Wiki Spanish Food editorial team
Women go through many hormonal changes over the course of their lives, and for many, menopause can be a difficult time. Headaches, mood swings and insomnia are some of the most common symptoms that can appear when menopause begins.
In addition to these temporary problems, and according to the Spanish Menopause Society (AEEM), menopause can also have an impact on women's hearts and bones. To that end, and with a view to raising awareness about the importance of taking care of oneself during this period, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Menopause Society (IMS) established World Menopause Day, on October 18th.
According to the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition (SEEN), during this phase women should adjust their lifestyle, taking special care to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Other food recommendations include eating less fat as well as five servings of fruit and vegetables each day, and increasing dairy intake to prevent osteoporosis.
According to the book Effects of Beer During Menopause, coordinated by professor Tirso Pérez Medina, who heads the Gynecology department at Puerta de Hierro University Hospital in Madrid, moderate consumption of beer may favor an increase in bone mass in women as it is high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Specifically, he says women who drink beer in moderation prior to menopause usually have stronger bones.
Pérez Medina also explains in his book that the high polyphenol content in beer may provide protection against cardiovascular diseases and reduce the oxidative phenomena responsible for aging. At any rate, beer consumption should be moderate (one or two beers per day for women) in healthy adults as part of a balanced Mediterranean diet.
Alcohol-free beer for women who are pregnant or nursing
Menopause aside, women who are pregnant or nursing should not drink any alcoholic beverages. In those cases, alcohol-free beer can be an alternative to traditional beer; it could prove beneficial for both mother and baby since it's made with natural ingredients. "Women who are nursing should not consume any alcohol, as it could harm the baby's health.
In fact, according to the investigation "Effects of alcohol-free beer on breast milk", performed by the University of Valencia and Doctor Peset Hospital in Valencia and published in Breastfeeding Medicine, nursing mothers who supplement their diet with alcohol-free beer have milk which has 30% more antioxidants, as well as greater antioxidant capacity in both their blood and urine.
Alcohol-free beer should be consumed as a healthy alternative due to its high water content and low calorie count (a 200 ml beer has just 34 Kcal).