A healthy meat option like flank steak can provide an array of nutrients that help fuel the body and boost health. It is essential to consume this type of meat in moderation, however. Look for organic, grass-fed, and heritage labels when shopping for meat. These indicate that the animal has been raised outside of factory CAFO conditions and was fed a natural diet of grass and forage.
While red meat gets a bad rap due to its high-fat content, consuming lean cuts is an excellent way to stay healthy and provide your body with the energy it needs. Choosing grass-fed flank steak over grain-fed is a healthier option as it has less total fat and two-thirds the amount of saturated fat. Grass-fed beef also contains more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin E. Flank steak is an excellent protein source, offering more than half your daily requirement. It also has a significant amount of iron and a fair amount of vitamin B12. Iron helps form red blood cells and prevents anemia, while vitamin B12 promotes a healthy nervous system. If you want to enjoy this lean cut of meat, opt for one free from added hormones and antibiotics. Then, prepare it carefully. Avoid overcooking the meat to ensure it is safe, and eat it rare if possible for optimal flavor. To make it even more delicious, try preparing it with a marinade to add flavor and increase its tenderness. Just remember that flank steak, like any other red meat, should be consumed in moderation and with various fruits and vegetables. This will help keep your risk for certain health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, low.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
In addition to protein, flank steak is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. The fatty acids are part of the polyunsaturated fats group, a healthy fat found in nuts, seeds, and oily fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to help with cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and depression. Grass-fed beef has more omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef and has lower saturated fat levels. Higher omega-3 fatty acids can help with heart disease, psychiatric illnesses, and other inflammation conditions. The omega-3 fatty acids in grass-fed meats come from the plant oils consumed by cattle, which have been converted to fatty acids by the bacteria living in their digestive tracts. The fatty acids then pass through the stomach and into the intestines, where they are digested to release amino acids, which the body can use as fuel. Grass-fed meat also contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that benefit the human body. Specifically, the meat contains vitamin B6, folate, potassium, zinc, iron, and selenium. These nutrients support various bodily functions, such as cellular growth and repair, bone health, and metabolism. Meat is also a great source of protein, which helps with muscle growth and recovery. One hundred grams of flank steak provides more than half of the recommended daily amount of protein.
The dietary intake of vitamin B12 is vital to your overall health. It helps to ensure normal brain function, aids in producing red blood cells, and maintains the integrity of your nervous system. Moreover, it prevents anemia and supports your immune system. A deficiency in this nutrient can cause fatigue, depression, memory problems, and dementia. A diet high in this nutrient may also reduce your heart disease and cancer risk. The food a livestock eats directly affects its nutritional content, and 100 percent grass-fed beef is no exception. This flank steak is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and CLA and is a lean cut of beef that can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation and paired with nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Additionally, healthier cooking methods like roasting and grilling should be used. Whether you’re looking for a delicious way to dress up a steak dinner, a quick weeknight meal, or a hearty sandwich, flank steak is the perfect choice. This long and thin cut of beef is versatile and can be marinated to add flavor and tenderize the meat. It is best grilled, broiled, and cooked until an instant-read thermometer reads 130 to 140 degrees F for medium rare.
A lean flank steak cut is rich in iron and CLA, an omega-3 fatty acid that helps regulate blood sugar and may prevent heart disease and obesity. The grass-fed label indicates that the cattle were raised exclusively on grass, hay, and other foraged plants throughout their lives. This starkly contrasts the cows in commercial feedlots, which live on a grain diet and are often given hormones to increase their weight and yield more meat unnaturally. It takes a longer time for grass-fed cattle to reach slaughter weight, which is why they typically cost more than their grain-fed counterparts. The added expense of feeding the cows a natural, healthier diet also adds to the price premium. While it’s essential to avoid high-iron foods like red meat for those with certain conditions like hereditary hemochromatosis, for most people, a moderate amount of this protein is good for you. Grass-fed beef is an excellent choice, and with careful preparation, it can make a tasty addition to any meal plan.