We all know how important a balanced diet is in the interest of good health. Earlier this month, World Health Day took place. An event run by the World Health Organisation, it aims to bring awareness to a variety of health related issues. A good education surrounding nutrition is arguably the most important factor in obtaining a balanced diet, so we’ve put together some nutritional facts that reveal the health benefits of beef that everyone should know about.
IT’S A SOURCE OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS
The following vitamins and minerals are abundant in beef: Vitamin B12, Zinc, Selenium, Iron, Niacin, Vitamin B6 and Phosophorus. Together, these vitamins have a variety of essential functions within the body, and some are found only in meat-based products.
IT’S A SOURCE OF PROTEIN
Protein is an essential part of a balanced diet, and the best dietary sources of protein are animal-derived foods. Beef is a rich source of high-quality protein, and contains all the essential amino acids.
IT’S A SOURCE OF NATURAL FATS
Beef is not as high in fat as it is perhaps perceived to be, particularly the leaner cuts, such as ball of the round, flank, or the chuck. Natural fats are also an important part of a balanced diet, to avoid the unhealthy types of fat, steer clear of grain-fed and processed beef.
IT’S A SOURCE OF ANTIOXIDANTS
Beef is high in antioxidants such as creatine, which serves as an energy source for muscles, and taurine, which is important for heart and muscle function.
BEEF CAN ASSIST IN THE MAINTENANCE OF MUSCLE MASS
As a rich source of high-quality protein, beef may contribute to the maintenance and growth of muscle mass, which is particularly important in children and old people.
IT CAN IMPROVE EXERCISE PERFORMANCE
Carnosine is a dipeptide that is essential for muscle function. It is formed in the body from beta-alanine, a dietary amino acid found in high amounts in meat and fish.
BEEF CAN ASSIST WITH THE PREVENTION OF ANAEMIA
Anaemia is a common condition, characterised by decreased amount of red blood cells and reduced ability of the blood to carry oxygen. Beef is an excellent source of iron, and regular consumption is a good step toward the prevention of anaemia.
GRASS-FED BEEF IS BEST
The nutritional value of meat depends on its quality, and this is hugely dependent on what the animal was fed. Generally, going for beef from cows that have been grass-fed will ensure it is higher in healthy nutrients, such as antioxidants, vitamin E and fatty acids. Find out more about the background and provenance of Irish beef here.
Of course, beef should be consumed in moderation and can have health benefits when part of a balanced diet. See more information about the World Health Organisation here.