By Martin Ebner
After a recent claim from the World Health Organisation that Beef causes cancer, one Argentine responded with this - "I'd rather die than give up meat". This response was not at all a surprising one given that it's the centre-piece of any lunch and dinner plate in every town, city and province in Argentina.
Now... I'm not going to sit here and say that Argentina's annual average of 60+ kilos of beef per person is healthy. Chowing down some 500g at any single serving will probably do more harm than good. Any type of overindulgence can be dangerous and unfortunately an abundance of red meat in the gut is no different.
health benefits of eating beef
Now it's not all bad news. Far from it. Beef is Argentina's 1st choice protein source and rightly so. Very few foods come close to it's muscle building potential. The protein you get from red meat contains all the amino acids necessary to build muscle and repair tissue.
Red meat also contains 15 mg of niacin (vitamin B3) per 200g. Niacin has been shown to heighten vasos, dilation, or the expansion of blood vessels, and increase HDL or “good” cholesterol.
Beef is also an excellent source of:
- Zinc - which increases sperm count and is crucial to prostate health.
- Iron - a key component of oxygen delivery within your cells
- Selenium - Gives your immune system a boost against, helping fight off illnesses
Which cut of beef is best
It can be a little overwhelming when faced with a menu of nothing more than a long list of different cow parts. Do yourself a favour, learn the good cuts, avoid the bad and choose the cut/s that best suit your health and fitness goals.
Increase immunity – Rump
Energy hit – Silverside has the highest levels of vitamin B2.
Build muscle – Sirloin packs a whopping 28g of protein per 100g. The highest of any cut.
Enhance endurance – Liver is richest in iron.
Cardiovascular protection – Heart has a fantastic combination of magnesium and Taurine.
Heighten sexual performance – T-Bone. OH YES!!!!
Improve brain health – Chuck is packed with brain-boosting fatty acids.
Go for “grass-fed” beef whenever you can find it. Cattle that eat an all-grass diet have higher levels of healthy omega-3 fats than those that eat corn.
Related articles: Argentine Barbecue guide