Lamb is one of the most versatile meats in the world. It can be prepared in various ways with excellent results. The meat is obtained from young sheep under 1 year of age. The tender red meat has a delicious taste. It is a rich source of protein and vitamins A, B3, B6 and B12. Mineral content includes iron, zinc, phosphorous and calcium. Trace minerals include selenium, manganese and copper. A 3 ounce serving of cooked lamb provides about 175 calories. Total fat content is 8 grams. Although lamb contains saturated fat, this represents just 35 percent of the total amount. The other 65 percent represents monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat which is a healthier type of fat. Here are some of the health benefits of lamb.
Lamb is one of the richest sources of easily digestible protein. A 100 gram serving yields about 30 grams of protein. Amino acids facilitate production of energy from fatty acids. This energy supports various processes in the body.
The B-complex vitamins play an essential role in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Lamb is one of the meat sources that provide high levels of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 supports various metabolic processes in the body. Vitamin B12 also helps to produce red blood cells. It helps to reduce levels of harmful substances in the blood such as homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine can damage blood vessels. This increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Homocysteine also increases the risk of osteoporosis.
Lamb is a good source of easily absorbed zinc. A 3 ounce serving of the meat provides 30 percent of the recommended daily value. Zinc is a basic requirement for various fundamental processes in the body. One of its most crucial roles is to support the immune system. It supports normal cell division and quick healing of wounds. Numerous enzymes are dependent on zinc to perform their functions. Zinc helps to enable optimal smell and taste functions. It also helps to prevent osteoporosis in older men. Research has established that a high intake of zinc helps to reduce hip fractures in older men.
Iron is a vital mineral required for the formation of red blood cells. These transport oxygen throughout the body. Iron helps to produce energy. It also supports the immune system. It is required for the formation of white blood cells which act as antibodies. These help to fight infections and protect the body from diseases. One 3 ounce serving provides about 20 percent of the recommended daily value of iron.
Selenium has antioxidant properties which help to boost the body’s immune system. It protects body cells from damage by free radicals. Selenium enhances thyroid functions and facilitates the activities of various essential enzymes. Selenium has also been found helpful in fighting viral infections. It promotes liver health and prevents certain cancers.