“And on the seventh day, God created pizza and beer, and He saw that it was good.” -The Bible (citation needed)
Truth be told, there may be no more sacred food marriage in the world than that of an ice cold brew (or two) and a nice cheesy slice (or three), especially when consumed with friends on a Sunday afternoon watching your favorite sporting event.
But your love affair with pizza and beer doesn’t have to feel like a one night stand. Ditch the guilt, shame, and regret associated with the occasional splurge, because there are actually science-y type reasons to believe moderate consumption of pizza and beer is good for you. *GASP* Looks like this 2 am booty call is about to become a long term relationship.
Might as well just cancel your health insurance now.
First off, you’ve probably heard wine snobs and housewives alike sing the praises of the mystical health properties of red wine. In a nutshell, moderate consumption of the stuff can reduce your risk of heart disease by 31% because of something in it called reversatrol, blah, blah, blah, all fine and dandy stuff, until you take into account that over-consumption of reversatrol can cause a serious increased risk of breast cancer. Not exactly a great trade off. But WAIT — up in the sky, is it a bird? Is it a plane? IT’S SUPER BEER, to the rescue.
Recent studies have shown beer can reduce the risk of heart disease by 31%, which, if you weren’t paying attention before, is equal to the heart-health benefits of red wine, without the negative effects of the reversatrol. Booyah. But how? Antioxidants in beer, specifically darker varieties, improve circulation and blood flow by making your arteries more flexible. Think about stretching before a jog to limber up your muscles. Beer can do that — FOR YOUR INSIDES.
Five pints of Guinness, please.
Still apprehensive about picking up a six pack? Maybe you’re not thinking too clearly — beer can help you with that. Despite your decreased mental clarity at the bars on Saturday night, beer can actually help you maintain sharp cognitive function as you age by a staggering 20%. Of course, this refers to moderate drinking, and does not condone anything you did last weekend after your third round of pong.
Are you beginning to see the health benefits of an occasional brew? No? Maybe it’s time to get your eyes checked out… or knock back a couple Coronas. Studies have shown that a beer a day can keep the opthamologist away, as it’s antioxidants help protect cells in the lenses of the eye, decreasing your risk of developing cataracts as you age. Speaking of aging and it’s many “perks,” know what else sucks? Kidney stones. Beer and wine can lower your risk of developing these painful little nuisances by 41% and 33%, respectively. Hops: 2. Grapes: 0.
“Whatcha brewin’ over there?”
“THE FOUNTAIN OF DANG YOUTH.”
But what about beer bellies?! For fitness junkies worried about sacrificing one type of six pack for another, let’s compare the calorie counts of wine and beer: An average dry white wine has 121 calories in a 5 ounce serving, while your typical light beer has only 102 calories in a 12 ounce serving. Put that in your fitness calculator and suck it, vino.
The ultimate benefit of drinking? It can straight up help you live longer. Over the course of a 20-year study on the average lifespan of drinkers, 69% of the nondrinkers died, 60% of the heavy drinkers died and only 41% of the moderate drinkers died. Pretty much the opposite of a sobering truth, eh?
Guess who isn’t drunk!
Fellow Irishmen rejoice, the fountain of youth has been discovered, and it’s apparently available on tap.
But what about super beer’s sidekick pizza? Worry not, he can hold his own against a whole arsenal of villainous diseases. Most of the health benefits derived from the occasional slice can be attributed to lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, which can reduce the risk of developing esophageal, colon, and mouth cancer, as well as lower “bad” cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.
“But then I should just eat tomatoes and skip the carbs and cheese if I’m really trying to be healthy, right?” Wrong. It wouldn’t make sense to be saying any of this if that statement wasn’t oh, so wrong.
Get lost, ya weird…fruit…vegetable…things.
This study found that lycopene in cooked tomato products (re: sauce) is more readily absorbed by the body than lycopene in raw tomatoes, AND that small amounts of oil and fat (re: cheeeeesy pizza) increases the amount of lycopene absorbed by the intestines. BOOM, scienced.
As great as they are alone, together beer and pizza act almost like a Yin and Yang, balancing each other’s dark sides: The maltiness of beer helps soothe the acidity of tomato sauce, making it easier on your stomach, while the oil, cheese, and bread components of pizza, reduce the rate your body absorbs the alcohol from beer, preventing you from getting too drunk too fast. Truly a great team in action. (Batman and Robin, do you even lift?)
Clearly, you don’t need the Bible to realize that beer and pizza were a match made in Heaven. Get your fix here: