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by Tammera J. Karr, PhD
Lamb is a staple food throughout the world including Turkey, Greece, New Zealand, Australia, Africa, and countries of the Middle East. In the U.S., per capita consumption of lamb is much lower than in the rest of the world. Half of all lamb consumed in the U.S. is imported, and within this category of imported lamb, nearly 68% comes from Australia and 30% from New Zealand.
Historically, the best tasting lamb was considered to be “spring” lamb. With modern breeding practices, preparation methods, the amount of fat in lamb has diminished considerably, making it the perfect choice for health-conscious consumers. , Lamb is a very versatile meat and contains one of the most complete amino acid profiles available in protein sources. Lamb is rich in various nutrients, including the proteins, iron, vitamin B12, zinc, selenium, niacin and low in saturated fat.
Among the first animals ever to be domesticated by humans, occurring more than 10,000 years ago, sheep and goats have been pivotal in the development of many cultures. Over 2,000 years ago, the Romans introduced sheep into Great Britain, where lamb remains very popular. Lamb was not introduced into the Western Hemisphere until the early 16th century when the armies of the Spanish explorer Cortés brought sheep with them . It has been a symbol of sacrifice in many religions, including Christianity and Judaism and as a traditional dish on Easter.
Here are some health benefits of Lamb:
• Lamb supplies the body with 60.3% of the daily requirement for protein.
• The meat contains the minerals;
Selenium, a mineral whose deficiency can lead to asthma attacks.
Iron, which is an integral component of hemoglobin and aids formation of red blood cells in the body. The form in which iron is present in lamb is easily absorbed by the body.
Zinc, which is required by every living cell in the body for healthy immune function, cell division and overall growth.
• Vitamin B12, prevents high homocysteine.
Promotes a healthy nervous system,
Supports the formation of red blood cells and prevents anemia. Naturally only in animal foods.
• Niacin provides protection against Alzheimer’s disease,
Necessary for healthy skin
Slows the age-related cognitive decline.
Reduce the risk of osteoarthritis by 50%.
Lamb is a source of ‘good fat’ and has less saturated fat than other meats. (Health Benefits of Mutton-Lamb – infosamay.com.) The essential fatty acid omega-3 of lamb depends upon the young sheep’s diet as well as the mother’s diet, when the animals diets are optimum, the results can be a cut of lamb with impressive omega-3s values. Lamb also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Increased intake of CLA improves immune and inflammatory function, bone mass, blood sugar regulation, reduced body fat, and maintenance lean body mass. Studies show grass-fed lamb contains nearly twice as much CLA as a conventionally fed lamb.
Recommended for those with cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
A number of ingredients blend well with lamb, including apricots, peaches, plums, yogurt, tarragon,rosemary, olive oil, aubergine, tomatoes, couscous, quinoa, coriander, fennel, and French mustard.
I have taken to using this recipe I found on The World’s Healthiest Foods website. It is simple and fast.
10-Minute Rosemary Lamb Chops
Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes
12 lamb chops
6 TBS fresh lemon or lime juice
3 TBS chopped fresh rosemary,
3 medium cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Press garlic and let sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out its hidden health benefits.
Mix together lemon juice, rosemary, pressed garlic, salt, and pepper. Rub lamb chops with mixture. Set aside on plate.
Preheat broiler on high heat, and place a stainless steel or cast iron skillet large enough to hold the lamb chops under the heat for about 10 minutes to get very hot (about 5-7 inches from the heat source). Be sure that the handle is also metal.
Once pan is hot, place lamb chops in pan, and return to broiler for about 4-5 minutes, depending on thickness of lamb. Lamb is cooked quickly as it is cooking on both sides at the same time. This is our Quick Broil cooking method.
Thank you Worlds Healthiest Foods for making Lamb so enjoyable and easy !
To Your Good Health and Real Food
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