Beef 101 – Nutritional Benefits of Beef

The cooler months here in Arizona are coming to an end, which means that 120-degree weather is almost here. While many of us groan at the thought of summer approaching, one thing we can all look forward to is all the backyard barbecues. And for us Arizonans, what better thing to throw on the grill or smoker than some fresh, Arizona-raised beef! Besides being delicious, beef is also incredibly nutritious too! Sliced Medium Rare Grilled Beef Steak Ribeye With Corn And Cherr

In terms of the basic nutritional facts of beef, a 3-ounce sirloin steak clocks in at:

  • 207 Calories
  • 12 Grams of fat
  • 0 Grams of carbohydrates
  • 23 Grams of protein

But the nutrition of beef doesn’t stop there. According to Dr. Atli Arnarson, beef is incredibly rich in a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and other healthful compounds. As a result, there are lots of health benefits that can come from consuming beef.

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, beef is a rich source of the following:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin B6
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Selenium
  • Niacin
  • Phosphorous


Additionally, beef is chock full of other compounds that offer multiple health benefits including:

  • Creatine – It serves as an energy source for muscles and is beneficial for growth and maintenance of muscles.
  • Taurine – An antioxidant amino acid that is beneficial to heart and muscle function.
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) – CLA is a trans-fat from ruminant animals that has been shown to promote weight loss and improve insulin sensitivity.
  • L-Carnitine – Helps with fat metabolism, and also improves heart health, fasting glucose levels, and cholesterol.
  • Glutathione – This is an antioxidant that has anti-aging properties, increases longevity, helps prevent illness and lessens disease risk.
  • Beta-alanine – This is an amino acid in beef that stimulates your body’s production of carnosine, which is important to muscle function, reduction of muscle fatigue, and improved endurance.

Now, with all that said, there is a wide range of health benefits that can come from all of the nutrition that beef has to offer. The most obvious is that consuming beef builds muscle mass due to all of the protein and creatine that it contains. That, along with the fat-burning benefits of L-carnitine and the improved muscle endurance of carnosine, make it a great option for those who are into fitness or sports. Beef consumption also helps to prevent anemia, as beef contains a significant amount of heme-iron, which is a more efficiently absorbed form of iron only found in animal products.

Raising beef cattle is one of Arizona’s top agricultural commodities, with Arizona ranchers producing enough beef to feed up to 8 million people! So, when you host a barbecue and fire up your grill this summer, make sure to cook up some delicious and highly nutritious Arizona beef!

And by the way, May is National Beef Month!

For more articles about health, nutrition, and Arizona agriculture, check out the Fill Your Plate blog!

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