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Food and Beer

Beer can complement a wide variety of foods, from light salads to rich meat dishes and even dessert. The key is to pair beers with foods that complement their flavor, rather than contrast them. For example, pairing a bitter beer with sweet food tends to make the combination taste flat and boring.

The beer-making process begins with malting, which turns grain starches into sugars that yeast can eat. Yeast consume the sugars, creating alcohol and carbonation. Brewers also add hops to provide a distinctive bitterness, aroma and flavor to the beer. Many beers are flavored with spices, fruits or chemical flavoring agents, as well.

Beer, particularly dark beers, is rich in antioxidants. The antioxidants in beer bind to free radicals and thus protect cells from damage. In addition, moderate beer consumption is linked to improved heart health. This is partly due to the fact that beer can lower LDL cholesterol levels and improve the body’s ability to remove them. In addition, the hops used to make beer have anti-inflammatory properties and can interfere with the production of inflammatory cytokines. This can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women and improve bone density in men, thus decreasing the likelihood of fractures. Moderate beer intake is also associated with a reduced risk of diabetes, and can improve blood lipids (cholesterol).

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