The refreshing secret to cutting heart disease risk
Summer is upon us.
From Memorial Day to Labor Day -- when you can finally open your windows and go for long walks late in the day -- there's plenty to celebrate, all summer long.
Whether it's a family picnic, a block party, or a parade, you know for sure that there will be bugs, barbecue, and beer.
And according to the latest research, grabbing a cold one to wash down your grilled chicken or steak isn't just refreshing -- it's also good for your heart!
Now, I've told you already how good red wine is for your heart health. But it turns out that the alcohol in beer can actually boost your levels of "good" cholesterol and protect you from having a heart attack.
According to a review of 150 studies conducted by the Mediterranean Neurological Institute, if you have just 22 ounces of beer or less daily -- that's just shy of two cans, or about a pint and a half -- your heart disease risk drops 25 percent!
But the benefits of beer don't stop there. Over the years, studies have shown that its many nutrients -- including vitamins, flavonoids, and polyphenols -- can help rebuild muscle, reverse cell damage and more. And the darker the beer, the more nutritious it is. Darker beers like stouts and porters are also loaded with iron!
The anti-inflammatory properties in hops -- the "flowers" used in making beer -- can help you fight joint pain by decreasing the swelling that keeps you from moving around comfortably. They may even be able to prevent cancer!
If beer isn't your thing -- and, let's face it, it's not for everybody -- you can benefit from the healing properties of hops through an extract in dry or liquid form.
Whether or not you're a drinker, don't forget that weight management and diet are also key to heart health. The Paleo diet -- an all-natural, "back to basics" approach to eating -- can help you lose weight and lessen your heart disease risk.
If you do choose to partake -- this summer, or any other time of year -- just be sure to keep it to two (short) cans of beer a day for the guys and one for the ladies. Anything more than that might do more harm than good.
And while you're at it, maybe go for a nice long walk to your local beer store or craft brewery to get some heart-healthy exercise in, too.