Lamb is the meat of the sheep that is less than a year old. Its meat is less fatty than its older counterparts, mutton and hogget. Common lamb cuts are the leg, rack, roast, ribs, and loin chops. Aside from its delicious taste and flavour, a lamb’s nutrition value is rich.
It is mainly composed of protein and other essential vitamins, minerals, and good fats. The value of a lamb’s nutrition content is further enhanced by essential minerals such as iron, copper, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium, among others.
Lamb meat is also a rich source of selenium (45% DV), which is required in trace amounts by our body. Other minerals that are found in lamb meat in trace amounts are magnesium, manganese, calcium, and sodium, which in appropriate amounts, are good for many aspects of our health.
Lamb Meat Health Benefits
1. Excellent Iron Source
As a red meat, lamb inherently has a lot more iron than other protein sources like chicken or fish. In addition, since lamb is an animal source of iron, it contains heme iron rather than the non-heme iron found in plants. Heme iron is the more absorbable form of iron so consuming red meat like lamb can help to improve and prevent iron deficiency and anemia symptoms.
2. Nervous System Health Promoter
Lamb is an awesome source of B12 with just three ounces of lamb meat providing just under half of most people’s daily B12 requirements. But that’s not all — lamb is also loaded with other essential B vitamins, including vitamin B6, niacin (vitamin B3), riboflavin (vitamin B2) and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Vitamin B12 as well as these other B vitamins help our nervous systems function as they should, and vitamin B12 ensures that the actual nerve cells are in a healthy state. In case you’re not entirely sure why the nervous system is so important, this system is essentially the body’s electrical wiring that’s responsible for helping the entire body properly communicate and function.
3. Immune Booster
Lamb is also loaded with immune-boosting zinc. This nutrient can be found in cells throughout our bodies, and it’s absolutely essential to optimal immune health, along with wound healing, DNA and protein synthesis, as well as growth and development in children.
When it comes to immune health, if you don’t get enough zinc on a regular basis, your immune system is not going to function as it should, which means you’re more likely to have all kinds of health problems ranging from the common cold to more serious infections like pneumonia. Consuming lamb meat and other zinc-rich foods can help keep your zinc levels in a healthy place and boost your overall immune function. In addition, zinc helps enable optimal senses of taste and smell.
4. Rich Source of Healthy Fats like Omega-3 Fatty Acids and CLA
Lamb does contain fat, but a significant portion of that fat is anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, most pieces of lamb contain even more omega-3s than beef. Many people are aware of the many benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, but not too many realize that lamb meat is a noteworthy source of these healthy fatty acids.
5. Protein Powerhouse
As a type of meat and, more specifically, a type of red meat, lamb is loaded with vital protein. Just one three-ounce serving of lamb meat contains over 23 grams of protein. Protein intake is important to everyone, for someone with Sickle Cell, it is important that you get enough protein in your diet.
A lamb’s protein content and other nutrients such as vitamin A (retinol), B group vitamins (especially B12), and minerals such as iron and copper, are extremely vital for good health. Lamb is an excellent source of protein. The protein in lamb contains all the important amino acids that promote the body’s growth and muscle maintenance. It helps to quickly repair damaged tissue and builds up muscles, too.