Elk meat is probably not a regular ingredient of your weekly meal plan, but it must be. Being low in fat, high in protein, and a rich source of minerals and vitamins, elk meat is the best way to achieve nutrition.
In addition to being healthy, elk meat is also versatile. You can easily swap it with beef in almost any recipe. Addition of this meat will also provide a different flavor and a little hint of sweetness.
At the same time, you will be able to enjoy your meals without having to worry about gaining excess fats.
In what ways can elk meat be good for you and how can you use it? Continue reading the article to find out everything.
Is Elk Meat Healthy?
Elk meat is a great source of nutrition. This means that it has a lower amount of calories but higher levels of minerals and vitamins.
There are lesser fats and carbohydrates present in elk meat but it does not lag behind in providing protein and nutrients like vitamin B12. Zinc, vitamin B6, and niacin.
In a three-ounce portion of cooked elk meat, you are supposed to get the following nutrients and minerals:
- 164 calories
- 6 grams of protein
- 0 grams of carbohydrates
- 4 grams of fat
- 2 micrograms of vitamin B12
- 6 milligrams of zinc
- 188 milligrams of phosphorus
- 5 milligrams of niacin
- 3milligrams of iron
- 4 milligrams of vitamin B6
- 8 micrograms of selenium
- 8 milligrams of iron
- 3 milligrams of riboflavin
- 4 milligrams of magnesium
- 1 milligrams of copper
- 301 milligrams of potassium
- 1 milligram of thiamine
- 9 milligram of pantothenic acid
Elk meat consists of vitamin E, calcium, and folate in minute quantities.
What are the Benefits of Elk Meat?
There are a number of benefits that may be attributed to elk meat. It is beneficial because:
- It is high in protein
- Helps to prevent anemia
- Boosts weight loss
- Promotes the immunity
- Improves brain health
- Makes bones stronger
Let’s take a look at some of these benefits in detail.
High Protein Content
Proteins are an important component of your body. The body requires proteins for building and repairing tissues, generate enzymes and release hormones.
Protein also forms the basis of your skin, muscles, and bones. A deficiency of these proteins can lead to a growth retardation, an increase in appetite, and a higher risk of acquiring the infection.
Elk is considered as a good source of protein. In each three-ounce serving of elk, 23 grams of protein is present. This is comparable to other highly nutritious foods such as turkey and chicken.
Including elk in one of your daily meals can fulfill your body’s protein requirement and help you live a healthy life.
Elk has 23 grams of protein and 164 grams of calories per serving, each serving containing almost three ounces. This makes it a perfect addition to a weight loss diet.
The protein content of elk can easily keep cravings at distance and hunger in control.
As per a research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, increasing the daily protein intake by the factor of 15 percent can cause an increased satiety. This may eventually decrease the caloric intake as well.
Another study that took place in the Netherlands showed that having a breakfast rich in protein can reduce the amount of ghrelin in the body. Ghrelin is a hormone that usually stimulates hunger.
Promotion of Immune System
Elk meat is a rich source of zinc, an essential mineral that is responsible for the maintenance of your immune system. Zinc is an antioxidant and can neutralize all the free radicals that may otherwise damage your body.
Zinc in elk meat also plays a role in the development of the immune cells. It is known to generate cytokines in your body as well.
A study held in Wayne State University School of Medicine along with the University of Michigan indicated that providing zinc to older adults can reduce their risk of acquiring an infection.
The same study also indicated that zinc can reduce the inflammation and oxidative stress in the human body.
Prevention of Anemia
Anemia refers to a condition in which there is a lack of red blood cells in the body. It can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, paleness, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, and fatigue.
There are different forms of anemia, however, some of them are more prevalent. These forms are mostly caused by micronutrient deficiencies.
Elk meat, being rich in a lot of important minerals and vitamins, can increase the production of red blood cells in the body. It has particularly high levels of vitamin B12 and iron, both of which can prevent pernicious anemia and anemia due to iron deficiency.
Improvement in Brain Health
A lot of research studies have established that food and the health of your brain are closely connected. Whatever you choose to put on your plate can have a direct effect on the cognitive function and mental health.
A lot of nutrients commonly found in elk meat is known to particularly affect brain health. For example, vitamin B12 plays an important role in learning and memory.
As per a study, niacin plays a significant role in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and the usual age-related cognitive decline. At the same time, it has also been suggested that a low level of vitamin B6 in your body can cause a lot of diseases such as depression. Supplementation of the patient with this vitamin can significantly improve the mental health.
As you age, your bones start becoming thinner, weak, and brittle. Diseases such as osteoporosis can also hit you, leading to an increased risk of fractures and posture changes due to bone loss.
Luckily, elk meat can save you from facing these problems.
Elk meat is a rich source of L-methionine, an amino acid that helps to keep bones stronger. It has been shown to decrease the bone mass but enhances the bone strength when combined with endurance exercises.
This meat also has high quantities of phosphorus, another nutrient that makes up as an integral part of your bones. 85 percent of the total phosphorus in your body is found deposited in teeth and bones.
Higher consumption of phosphorus can increase the mineral content of the bone together with the bone mass density. It can also lower the risk of getting bone fractures.
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Where to Find Elk Meat?
Are you wondering where to find the best elk meat? Elk meat might not be present in most of the local stores around you. However, there are a lot of suppliers that have it or can order it especially for you.
A number of farms and butcher shops carry different types of meats such as duck, rabbit, deer, and even elk. Online retailers have also begun selling it along with other game meats in frozen forms. These retailers deliver the meat conveniently to your doorstep.
Is elk meat expensive? The prices basically depend on the cut of the meat and the supplier you choose. Elk meat may be a little expensive as compared to the regular meat such as pork and beef. In most of the online shops, one pound of elk meat in ground form costs about $10 to $15.