New Zealand Lamb And Its Role In Fighting Iron Deficiency

New Zealand Lamb And Its Role In Fighting Iron Deficiency

Protein plays an essential role in a healthy lifestyle. It helps support muscle mass, aids in weight loss, and increases satiety levels.

When it comes to proteins, red meats tend to have a slight advantage thanks to their higher iron content. However, eating beef or pork after a while might get boring for some people.

Most people don’t consider Lamb when making their weekly menus. It offers a high nutrient profile, especially when it comes from New Zealand where all the lamb roam and graze happily on nutrient-rich grass year round.

In this article, we’ll go over the nutritional benefits of New Zealand lamb and its role in fighting iron deficiency.

As a note, remember that whenever we talk about red meat, we are talking about 100% grass-fed meat. It has a higher nutritional profile than wheat, corn, or grain-fed meat.

Nutritional Facts

Red meat is an excellent source of essential nutrients the body needs to stay healthy. It is particularly high in iron and zinc. Depending on the cut, it can also be a great source of lean protein.

Here is a table with the nutritional information comparing the nutritional information of 100 g of cooked lean beef, lamb meat, and chicken.

Nutrient

Beef

Lamb

Chicken

Calories

204

192

154

Proteins (g)

30.7

27.4

31.1

Fats (g)

8.6

8.8

2.9

Niacin (mg)

8.8

10.7

18.0

Vitamin B12 (mcg)

1.6

1.8

0.3

Iron (mg)

2.6

1.8

0.4

Zinc (mg)

5.1

4.0

0.9

Selenium (mcg)

3.3

6.3

27.0

 *Information obtained from the New Zealand Food Composition Data

As you can see, there is a significant difference in the nutritional content between each protein.

When it comes to protein, they are all great excellent sources of lean protein. With that said, red meat tends to have a higher fat content compared to chicken (or white meat). For that reason, remove as much visible fat as possible if you want a leaner option.

Regarding the micronutrient content, all three are sources of essential nutrients.

  • Niacin. It helps convert the food you eat into usable energy in the body.
  • Vitamin B12. Helps in the formation of red blood cells, which are the ones in charge of transporting oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
  • Zinc. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps improve the immune system.
  • Selenium. It helps support thyroid function and boost the immune system.

One of the biggest advantages of New Zealand lamb is its high iron content. While it might not have as much beef, it is still an excellent source of iron.

A 3.5 oz (100 g) lamb steak provides 21% of the daily recommended value for men and 12% for women. So, if you want to boost your iron levels, choosing lamb meat over chicken might be a better option.

Remember that depending on the animal’s nutrition can reflect on the nutritional composition of its meat. Grass-fed meat has a higher nutritional quality than grain-fed meat.

The Role of Iron in The Body

Iron has an important role in the body. One of the most important roles is forming hemoglobin, the protein in charge of transporting oxygen and nutrients in the blood.

When there is not enough iron provided through the diet, it might lead to chronic illnesses such as anemia. This can make you tired, light-headed, weak, and have irregular heartbeats.

There are several reasons you might be at risk of developing anemia or iron deficiency. Here are some causes.

  • Low iron intake. Consuming low-iron foods can increase the risk of anemia or iron deficiency. Additionally, mixing foods that compete with iron, such as dairy (due to calcium), can prevent the iron from getting absorbed.
  • Blood loss. Women with heavy menstrual cycles are at risk of developing anemia if they are not careful with adequate iron intake. Additionally, other types of blood loss, such as having a peptide ulcer and hiatal hernia.
  • Pregnancy. The iron needs during pregnancy are elevated. So, without proper intake, it might lead to a deficiency.

Reaching the recommended daily iron intake can help prevent that from happening. So, what is the recommended daily intake?

  • Females: 18 mg
  • Males: 8 mg

If you don’t know how much iron you are having make sure to track it. You can download a calorie calculator or write down everything you are eating to get a rough idea of how much iron you have per day.

Sides To Have With Lamb To Boost Iron Intake

Consuming lamb can be an excellent way to help fight iron deficiency. What you add to the side of your lamb can either make or break the iron levels.

So, what can you add as a side dish to lamb to help increase the iron content?

  • Add legumes. Legumes such as lentils, beans, and chickpeas are high in iron. Having some lentil soup before your lamb dish or adding a chickpea salad on the side can be excellent ways to boost iron.
  • Avoid cream-based sauces. Calcium can fight iron for its absorption, so consuming high-calcium products like dairy is not the best thing to do.
  • Add leafy greens. Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are also high in iron. Adding a spinach salad can be a great way to boost the iron content in the dish.
  • Add some vitamin C. Vitamin C can help increase iron absorption. Adding lemon to the salad you have next to lamb or bell peppers while cooking lamb can help increase iron absorption.

The Bottom Line

New Zealand lamb is an excellent source of lean protein that can help preserve muscle mass and aid in your weight loss journey. Another benefit is its high iron content which can help reduce the risk of anemia or iron deficiency.

If you are tired of having beef meat every day, adding some lamb meat can help add some variety to your diet.

With that said, make sure you have a variety of foods to get different nutrients and prevent any nutrient deficiency.

To enjoy our ultra-premium 100% grass-fed, free-range, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, gmo-free TURNER New Zealand Lamb Racks please visit one of the many restaurants around the US featuring our TURNER Lamb Racks on their menus - TURNER New Zealand Restaurants. If your favorite restaurant isn’t featuring our ultra-premium TURNER Lamb Racks, then have the restaurant contact our CEO Noel Turner noel.turner@turner.co.nz to arrange for your favorite restaurant to get TURNER Lamb Racks.