Beer: The Health Drink?

Is beer good for your health? VN reveals the findings of a recent study touting beers' benefits.

Often the adult beverage of choice among party-going college students, ballpark-loving sports fans, and veggie-grilling barbecue masters, beer tends to get a bad rap. Beyond beer bellies, the brew is starting to receive recognition for something we all desire: healthier bones.

According to a study published in the Nutrition Journal, women who regularly drank moderate amounts of beer were found to have better bone density than non-drinkers. As surprising as it sounds, of the 1,697 women studied, those who drank "lightly" to "moderately," which is 280 grams or almost 10 ounces, have better results when their fingers were tested for bone density.

Researchers chock the benefit up to phytoestrogens, hormone-like plant compounds, in the beer, rather than the alcohol itself, but need to conduct further research in order to make any declarative statement on the potential bone benefit. But a brew with potential bone benefits? That's good news, indeed.

You don't have to crack one open and start guzzling immediately. In fact, publishers of the study don't advise anyone to start drinking in an effort to prevent bone loss. But if you'd like to take advantage of your favorite bubbly beverage, read on to discover which of your favorite beers are vegan.

According to Paul Cobet, director of the technical center at Anheuser-Busch, "Our beers are brewed around the world using water, yeast, barley malt, hops, and cereal grains (such as rice, corn, or sorghum). None of Anheuser-Busch brewed beers or other products contain any animal ingredients (such as milk, eggs, etc), or process aids such as isinglass or gelatin, except for three small-volume brands called Michelob Honey Lager, Michelob Honey Wheat, and Michelob Golden Honey Wheat, which use real honey."

America's leading brewer, Anheuser-Busch manufactures such popular brands as Budweiser, Busch, Michelob, Beck's, and Stella Artois to name a few. That means the array of vegan beer is far-reaching and easily available. Anheuser-Bush is even releasing two new vegan-friendly brews, Select 55, a 55-calorie beer, and Bud Light Golden Wheat later this year.

If the Busch family doesn't appeal to you, check your favorite beer on From Anchor Brewing Co. to Sierra Nevada to Blue Moon, there's sure to be a pale ale to please your palette.

And speaking of palettes, a key factor in enjoying a good brew is pairing it with good food as well. is brimming with suggestions for your favorite vegetable's beermate. Who knew that butternut squash is complemented by an American light lager or Oktoberfest and contrasted with a blonde ale? And in case you're wondering what to serve with that welcome-to-fall apple crisp, go for a pilsner or amber lager.

Whether you're toasting the start of a new season, still clinging on to the last essence of summer, or cheering to better bones, enjoy a cold one, responsibly.

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