Beer is a beverage that people have been consuming around the globe for thousands of years for social, religious, and cultural reasons. When you think of beer, many things probably come to mind but, the last thing you likely think of is your gut health. But, did you know you could improve your gut health with non-alcoholic beer?
We aren’t talking about the same beer that leaves you with extra gas and craving those late-night nachos. We are talking about non-alcoholic beer and its gut health-boosting potential.
How Does Non-Alcoholic Beer Boost Gut Health?
First of all, beer contains some of the nutrients our body needs, including vitamin B and polyphenols. Scientists say that our digestive systems rely on B vitamins to function properly, using them to break down and convert nutrients from the foods we consume, like fat, protein, and carbs, into energy.
Researchers have been studying polyphenols for years and have studied their effects in a wide range of objects, from tea to beer.
They have found that polyphenols provide anti-inflammatory benefits to our bodies and may even have an effect similar to a prebiotic by stimulating the growth of the good bacteria and relinquishing the bad bacteria’s power. The polyphenols present in non-alcoholic beer are also cancer-fighting agents and have been shown to prevent neurodegenerative disease.
Emerging evidence shows that polyphenols may help probiotics thrive and survive. These beneficial bacteria are found in certain fermented foods and can also be taken as a supplement. However, researchers caution that more research is needed.
A separate study found a different potential perk of non-alcoholic beer in that it contains soluble fiber, which is best known for helping to slow digestion and keeping us regular.
What’s more, there’s also evidence that shows beer consumption may increase levels of the bacterial strain Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, which feeds on yeast mannans— a complex carb found in bread and beer. Then, the bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids, which help promote gut health.
Non-Alcoholic Beer as a Superfood?
Some of the other benefits to the gut of non-alcoholic beer stem from the presence of beneficial bacteria, including:
- Lactobacilli: Acts as a barrier against obesity and insulin resistance in mice.
- Streptococcus: Promotes the regulation of immune reaction
- Other types of bacteria that are associated with weight loss in humans
Of course, the alcohol found in traditional beer counters the positive effects and leaves us with much bigger stomach problems to worry about. So, the next time you feel like cracking open a cold one, reach for a Rightside non-alcoholic brew and watch your gut thank you. Cheers to that!