Beer Helps You Burn Fat, Says the Father of Functional Medicine
If you don't know Jeffrey S. Bland, Ph.D., FACN, CNS by name, you've likely felt his impact. If you've ever taken a naturopathic remedy, eaten a food for a specific purported health benefit, or read a label to better understand the structure or function of an ingredient, it may be because of Bland. Considered the "Father" of functional medicine, this Linus Pauling disciple has been instrumental in bringing awareness to what—and why—we eat.
Dr. Bland has been instrumental in bringing natural medicine into the limelight over the last three decades. And when it comes to the very best medicine, Bland says look to plants.
"If we go back to the cultures that have respected longevity and ask what they ate, we find that they're eating very hearty plants," he said on a recent mindbodygreen podcast episode.
Eat or Drink Your Oats
Now, he has some additional recommendations on what to eat, and these two may surprise you: oat (milk) and beer.
Okay, so Bland takes his oats in the warm bowlful topped with cinnamon or berries. But there's nothing wrong with the frothy espresso-topped kind, either.
"Oats have a lot of beta-glucan, which is a really important modulator of your microbiome," he says. That's right, eating or drinking your oats may help keep your gut healthy. Oats are also rich in vitamin E, phytic acid, and certain antioxidants that may help to reduce inflammation in the body.
Have a Beer (Really)
Quarantine or not, having a beer now and then can take the edge off. But it may have more benefits than just a buzz. And when it comes to beer, the hoppier, the better.
"Beer has hops in it," Bland says. "Hops are not only a bittering agent, but they are a bioactive member of the phytochemical families that stimulate insulin sensitivity and cause lipid metabolism."
Hops has been revered for its ability to help you sleep. You can get hops extract on its own if you don't want the buzz (or calories) of beer. Consuming hops has also been linked to reducing the risks of metabolic syndrome.
But don't just grab any old beer. Go for something that's extra hoppy, says Bland.
"Go for an IPA, because you have more of those isoflavones and humulones from the hops." And don't overdo it. "Just as with wine or with tequila, it has to do with magnitude," he says.
No surprise that the father of functional medicine recommends balance.