Beer as an integral part of healthy diets - Current knowledge and perspective
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Beer is one of the oldest beverages. Throughout history, it has been accepted not only as a refreshing drink, but also as a liquid bread, a source of energy, a healing remedy and, lastly, as a safe drink that can promote well being. Nowadays, beer is one of the most popular beverages all over the world and an integral part of diets in most countries. For the last decade, it has been in focus of significant medical research and the numerous results have given the scientific confirmation of the statement known for centuries: beer is far more than a thirst-quenching low-alcohol beverage. Published data have indicated that beer contains a wide range of nutrients with bioactive properties and, if consumed moderately and in a responsible manner, can be a useful part of a healthy diet. Of particular interest are its polyphenol, mineral, trace element and vitamin composition, as well as its antioxidant properties. It seems that we have reliable enough results to claim that beer has a potential...ly positive influence on low blood pressure, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases, and may help protect against gallstones and kidney stone formation, dementia, osteoporosis etc. However, several facts deserve to be discussed: the latest information considering the beer's beneficial action, the meaning of moderation in each particular case, the significance of beer versus wine in health promotion, the thirst-quenching effect as a low-alcohol beverage, the influence on the energy intake and the problem with obesity, and, finally, the perspective in terms of the new beer types with new sensory and functional properties.
Keywords:Antioxidants / Beer / Bioactivity / Cardiovascular diseases / Minerals
Source:CEFood 2012 - Proceedings of 6th Central European Congress on Food, 2012, 46-54
- 6th Central European Congress on Food, CEFood 2012