Is Guinness Good for You?

Were you over served on St. Patrick’s Day? No shame in that, we only get a Saturday celebration about once every seven years (I never know how to factor leap years into that equation.) For me, one of the most difficult realities to face when I hit forty was the two day hangover. Perhaps today you are still feeling the physical effects, coupled with a little dose of NSU. Nonspecific Unease is a phrase my friends use to describe that, I think I probably drank too much, but I’m not sure exactly why I feel that way, feeling. The post party guilt and NSU is useless and unnecessary, so I figured I’d give you a little reason to feel good about St. Pat’s imbibing … that is if you were enjoying a few pints of Guinness.

Surprising light in taste, there is some evidence Guinness is good for you.

First to debunk some old wives tales. If you have ever been pregnant, you were probably told by an Irish friend or relative to have a Guinness now and then. This is because it has a higher iron content, though your prenatal vitamins have a much higher, more meaningful dose. Drinking Guinness will help milk supply if you are breastfeeding is also a myth. My guess is for the women for whom it works, it is more the alcohol letting you relax. Stress impedes supply.

Now, the evidence that will make you feel better. Guinness, and other stout beers, contains flavonoids, antioxidants which are also found in red wine, chocolate and tea (Party!) Antioxidants protect your cells from free-radical damage and are thought to improve heart health and reduce the risk of some cancers. Additionally, research done on dogs shows it has anti-clotting properties which can improve your cardiovascular health and lower your risk of heart attack.

Bottom Line: I wouldn’t wash down your vitamins with it in the morning, but as far as beer goes, it may be a better choice.


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Author: Karen Latimer

Karen is a Family Physician, founder and president of Tips From Town. She loves combining all she learned as a doctor with all she continues to learn as a mom of five to bring you interesting, useful and fun information on the Family Pages.