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Beer with Superfoods: Do or Dont?

Dr. Jekyll's Craft Brewery

We've seen peanut butter, cereal, and even beauty products pumped up with superfood ingredients. But when we first heard about beer with superfoods brewed right in, we were a little bit skeptical... and very curious.

Dr. Jekyll's Craft Brewery's new line of three organic beers includes things like acai berry, turmeric, flaxseed oil, and more. They're vegan and non-GMO, and a portion of proceeds goes to organizations like the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and the Wounded Warriors Project. The idea came from a friend of president and CEO Tom Costa, a bodybuilding beer-lover who was concerned about the quality of his food and drinks. "These days, people are very aware of what they're eating and drinking," says Costa. "We're all about making the best beer possible--organic, non GMO, vegan-friendly, and brewed with superfoods."

But can you really get the benefits of superfoods from beer? We called New York-based nutritionist Jessica Cording, R.D. to find out. And while she says she wouldn't necessarily tell her clients to go get their superfoods from alcohol, or to look to beer for nutrition rather than food, the idea intrigued her as well. "If you want to drink beer anyway, and you're looking for ways to get these nutrients in...why not?" (Cheers to this: Drinking Beer Post-Run Gets the Hydration Stamp of Approval.)

Consumers are looking for those ingredients, she says, because they've heard about their health-boosting abilities. Acai has really potent antioxidants. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and potentially anti-cancer properties, and has a long history of being used medicinally. And flaxseed oil is rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

And, though wine gets most of the attention when it comes to the health benefits of alcohol beverages, beer (when used in moderation!) has some positive qualities too. The alcohol in it, ethanol, has been shown to be beneficial to heart health, and it has some b-vitamins. (Read more on the Health Benefits of Beer.)

However, that doesn't make beer a health drink and imbibing an occasional turmeric-enhanced brew isn't likely to give you a huge dose of the root, says Cording. (And she doesn't recommend you swig more, reminding us that the current recommendation for women is to limit alcohol to up to one serving per day). Since those numbers are limited, make sure you're choosing drinks you really enjoy and are excited about, she says.

But—the most important question—how do they taste? We put them to the test and (unsurprisingly, since they've earned medals at beer festivals), they were quite flavorful. Tasty beer with some added antioxidants...next round's on us!

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