The maintenance of a heart-healthy diet may come down to consuming one modest beverage more often: beer.

Red wine has long been touted as one of the most heart-healthy alcoholic beverage of choice among the elderly population for its cardiovascular benefits – lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels, thanks to its antioxidants – and for its positive effect on memory recall. Even though a large population of seniors swears by drinking a glass a day, wine could be on the outs as seniors begin to take to the hoppy alternative.

With new research suggesting that beer is linked to a longer life, attributing many benefits to heart health, it could quickly pour in as a replacement to the tannin-laden bottle of red. While statements from seniors who attribute their long life to beer may not be convincing enough to suggest that an older demographic should be tapping into this beverage category, science and research indicate that it actually might be a great addition to uphold a heart-healthy diet, as well as contribute to the reduction of age-related illness.

So, what do the research and data suggest? Here’s what we currently know about the benefits of beer consumption in old age.

One Beer a Day Is Advised

Drinking one beer a day – or two if you’re a male – is perfectly acceptable if you’re over the age of sixty-five, so long as you take precautions around any medications. A research study indicated that this level of consumption could decrease early death by 18%; a stat that is higher than that of exercise, according to the same study.

Beer Could Ward Off Cardiovascular Disease

Another research study discovered that those who drank lightly (two or fewer drinks per week) were 20-30% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those who did not consume alcohol. Of those who do not drink, 33% are more likely to develop unstable angina and 56% more likely to die from heart disease.

Beer Might Prevent Neurodegenerative Disease

Research has also linked hops – a key ingredient in beer – to protect against diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and suggests that regular consumption of beer can provide these benefits.

Beer Contains “Good Cholesterol”

For seniors wanting to lower their cholesterol, beer can be the link to clearing out those pipes. Beer contains an ingredient that, when consumed, can increase HDL cholesterol, which is needed to help keep your heart healthy.

Muscles Can Remain Strong with Age

Strength in aging muscles could remain with moderate beer consumption, preventing muscle deterioration and atrophy. However, those studies indicate that a lot should be consumed to see these advantages, but sticking to one beer a day could still benefit aging muscles.

Many of these recent studies related to the benefits of beer drinking in old age are based on discovering patterns in data, which have led to the observed benefits of beer being part of a heart-healthy diet for seniors.

Do you think that your loved one or patient is able to incorporate beer as part of their diet? Let us know which beer you’re most keen on adding to their menu. Note: pale ales contribute to a higher bone density and dark beers contain more antioxidants. Source: Hoppy Trails.

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