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Get Healthy with Superfoods and Beer

As the Beer Fox, I often describe beer as the personification of a Supermodel. Each style has its own appearance, with a brilliant, luminous body and head of cream lying thick and moussy on the surface. As you peer through the crystalline glass at this beauty, beads of sweat trickle down the surface.

This beauty needs a partner, one that can stand up as her personal trainer, fortified with antioxidants, monosaturated fats, and phytonutrients. Superfoods may seem simple, but they are heavyweights that can add gloss to the hair and color to the skin.

Superfoods are magical, strengthening circulation to distribute vitamins and minerals in perfect balance throughout the body. Different beer styles have the ability to cut, contrast, or complement the flavors found in superfoods. With its beneficial nutrients, beer has its own heft to supercharge the body.

Apples are full of fiber and antioxidants, including flavonoids ad polyphenols. Their appearance is like eye-candy, with color that is nearly fluorescent in nature, whether classic red, green, yellow, or the iridescent orange shades of the hybrid varieties. Crunching into them provides a sense of pleasure, one that is accompanied with succulent sweet tones or tartness on the palate. When paired with a bitter beer, such as an India Pale Ale (IPA), the contrasting flavors create a honeymoon while the polyphenols in both add powerful protection to the cardiovascular system.

Avocados may be overlooked by those of us in the northern climates, but if you live in southern California, you know and understand the true joys of natureís butter. Aztecs of the 16th century seemed to have an intuitive understanding of the revered avocado, developing recipes for guacamole that became a staple of the Mexican diet. Guacamole may be found in simple forms, mashed with a mortar and pestle and touched with sea salt, or in more complex forms, with the addition of tomato, onion, chili peppers, lime juice, yogurt, and seasonings. Regardless of its presentation, avocado is rich in monosaturated fatty acids that are applauded for lowering low density lipoproteins, also known as LDLs or bad cholesterol, and raising High-density lipoproteins, or HDLs, the good cholesterol.

Strangely enough, beer parallels the avocado in that it raises HDL levels, unleashing power that washes away bad cholesterol in the bloodstream. A Belgian witbier makes an amicable pairing with spinach salad and avocado, echoing the light profiles that are apropos for early afternoon. Spinach has lutein that benefits the eyes, carotenoids, antioxidants, betaine, and Vitamins B, C and E. The buttery flavor of avocado also works well with Belgian Golden Strong Ale.

Fruit in beer may make some people do a double-take, but it is not an uncommon occurrence. Many brewers are barrel aging their beers, choosing to add the refreshing tartness of fruit during the aging process. In Belgian style Lambics, you may commonly find cherries (kriek), raspberries (framboise), or peaches (peche). In Belgian Witbier, coriander and orange rind may be added. American brewers may add strawberries, pomegranates, or blueberries.

Some bartenders find that their clientele likes to have ďgarbageĒ in their drink. Brewers will typically protest this violently, because they have brewed their suds to perfection and do not want other flavors imparting character they did not intend. A little extra junk, whether it is fruit or olives, in your drink can be fun on occasion, so play as you please.

Blueberries are a superfood, filled with fiber, folic acid and vitamins C and E. A few fresh blueberries added to a tall pilsner glass of blueberry ale add to the pleasure. At first, the blueberries will lay in a huddle at the bottom of your glass. Eventually, little bubbles collect on the surface of each blueberry. Suddenly, the blueberry is lifted like a hot air balloon within the liquid, rising slowly to the surface. As it breaks onto the surface, the bubbles of carbonation pop, and the remaining bubbles can no longer sustain the weight of the fruit, so it drops back down. Not only is this little show fun to watch, but it also makes eating blueberries a pleasure. The B vitamins in the blueberry ale dance a waltz with the fruit, making this merging of two superfoods a super phenomenon.

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber, and none are better for hitting this superfood group than Leslie Henderson of Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company in Mississippi. Brewing a true southern style beer, Henderson has developed Sweet Potato Cream Stout, capitalizing on the added benefit of merging beer and sweet potatoes into one product.

She does a double whammy with Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale, which won a Bronze Medal in the Specialty Beer category at the 2006 World Beer Cup. Pecans are rich in Omega-3 Fatty acids and micronutrients, making them a primo choice for those who want the benefit of a super food and super beer in one gulp.

And donít forget the benefits of oats. Full of fiber, protein, potassium, magnesium and phytonutrients, this superfood helps to lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar. Paired with Oatmeal Stout, they improve the oxidative status by increasing the antioxidant properties in the body.

So donít hesitate to live a healthy lifestyle. Eat Superfoods Ö and donít forget the beer.


If you donít yet have an avocado slicer, you need one:
OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer, Green

Pecans with that beer?
Signature Pecan, 2 Pound

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