010 to new mothers in leading maternity hospitals in Japan.
Say NO to Beer Bellies! Beer also works as a diuretic. You may have noticed the increased need to make trips to the little squirrel’s room when drinking a glass of beer. For all the body conscious drinkers out there, beer itself is not fattening, it contains less calories than wine (in a like for like comparison). It’s the peanuts, crisps & many other salty, rather unhealthy snacks that go with it that cause the “beer belly”.
Beer CAN Be A Thing of Beauty So even if you’re not convinced by the health benefits of drinking beer, you could always try applying it to your body! Vitamin B2, a constituent of beer, is known to play an important role in the growth & repair of hair, skin & nails. Brewers yeast can help improve symptoms of acne. Beer shampoo has been used for centuries to bring out the shine in hair & beer soaps & creams are thought to keep skin soft. You can even go to a health spa & soak yourself in a tub of beer, be wrapped in beer & finish it all off with a relaxing beer facial (see links for lists of beer cosmetics & of different spas offering beer beauty treatments).Or why not try it for yourself at home? Even Hollywood beauty Catherine Zeta Jones swears by beer & honey hair conditioner, so moi & Madame Squirrel decided to give these beer health treatments from endlessbeauty.com a go:
Five Do-It-Yourself Beer Beauty Recipes
Beer ‘n Bubbles Simply add your favorite brew to your bath, using as much or as little as you can spare. You’ll be engulfed in your favorite smelling ale while softening your skin during your soak (remember, drinking the bath water is not allowed).
Strawberry Scrub Mash 2-3 strawberries with a few drops of beer until it makes a paste. Rub the paste on your face and let sit for 20-25 minutes. Rinse off. This is not only moisturising but helps eliminate pesky blackheads and whiteheads.
Beer Shampoo Combine equal parts of your favorite beer and your favorite shampoo, use as normal. It’ll make your normal shampoo more clarifying, volumising, and shine-inducing.
Beer Rinse Combine 2 tablespoons of water, 2 teaspoons cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of beer, and 5 drops of your favorite essential oil (optional!). Rub the solution throughout hair. Rinse. This can remove stubborn build up and enhance shine.
Beer Conditioner Warm 200ml of beer & combine it with 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil. Leave in hair for at least 15 minutes before rinsing out. Look forward to improved shine and volume.
Gluten Free Beer Coeliacs & sufferers of IBS need not despair! Breweries such as Greens, St Peter’s, Hambleton Ales & even Belgian Daas have produced gluten free beers which are easily available online & in supermarkets, enjoy! I have tasted a Dutch gluten free beer by Mongozo, see notes below:
|Mongozo Premium Pilsner (Gluten free)|
|Overall impression||A pale blond, light, easy drinking, smooth Dutch Helles-style Lager beer, with overriding, yet light malty sweetness & subtle hoppy dryness, followed by a lingering, slightly tart & dry finish. A gluten free beer which tastes like a beer.|
|Food match||Salt and pepper squid with lime & chili dressing|
|Origin||The Netherlands, Venray – brewed under license in Belgium by Huyghe Delirium Brewery|
|Unique ingredients||Organic barley malt & riceGlutens are removed after the beer is brewed using a unique process, which is followed by stringent laboratory checks (gluten is a special type of protein that is commonly found in rye, wheat, & barley). Mongozo beers also contain organic & Fairtrade ingredients (see Max Havelaar logo).|
|Beer style||Dutch Helles-style Lager beer|
|Serving tips||Served best between 2-4°C in an inward flared glass|
|Appearance||Pale blond, clear, slightly fizzy|
|Mouth feel||Light, easy drinking, smooth|
|Taste||Sweet – Bitter|
|Flavour||Malty, grainy sweetness with soft hoppy bitterness|
|Finish||Lingering dry, slightly tart|
|For more info||mongozo.com|