What Can We Learn From The Irish?


Do you need an excuse to celebrate St Patty’s day this weekend? As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, it’s a holiday that many of us look forward to where we can get together with friends and socialize over some green beer. But what if we told you to consider switching that green beer (which is obviously just regular beer with green food dye) to something a little darker… like a Guinness!

Guinness is that iconic dark beer that’s been brewed in Ireland since 1759. They specialize in their one style of beer, they do it really well, and they’ve been doing it forever. But what about the claims dating back to 1920 that say “Guinness Beer is good for you”? Is there any truth to that? Could the iconic dark brown colour and foamy nitrogen head be a health elixir?

Over the years there have been many studies conducted to see if Guinness actually has any positive benefit on health. Here’s what they found:

-Healthy Heart

Guinness actually contains healthy antioxidant compounds similar to those found in many fruits and vegetables that slow down cholesterol plaques on artery walls. This reduces the risk of blood clots and heart attacks. 

Note: this does not make Guinness a substitute for fruits and vegetables!

-High Iron

Guinness contains 0.3 milligrams of iron per beer, which is roughly 3% of an adult’s daily recommend intake. That may not seem like much but since many adults fail to reach their recommended daily intake every little bit helps! Iron is a major component of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen through the body. Believe it or not, Guinness was actually once given to post-operative patients for this reason!

Note: do not consider Guinness as your main iron supplement!

-Strong Bones

Phytoestrogen is found in Guinness, which may promote bone density and bone growth. In a study of 1,700 women, those that were considered beer drinkers actually had the highest bone density. 

Note: do not neglect calcium, vitamin D, and other important building blocks of healthy bone tissue!

-Better Memory

Findings from a new research study indicate that mild alcohol consumption may actually protect against old age cognitive disorders like memory impairment and dementia. The study tracked 1,200 older adults and found those that were mild drinkers actually performed the best on cognitive testing. As a bonus, mild consumption leads to less depression as well. 

Note: this should be obvious, but please don't consider alcohol consumption to be a form of depression therapy. 

-Weight Management

Research shows that mild to moderate alcohol consumption may have positive effects on our waistline. A study of over 19,000 women over the course of 13 years found that mild drinkers were 30% less likely to become obese. 

Note: there are obviously several other factors at play when it comes to your weight. There is no such thing as a Guinness diet!

At the end of the day let’s please remember to drink moderately and responsibly. We hope everyone enjoys their St. Patty’s weekend.