Choose meat and fish, for the most healthy foods, because they are very efficient deliverer of protein, and one of the four main food groups. Because the muscles of animals and humans share the same components, eating animal and fish tissue is an easy way to get this necessary nutrient. It also contributes minerals and trace elements to the diet, particularly, zinc, potassium, and iron, and in the case of pork, selenium. It is an important source of B vitamins, including B12, which is not found naturally in foods of plant origin. Proteins are made up of amino acids. Amino acids determine the structure and function of proteins. Among other things, amino acids help build cells and repair tissue, form antibodies, and carry oxygen throughout the body.
There are twenty-two known amino acids, eight of which are called essential amino acids, meaning that our bodies can’t manufacture them and must get them
from the foods we eat.
Consumers have been led to believe that meat is meat is meat. In other words, no matter what an animal is fed, the nutritional value of its products remains the same. This is not true. An animal’s diet can have a profound influence on the nutrient content of its meat.
Grain-fed Vs Grass-fed Animals
First of all, grass-fed products tend to be much lower in total fat than grain-fed products. For example, a sirloin steak from a grass-fed steer has about one half to one third the amount of fat as a similar cut from a grain-fed steer. In fact, grass-fed meat has about the same amount of fat as skinless chicken, or wild deer, or elk. When meat is lean, it actually lowers your LDL cholesterol levels. Grass-fed beef is also lower in calories. Fat has 9 calories per gram, compared with only 4 calories for protein and carbohydrates. The greater the fat content, the greater the number of calories.
A six-ounce steak from a grass-finished steer, which is 100% grass-fed, no grain, has almost 100 fewer calories than a six-ounce steak from a grain-fed steer. If you eat a typical amount of beef, which is approximately 66.5 pounds a year, switching to grass-fed beef will save you 17,733 calories a year, without requiring any willpower or change in eating habits. If everything else in your diet remains constant, you’ll lose about six pounds a year. If all Americans switched to grass-fed meat, our national epidemic of obesity would begin to diminish.
Although grass-fed meat is low in what’s considered bad, saturated fats, it provides you from two to six times more of a type of good fat called omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3s are essential for your brain as well. People with a diet rich in omega-3s are less likely to be afflicted with depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder, or hyperactivity, or Alzheimer’s disease.
These higher levels of omega-3s would not only be present in grass-fed beef, but also in free-range pork, free-range poultry, grassland lamb and bison, Rocky Mountain elk, and deer venison. For more in depth information for the most healthy foods, jam-packed with super healthy omega-3s, and where to purchase them, read this review “You Can Be Healthy“.
Omega-3s Anti-Cancer Properties
In animal studies, these essential fatty acids have slowed the growth of a wide array of cancers and kept them from spreading. Although the human research is in its infancy, researchers have shown that omega-3s can slow or even reverse the extreme weight loss that accompanies advanced cancer. Omega-3s can also hasten recovery from cancer surgery.
Furthermore, animal studies suggest that people with cancer, who have high levels of omega-3s in their
tissues, may respond better to chemotherapy than people with low levels. Omega-3s are most abundant in seafood and certain nuts and seeds such as flax seeds and walnuts, but they are also present in grass-fed animal products.
The reason that grass-fed animals have more omega-3s than grain-fed animals is that omega-3s are formed in the green leaves of plants, which is the grass and weeds animals graze on. Sixty percent of the fat content of grass is a type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic, or LNA.
When cattle are taken off grass and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on grain, they lose their valuable store of LNA as well as two other types of omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Each day that an animal spends in the feedlot, its supply of omega-3s diminishes.
Free-Range Chickens, Hens and Eggs
When chickens are housed indoors and deprived of greens (grass), their meat and eggs also become artificially low in omega-3s. Eggs from free-range hens can contain as much as twenty times more omega-3s than housed-hens. This would also hold true for turkey. Switching our livestock from their natural diet of grass to large amounts of grain is one of the reasons our modern diet is deficient in these essential fats. It has been estimated that only 40% of Americans consume a sufficient supply of these nutrients. 20% of Americans are so low in levels of omega-3s, they can’t even be detected. Switching to grass-fed animal products is one way to restore this vital nutrient to your diet.
The meat and milk from grass-fed or free-range animals are the richest known source of another healthy type fat, called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Raised on fresh pasture-grass alone, their milk and meat contains as much as five times more CLA than from housed or grain-fed animals.
CLA Combats Cancer
In laboratory animals, a very small percentage of CLA, a mere 0.1 percent of total calories, greatly reduced tumor growth. Researcher Tilak Dhiman from Utah State University estimates that you may be able to lower your risk of cancer simply by eating the following grass-fed products each day: one glass of whole milk, one ounce of cheese, and one serving of meat. You would have to eat five times that amount of grain-fed meat and dairy products to get the same level of protection.
In a Finnish study, women who had the highest levels of CLA in their diet, had a 60% lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels of CLA.
Switching from grain-fed to grass-fed meat and dairy products places women in this lowest risk category, because of higher level of Vitamin E found in grass-fed beef. Grass-fed beef, in addition to being higher in omega-3s and CLA, meat from grass-fed animals is higher in vitamins, particularly vitamin E.
A study comparing vitamin E level in the meats of grass-fed beef versus the meats of feedlot cattle, versus the meats of feedlot cattle given high levels of synthetic vitamin E, showed some astonishing results. The meats of cattle raised solely on grass, showed four times the amount of vitamin E, than meats from feedlot cattle, and two times the amount of vitamin E, than the meats of feedlot cattle given the synthetic vitamin E.
In humans, vitamin E is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. This potent antioxidant may also have anti-aging properties. Most Americans are deficient in vitamin E.
