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Beer for preventing cardiovascular diseases

Wiki Spanish Food editorial team

High blood pressure and cardiac insufficiency could be symptoms of heart problems. Cardiovascular diseases affect a large part of population and are the cause of death in more than 70 million people around the world each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help prevent, and even eliminate, some of the risk of developing this type of illness.

One of the first steps is to maintain a healthy diet, which is essential for the body to function well and, of course, for a healthy heart. Luckily, the main dietary pattern in our country, the Mediterranean diet, is healthy and balanced, which is vital for preventing many diseases. It’s a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables as well as fish and olive oil, among other products.

This diet also includes moderate consumption of fermented beverages, like beer. In fact, there is scientific evidence that connects moderate fermented beverage consumption with better cardiovascular health. Beer contains bioactive components, such as vitamins, minerals and polyphenols. Moderate consumption of this drink can form part of a balanced diet.

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties

“Scientific evidence of the beneficial effects of moderate consumption of beer on the cardiovascular system”, a study carried out by Dr. Ramón Estruch, Senior Consultant at Clínic Hospital in Barcelona, concludes that moderate and regular consumption of beer may have positive effects on the cardiovascular system. “Beer, both traditional and alcohol-free, protect the cardiovascular system better than other alcoholic beverages due to their polyphenols. Moreover, other research shows that the non-alcoholic components of beer are beneficial for health due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” says Dr. Estruch.

Additionally, the study "Intake of fermented beverages protect against acute myocardial injury: Target organ cardiac effects and vasculoprotective effects”, led by Dr. Lina Badimón, Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Research, and Dr. Gemma Vilahur, a researcher at that center, concludes that moderate beer consumption protects against acute myocardial injury associated with heart attacks while also favoring heart function overall. Says Dr. Badimón, "Moderate beer consumption may favor the formation of scar tissue following a heart attack”.

In addition to eating a Mediterranean diet, there are other healthy habits that may help people with heart problems, such as increased physical activity and moderate exercise. However it’s important to note that quitting smoking is one of the most effective ways to reduce cardiovascular risk and many other illnesses.

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