The Health and Nutritional Benefits of Lean Beef

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Red meat has long been maligned because it contains high levels of saturated fat. Saturated fat is regarded as unhealthy fat that causes cardiovascular diseases including heart disease. The dangers of eating excessive amounts of red meat are well-documented. But what about the benefits of red meat?

Of all red meat, lean beef is the healthiest. And contrary to popular belief, lean beef is lower in calories compared to turkey. A serving of lean beef contains fewer calories than a same size serving of lean ground turkey! Apart from being low in calories, lean beef is also loaded with essential nutrients including protein. In today’s post, we are giving you reasons to choose leaner, healthier cuts of beef:

Improves Blood Health

Lean beef is loaded with iron, an essential mineral that boosts the production of red blood cells. To boost production of red blood cells, the body needs hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a type of protein-based pigment that gives blood its red coloring. A 3 ounce serving of 95% lean ground beef contains about 2 milligrams of iron.  That’s about 11% of the RDA of iron for women and 25% RDA of this nutrient for men.

If you don’t get enough iron daily, the blood will lose the right level of hemoglobin. When this occurs, anemia will set it. Anemia is a common blood ailment caused by the inability of the body to produce healthy red blood cells. Apart from aiding in the production of red blood cells, iron promotes the production of myoglobin. Myoglobin is a type of protein that stores oxygen in the muscle cells.

Packed with B-Vitamins

Just like iron, B-vitamins aid in red blood cell production. And lean beef happens to be teeming with vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 plays a critical role in hemoglobin synthesis. This nutrient regulates the neurological function of tissues and boosts fat and protein breakdown.

A 3-ounce serving of lean beef yields about 1.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12, which satisfies 28% of your RDA of this nutrient. To increase the B12 content of your meat, we recommend choosing 95% lean ground beef. 95% lean ground beef contains 2.2 micrograms of vitamin B-12 per 3-ounce serving. It satisfies virtually 95% of your recommended daily allowance of this vitamin.

It’s Loaded with Antioxidants

That’s right, lean beef is a bonafide superfood! Beef is a rich source of coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant that protects the cells from free radical damage. Free radicals are reactive molecules that are a byproduct of environmental toxins and your own metabolism. These molecules are attracted to healthy cells, destroying the tissues from within. Free radicals cause DNA damage, leading to chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Coenzyme Q10 is a nutrient that neutralizes the ravages of oxidative stress. While the body can produce coenzyme Q10 on its own, it’s not enough to meet your body’s own needs of this nutrient. Boosting your consumption of lean beef is one way to protect the body from oxidative stress!

Packed with Zinc

Zinc is an important nutrient that boosts muscle mass and promote immunity. It keeps the heart and brain healthy. You only need about 15 mg. of this nutrient daily. A 3 ounce serving of lean beef contains about 5.5 mg. of zinc.

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