The NY Times best selling author, Jo Robinson, has an informative book, “Pasture Perfect“, discussing the missing link to optimum health, and the benefits in choosing grass-fed meats, grass-fed eggs, and grass-fed dairy products . She has done a great service educating America about this healthy beef and her book is a “must have” in your library of health books.
Cold Water Fish Benefits
Not only is fish delicious, it’s good for you. A low-fat, high-protein powerhouse packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fish offers a wide range of health benefits, from keeping your brain and heart functioning properly to helping ease symptoms of depression, and even keeping your skin and hair looking radiant.
The kind of fish I am talking about is wild-caught, cold water Alaskan sockeye salmon, halibut, and sable fish, plus sea scallops and pink shrimp. For more information on these and where to purchase them, read “You Can Be Healthy” (see link above under lean grass-fed meats).
Cold-water fish contain a high percentage of omega-3 fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Your body contains billions of cells, and every one of them has fatty acids in its outer wall membrane. Fatty acids are also metabolized into proteins and hormones, and they have a profound effect on the way cells interact with one another. Cells are constantly dying, regenerating, dividing, and changing their shape. The fatty acids that you consume today find their way into your cells and proteins tomorrow. You are, in a very real and immediate sense, what you eat. Here are five ways adding cold water to your diet will benefit you:
Healthy Functioning Brain. The omega-3 fatty acids fish contains, especially EPA and DHA, are a necessary component of the human brain, playing a vital role in a variety of cognitive functions.
“Consuming EPA and DHA supports the health of the brain at all stages of life,” says Christie Naze, a registered dietitian with The Heart’s Kitchen. “It is beginning to become clear that low DHA status may be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, and with cognitive impairment associated with aging.”
Cardio Health. Medical evidence suggests that eating fish on a regular basis, at least two or three times a week, may help to reduce the incidence of heart disease.
“Fish has anti-inflammatory benefits,” explains Marcy Kirshenbaum, a clinical nutritionist with Enhance Nutrition LLC in Northbrook. “Population studies have demonstrated that people who eat omega-3 rich diets have reduced cardiovascular risks including lower LDL cholesterol, lower triglycerides, and lower blood pressure.”
Enhanced Mood. Feeling blue? Eat some fish. Research has discovered links between low omega-3 levels and higher incidences of depression, seasonal effective disorder, and postpartum depression.
“By supporting the brain with healthy anti-inflammatory fats, depression may decrease,” Kirshenbaum says. “Omega-3 is an important part of healthy cell membranes, which must be fluid and flexible to function properly. Nerve cells depend on membrane fluidity, so a reduction in fluidity can impact behavior, mood, and mental function.”
She adds that as with any health condition, overall lifestyle changes will have the most impact. “Omega-3 is just a small piece of those changes.”
Pregnancy Health. DHA plays a huge role in the health of a growing fetus, contributing heavily to the development of a baby’s brain and central nervous system.
“DHA is preferentially incorporated into the rapidly developing brain from about 24 weeks gestation through two years of age,” Naze says. “The mother is the sole source of omega-3 fats for the developing fetus and exclusively breast-fed infant, and the best direct source for the mom comes from eating fish and seafood.”
Kirshenbaum points out that it’s important for pregnant women to eat fish in moderation, and make sure they’re choosing fatty fish low in mercury and other harmful substances.
Skin and Hair Benefit. The omega-3 fats in fish help boost collagen production for healthy, glowing skin and shinny hair, and may even provide a degree of protection from harmful UV rays.
“So many of the benefits of omega-3 have to do with it being an important part of cell membrane fluidity,” Kirshenbaum reiterates. “Healthy cell membranes act as a barrier to regulate the proper movement of molecules into and out of the cell. One aspect of this is maintaining cell hydration, which reduces dry skin.”
To reap the most benefit, the best fish choices are cold-water, wild-caught, species with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies and herring. Aim for two or more servings a week as part of a whole-foods diet. And remember, not all fish is created equal.
Adding A Natural Whole Food Supplement
In addition to eating fresh, lean, certified-organic, non-GMO, grass-fed and free-range meats and eggs, cold-water fish, fruits, veggies, and whole grains, routinely supplementing with a certified organic, non-GMO, nutritious, whole food Adaptogen, Peruvian Maca, is recommended for added assurance.
Adaptogens are a unique class of natural-growing plants (only a few recognized world-wide), that have the ability to assist the human body to “adapt” and naturally function properly, by providing a “normalizing effect”, a balancing effect, to harmful stressors, oxidation, inflammation, harmful substances, infections, and diseases.
So, what is in Maca that makes it such an incredible natural-healing or medicinal plant? Maca is a highly-nutritious whole food organically-grown and cultivated, non-GMO (genetically modified), on small family farms. One ounce (28 grams) of Maca contains the following nutritious substances: 91 calories, 20 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, 1 gram of fat, 133% of RDI vitamin C, 85% RDI copper, 23% RDI iron, 16% RDI potassium, 15% RDI Manganese, vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B6, 19 essential amino acids, trace minerals zinc, selenium, boron, and others, several glucosinolates plant substances, 20 free fatty acids, and 2 unique plant compounds macaenes and macamides (only found in Maca).
So, do you want to know more about this incredible natural healing plant? Read these two reviews:
While you’re at it, request your two FREE Gifts, the e book copy of “The Secret Science of Staying Slim, Sane, and Sexy After 40, and your 7-night trial of “Julva”.
Are you ready for some elk meat? Are you ready for the most healthy foods in the world? Hope you found this article helpful. Should you have questions or comments, leave them below.