| Last updated
Rejoice! It's International Beer Day! We actually thought every day was International Beer Day, but guess this is the only official one. Oh well.
Anyway, it's appropriate that in honour of this most prestigious of holidays - why are we at work writing this rather than swimming in a pool filled with beer? - that scientists in Hong Kong have determined that beer is actually very good for you. Of course it is!
Research published in The American Journal of the Medical Sciences this week claims that beer contains more protein and B vitamins than wine, is high in antioxidants and can reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular disease. There's no mention of beer bellies anywhere but that must just be an oversight.
Speaking to the South China Morning Post about the findings, nutritionist Sisi Yip said: "Beer contains trace amounts of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium, fluoride and silicon.
"Beer also includes a range of polyphenols such as flavonoids and phenolic acids that contribute directly to several beer characteristics such as flavour, haze, body and fullness."
According to Yip, research has shown that polyphenols - which are naturally occurring chemicals found in plants - can lower the risk of developing atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes and heart disease due to their anti-inflammatory effects, and that it's regular beer, as opposed to light or dark, that has the highest levels of them.
Not only that, but xanthohumol, a key ingredient used to make beer, has been found in multiple studies to reduce the likelihood of insulin resistance in mice who were fed high-fat diets, which is potentially good news for people with diabetes.
Of course, it comes with a caveat, so before you go out and drink yourself blind, remember that too much alcohol - beyond awful hangovers - can have some terrible effects such as liver disease and high blood pressure and is also high in calories.
Yip says the best way to avoid the bad stuff is to count your alcohol intake on a weekly basis and space out your drinks.
"Men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis," she says. "Spread your drinking over three or more days if you regularly drink as much as 14 units a week. Ideally, the health limit is up to one pint for men and half a pint for women per day."
Not on International Beer Day, though. Today, you're allowed to indulge.
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read