When you hear pork what runs through your mind? What runs through an average person’s mind is dirt, but trust me there are lots of good things to say about it. Moving forward, we are here to enlighten you on the things you don’t know about it, just stay calm and read.
What is Pork?
Pork is the meat of a domestic pig (Sus scrofa domesticus). It is the commonly consumed red meat worldwide, especially in eastern Asia. The consumption of pig is forbidden in certain religions such as Judaism and Islam and also prohibited in countries that practice this religion. Though you may have heard it called “the other white meat”, it is considered red meat. It has high-quality protein and a good source of certain nutrients. Curing extends the shelf life of pork products (Bacon, smoked pork, Ham, Gammon, and Sausage). Being high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, lean pork can be an excellent addition to a healthy diet.
Pork contains minerals like phosphorus, selenium, thiamine. It is also a good source of protein, vitamin B6 and B12, Niacin, iron, and zinc. Pork is actually richer in thiamine (vitamin B) that is required for a number of activities in the body than other red meats like beef and lamb. Vitamins B6 and B12 are essential for blood cell formation and the functions of the brain. It contains iron, the iron found is absorbed easily by the human digestive system. The selenium found in it helps in the proper functioning of the thyroid.
The protein content of lean protein is about 26% by weight, but when dry the protein content of lean protein is about 89% i.e., the protein content of dry lean protein is high. Pork contains all the nine essential amino acids necessary for the maintenance and growth of the body. That is why athletes or bodybuilders are advised to eat pork or any other type of meat that has high protein content. It contains fat which is called Lard, sometimes used as cooking fat. The fat component varies, it’s mainly made up of saturated and monounsaturated fats.
Pigs may be infected by parasitic diseases called trichinosis which is caused by parasitic roundworms called Trichinella. So, the pork must be cooked to a temperature of 60oF (71oC) In order to destroy the disease-causing organism.
HEALTH BENEFIT OF PORK
Pork is an excellent source of high-quality protein. It contains the essential amino acids that are building blocks for creating new muscle. As we are getting older day by day, it’s hard maintaining muscle mass. Muscle mass naturally reduces as you get older without taking a proper diet or frequent exercise. Loss of muscle mass could lead to sarcopenia (extreme muscle degeneration). It is common mostly in older adults.
Eating high-quality protein like that found in pork or other food rich in protein helps to prevent sarcopenia or may preserve muscle mass.
Improved muscle/exercise performance
The consumption of high-quality protein is not only needed for maintaining muscle mass but also to improve functions of the muscle and physical performance. Pork contains a variety of nutrients that the muscle needs, it contains an amino acid called Beta-alanine. Beta-alanine is an amino acid your body uses to produce carnosine which is important for muscle function. Taking high doses of beta-alanine supplements could lead to an increase in carnosine levels. And a high amount of carnosine has been linked to higher muscle performance in humans.
Rich in vitamins
Aside from having a high amount of protein. Pork is also rich in essential vitamins such as vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Vitamin B6 is needed in forming red blood cells in the body, regulating the nervous system, and maintaining a proper cognitive ability among others.
Good source of selenium
Selenium is one of the minerals found in pork which is of great importance. It helps in maintaining proper thyroid function.
Keep in mind that the way you prepare pork will impact its fat content. Instead of frying, opt for grilling, roasting, baking, or broiling.
So, what are you waiting for? go get yourself pork and enjoy the nutrients it’s endowed with.