Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Good Guinness

I'm not much of a drinker. But I am a fan of Guinness stout. One of the reasons I like it is it works well with food. Guinness and oysters is a classic but it also complements smoked fish, and of course fish and chips.

Guinness is also a good cooking liquid. You can use it in broth for a beefy barley soup or in an Irish stew. I've even seen chocolate cake recipes that use Guinness. Actually it sounds pretty good to me!

Many people know about the reputed health benefits of Guinness. In Ireland pregnant women were given it to drink as a tonic as well as post op patients and blood donors. While currently pregnant women are not advised to drink alcohol of any kind, there was some sense to this recommendation. Guinness draught is very high in iron, and has about 10% of your required B vitamins. It also has trace amounts of protein. At 125 calories and 10 carbs per 12 ounce serving, it practically qualifies as a light beer despite its dark hue.

Recent research from the University of Wisconsin has actually been able to prove the efficacy of drinking Guinness. Due to antioxidant compounds similar to those found in fruits and vegetables drinking Guinness actually helps to prevent blood clots and slows the deposit of cholesterol on artery walls. So far the research has only been done with dogs, but I imagine there might be a few humans willing to offer themselves up for the good of science, right?