Beef meat is the kind of meat you get from cattle. Experts categorize beef meat as a red meat which many different studies have recommended we should try to cut down from our diet. Whiles these studies say that beef meat holds a number of health risks, there are still quite a lot of health benefits that one can derive from eating beef.
In this article, we will look at the nutritional content of beef meat and see some of the health benefits that we can derive from it. If your doctor or dietitian have advised you to cut down your beef consumption because of a particular health reason, please do so. But if you are fine in your health, this article should help you see reasons why you should do well to add a chunk or two of beef meat to your meals and for your children too.
For those who have been told to cut down on eating beef, they have the option of resorting to consuming poultry or fish. These too have as much health benefits as you can derive from eating beef and they too have their own specific health risks.
Cow meat, goat meet, sheep meat and so on are all beef meat. They can sometimes be processed and packaged as corn beef and sausage. Whatever the form you prefer consuming your beef, whether fresh or processed, they can supply you with a wide range of nutrients.
- Protein : Beef meat primarily composed of protein which contains all the different essential amino acids that your body requires for its proper functioning and development. The protein content of lean, cooked beef is about 26–27%.
- Fat : The fat contained in beef meat is called beef tallow. It is composed of the different types of fats which occur in almost equal proportions. You can get saturated fats, unsaturated fats, and trans fats from beef meet. Lean meat is generally about 5–10% fat. The major fatty acids are stearic acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid.
- Vitamins and minerals : Beef is abundant in vitamins and minerals including vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin B12, zinc, selenium, iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Processed beef may also be high in sodium. All these vitamins and minerals play very important roles in the maintenance of proper body functions.
- Compounds : Beef meat is also a source of other important healthy compounds like antioxidants. The more common ones include creatinine, taurine, gluthathione, conjugated linolenic acid and dietary cholesterol.
6 Health Benefits of Eating Beef
Supplies Essential Amino Acids
There are 2 groupings of amino acids – essential and non essential. Essential amino acids are those which your body cannot produce by itself and therefore must be acquired from other sources. However, non essential amino acids can be produced by the body. Incidentally, beef contains all the nine amino acids which include histidine, leucine, lycine, isoleucine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Adding beef meat to your meals means that you are sure to be getting all these important amino acids to perform their various functions in your body.
Boost the Immune system
Beef is a rich source of zinc and zinc is an important mineral in the functioning of our body’s immune system. Zinc has antioxidant properties which helps to clear free radicals in the body that can cause chronic diseases. In addition, the gluthatione ( which is known as the master antioxidant) found in beef meat helps in treating oxidative stress to boost immunity. This master antioxidant also has anti-aging properties and helps body recovery.
Further more, beef contains abundant protein and the antibodies which our immune system produces to protect us against a number of infections and antigens are all proteins.
Protect Against Mineral and Vitamin Deficiency
Beef provides more than half of the daily recommended amount of selenium and zinc, as well as other important trace elements. Adding beef to your meals is a sure way to ensure that you and your children are supplied with these vital minerals.
Similarly, beef supplies the body with a number of vitamins especially vitamin B12. Studies have linked vitamin B12 to a wealth of benefits that include positive mood, better sleep, and neural regeneration. Another study also shows that vitamin B12 is vital in improving skin care.
Building Muscle Mass
Our muscles are composed largely of proteins and like all other types of meat, beef provides abundant protein to the body for building new cells and repairing damaged ones. That is why protein-rich foods are considered as body building foods.
Children and the elderly need proteins for building muscle mass. Ensure that your kids have beef added to their meals and the elderly ones with wasted muscles should also be given a chunk or two of beef when serving their meals.
Improve Muscle Function
Carnosine is formed in the body from beta-alanine. It is a compound important for muscle function. Beef supplies the body with beta-alanine for this function. Studies have shown that supplementing with beta-alanine increases the amount of carnosine in skeletal muscles and improves muscle function in exercise activities such as cycling.
So if want to improve your exercising ability, do well to add beef to your meals. with high levels of carnosine in your skeletal muscle, fatigue will be reduced and muscle function is greatly improved.
Anemia is a common condition, characterized by a decreased number of red blood cells and reduced ability of the blood to carry oxygen. Iron deficiency is one of the most common causes of anemia. Thankfully, beef meat supplies a good amount of heme-iron which can help you protect against anemia. Heme-iron is only derived from animal sources whiles non heme-iron is derived from plant sources and our body absorbs heme-iron more effectively.
One study found that eating meat rich in iron supplies the mineral more effectively than iron tablets in exercising women. We can therefore infer that beef meat is one the ways you can prevent iron deficiency anemia.
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