The health uses of grass-fed beef can be surprising, especially if you haven’t heard of this unique breed of beef before now. Grass-fed beef sounds explanatory: it is beef that was fed on grass. But why grass-fed beef?
Well, several studies have revealed that grass-fed beef offers significantly higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef. Grass-fed beef is one of the richest sources of protein you can find. It is also a much more active precursor for antioxidants and vitamins A & E.
Conjugated linoleic acid is particularly beneficial. It is a useful polyunsaturated acid that can be obtained only from Paleo and ketogenic diets. This compound is proven to combat cancer, improve body mass, and discourage weight accumulation.
Nutritional Profile of Grass-fed Beef
Grass-fed beef, as mentioned earlier, feeds on grass and some foraged foods. Whatever an animal eats directly influences its nutritional value, which explains why grass-fed beef is much healthier than grain-fed beef. Animals that feed on grass are some of the most nutritious you’ll ever find.
Here’s what 214 grams of lean, grass-fed beef will offer you:
- 250 calories.
- 49.4 g of protein.
- 5.8 g of fat.
- 732 mg of potassium (21% DV)
- 454 mg of phosphorus (45% DV)
- 49.2 mg of magnesium (12% DV)
- 14.3 mg of niacin (72% DV)
- 7.7 mg of zinc (52% DV)
- 1.5 mg of pantothenic (15% DV)
- 0.1 mg of thiamine (7% DV)
- 0.1 mg of copper (7% DV)
- 45.1 micrograms of selenium (64% DV)
- 27.8 micrograms of folate (7% DV)
- 27 micrograms of vitamin B12 (45% DV)
6 Health Uses of Grass-fed Beef
As mentioned, grass-fed beef offers many benefits to your health, which ranges across nearly every body function. Let’s take a look at 6 of these uses.
Potential Cancer Combatant
There are 16 different strains of conjugated linoleic acid, each of which has its unique benefits. Fortunately, much of these strains are contained in grass-fed beef, making it a must-have in your diets.
Research is still limited on the cancer-fighting ability of grass-fed beef on humans, but animals have posted encouraging results. The journal cancer recently suggested that CLA is a cancer combatant, given that most cancer-fighting foods are gotten from plants.
In 2002, Nutrition and Cancer published a Finnish study studying the anticarcinogenic impacts of CLA. The publication reported that women with lower levels of CLA were at a higher risk of breast cancer than women with higher levels of CLA.
Lowers The Risk Of Heart Diseases
The high level of CLA in grass-fed beef is arguably its most powerful offering, and this is obvious in its positive contribution towards heart health. Although it is yet to be verified, current studies suggest that grass-fed beef is the only source of CLA in animals.
Grass-fed beef can benefit cardiovascular health, thanks to the processes that it fosters. Grass-fed beef increases the production of omega-3 fatty acids (which are highly useful to the heart) and heart-stabilizing antioxidants, such as vitamin E. It also reduces the level of unhealthy fat in the body and dietary cholesterol levels in the body.
By doing all these, grass-fed beef will ensure that your arteries remain clear, thus ruling out the risk of several heart diseases.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Having high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and other healthy fats in the body is an excellent way to control blood sugar. In 2016, the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism published research assessing how CLA can impact insulin sensitivity in obese kids. The utterly random study reported that at least 37% of the kids experienced improved insulin sensitivity. Additionally, there was an increase of protein molecule IRS2 in the muscle biopsies of the participants, which is a compound that regulates the impacts of insulin on us.
With this study, it was established that CLA is beneficial to kids and adults. Therefore, you should include more grass-fed beef in your kid’s diet. This will reduce the risk of obesity, type 1 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular illnesses.
Lesser Risk of Antibiotics & Hormones
Nearly 80% of antibiotics made in America are used on cows, so worrying about antibiotics in beef is necessary. When a cow is not fed on grass, then it is fed with grains, which does not encourage growth as much as the former option. As a result, farmers resort to hormone treatment to grow the livestock’s weight unnaturally, for obvious reasons: more meat, more profits.
As these cows grow bigger, the space to keep them becomes smaller, meaning that they are at a very close range and that diseases can now be spread faster. To prevent or control this, farmers administer antibiotics on the cows, which causes resistance to antibiotics in humans. We have to understand that using a medication directly has different effects from eating it through food. This is why we should bother about what the livestock that we eat consumes.
This problem is, however, absent in grass-fed beef. Grass-fed beef is not commonly used commercially and is extremely beneficial, thus negating the need for administering antibiotics or hormones.
Not Only Healthier But Also Safer
Grass-fed beef is much safer than conventional (grain-fed) beef. This is best illustrated in research by Consumer Reports. The researchers assessed the bacterial strains in over 300 conventional beef samples collected from 103 standardized food stores across 26 states in the country. The research was alarming and mind-blowing.
To begin with, a very striking finding of the research is that sustainably raised (grass-fed) beef is less likely to have bacteria resistant to antibiotics, compared to conventional (grain-fed) beef. One of these bacteria was MRSA: methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, a bacterial strain that kills nearly 11 000 people annually in America. This bacterial strain was found in 3 conventional (grain-fed) samples and in no single sustainable (grass-fed) beef.
Also, nearly 18% of conventional beef were infected with superbugs, which are bacteria resistant to at least three antibiotic classes. This was safer, compared to the meager 9% found in sustainable samples.
Finalizing The Health Uses of Grass-fed Beef
The health uses of grass-fed beef are unique, considering that it may be the only source of CLA in animals. As you have seen, it is beneficial to both adults and children, meaning that every member of the family can appreciate it. Add more to your family diet, and when shopping for beef, go for only grass-fed options.