By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern
When you think of thanksgiving, your mind probably goes to that huge meal that families prepare and enjoy together every November. For most families, the menu on that day is always comprised of traditional thanksgiving foods including turkey, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls and of course a big pumpkin pie for after.
One thing that has always made thanksgiving memorable in my family is that most of my family members don’t actually like turkey, so we always have steak instead. Although beef sometimes gets a bad rap as being unhealthy, it is actually quite good for you.
According to nutritionist Michael Joseph, beef is loaded with nutrition and health benefits, contrary to some beliefs. In a recent article that he wrote about the healthfulness of beef, he outlines the following nutritional advantages that beef has to offer.
Contains Important Amino Acids
Beef is an amazing source of two very important amino acids, L-carnitine and carnosine. When it comes to L-carnitine which is important for fat metabolism, beef contains 56-162 milligrams per 4oz of beef, compared to the 3-5 milligrams in 4oz of chicken. Carnosine on the other hand, reduces inflammation and boosts the immune system. Beef contains 50% more carnosine than poultry.
Is Extremely Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
In terms of vitamins, beef contains especially high amounts of all of the B vitamins, as well as some smaller amounts of vitamins E and K. As far as mineral content goes, beef provides more than half of the daily recommended amounts of both selenium and zinc, which are vital for good health. Also, beef liver specifically is very high in iron, another mineral that many people lack.
Is Very High in Protein
Protein is the macronutrient that is the main building block for everything in our bodies, from skin, to bones, to cartilage. It also builds and maintains our lean muscle mass and is the most satiating macronutrient.
This is probably my favorite perk of eating beef out of them all. For those of you who enjoy fitness like I do, you’ve heard of people taking creatine supplements before working out, as it promotes the growth and endurance of muscles. Beef naturally contains creatine, specifically 350 milligrams per 100 grams of beef.
So, with that being said, even if you don’t want to replace your thanksgiving turkey with beef this year like my family does, it’s worth noting that beef definitely has a lot of healthful perks and deserves a place on your table!
Arizona agriculture produces lots and lots of beef! Whether you look for Arizona grown beef in the store, pick some up from a famers market, or buy it from the producer directly, getting fresh, local beef is so easy!
For more articles about beef, or for more information on where you can find it, check out the Fill Your Plate website!