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Maybe you have heard about the value of grass-fed beef.
Beef that comes from grass-fed or pastured animals is chock full of health benefits. 100% grass-fed beef is fed on grasses, sometimes hay and alfalfa, and what is called “forage”, or the wild plant life that you would find out in a pastured field. This means that all the nutrients and minerals found in the soil and in pastured land gets consumed by the cattle and end up in the meat that you eventually eat.
Recently, Body Ecology had the opportunity to speak to Dr. Lowell Novy of Novy Ranches and Jordan Rubin from Beyond Organic. Both Dr. Novy and Jordan Rubin are experts in the field of raising premium, 100% grass-fed beef. They explained to us exactly why grass-fed is so valuable: because it’s better for the environment, it’s better for the body, and it’s better for your family and friends.
This means that what you put into your body becomes the building material for new cells and the energy to fuel this process. When we eat foods that make sense to our bodies, everything runs smoothly. While there are many theories floating around about exactly which foods are best for optimal health, looking toward traditional food and traditional food preparation is a good place to begin.
Cattle too are what they eat. If cattle eat a diet that they are not meant to consume, they become unhealthy. If you’re willing to buy beef from an animal that has been fed chemically treated corn because you think it’s the same stuff that comes from 100% pasture-raised cattle, think again. These two products are drastically different. After eating grass-fed beef, you can literally feel the difference in your own body.
While many of us have heard that cold-water fish are an especially good source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, few of us know that when raised naturally and on pastured land, beef has its own healthy fats to boast about. These are:
Almost everyone needs that extra omega-3 boost because too many of us consume hidden omega-6 fats, which, in excess, are pro-inflammatory. Since inflammation plays a significant role in many degenerative diseases, this is certainly something you would want to avoid! Excessive dietary omega-6 fatty acids have been shown to:
Contrary to what we know about omega-6 fatty acids, most food sold in markets, even organic food, contains vegetable and seed oils that are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Grain-fed beef has a high pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid profile.
And 100% grass-fed beef? Its healthy omega-3 fatty acid profile rivals that of some fish. In order to get these fats, however, you need cuts of meat that have an exterior layer of fat. You can also find omega-3 fats in other nutrient-dense parts of the animal, such as the liver and bone marrow.
Another important fatty acid that is found abundantly in grass-fed beef is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is unique and sought-after because it is a nutrient that can tone up and slim down the waistline. You read that right: CLA is a fat that helps you lose fat! Some studies even show that CLA can suppress tumor growth. (6)
You may have already heard about the antioxidant value of vitamin E. But why are antioxidants important?
Like vitamin E, carnosine has antioxidant value. It also is an amino acid.
L-carnitine is another amino acid that even as an isolated dietary supplement is popular for its ability to keep the body youthful. L-carnitine encourages the body to breakdown fat as an energy source. This means that it can have a slimming effect if used correctly in whole food form. Like carnosine, L-carnitine has a significant antioxidant effect in the body. Rather than protecting proteins, however, L-carnitine protects fats from oxidation.
Dr. Novy, a veterinarian practicing in Southern California, also spends part of his time managing Novy Ranches. Novy Ranches runs through Shasta Valley in Northern California and is located on extremely rich soil.
Remember, what goes into the forage and grass also goes into the cattle. Dr. Novy has a personal commitment to the environment, animal protection, wildlife conservation, and to the health of the human body. In the food industry, this kind of foresight is revolutionary, as all elements of health and wellbeing are interrelated. As Dr. Novy tells us, “The cattle actually own the ranch. We’re just there taking care of them. We do the very best we can.”
You can find Dr. Novy’s 100% pasture-raised beef online at www.novyranches.com. If you are in Southern California, Novy Ranches beef is available at 14 farmer’s markets in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. They will also ship cuts to you. Or, you can also visit their store located in Simi Valley.
Beyond Organic encompasses 9,000 acres of certified organic land that has been designed to foster truly healing foods. One food that founder Jordan Rubin features is 100% grass-fed beef, raised on pastures in southern Missouri and north Georgia.
Jordan went through a healing journey himself 15 years ago after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic fatigue syndrome. After being in and out of hospitals for 2 years and in a wheelchair, at the age of 20 Jordan discovered how to use traditional foods like pasture-raised meats and fermented dairy in order to heal his gut, repair his immune system, and restore his energy.
His new company, Beyond Organic, grew from the realization that food can either damage or repair the body.
Grass-fed beef provides a number of health benefits since it is rich in the many nutrients and minerals found in soil. Eating beef from an animal that has been fed chemically treated corn can negatively affect your health and trigger degenerative diseases, autoimmune conditions, and learning disabilities.
Grass-fed beef is high in omega-3 fatty acids that neutralize the inflammation caused by omega-6 fatty acids. Grass-fed beef also contains CLA, a healthy fat that can help you to slim down and lose body fat. Grass-fed beef is rich in the antioxidant vitamin E, as well as the amino acids L-carnitine and carnosine.
When shopping for beef, make sure that it is grass-fed and green-finished. Just because a product is labeled organic does not mean that it came from grass-fed cattle!
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