Antioxidants

Does beef contain antioxidants?

With so many people trying to live a healthier life, there’s more of a focus on things like vitamins, antioxidants and fibre than ever before. But what really makes a food “healthy”, and does beef give you those antioxidants you need?

Beef vs. Greens.

First of all, let’s talk about the antioxidants themselves. On a comparison basis, meats like beef contain a very small amount of antioxidants, especially when compared to fruits and vegetables. But does that automatically make beef less healthy than greens? Not exactly.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants - which include certain vitamins - are necessary to perform a very specific function, which is counteracting free radicals in your body. Those free radicals enter your body through regular daily living, like exposure to air - in fact, the air you breathe causes oxidation, which creates free radicals - and sun, as well as more dangerous things like smoking and pollution. An overload of free radicals can contribute to a variety of diseases, including cancer.

Certain foods then provide your body with the various antioxidants needed to counteract those free radicals and restore your body’s balance. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything you eat needs to do this job. And that’s where the question of what counts as a healthy food comes in.

Where does beef come in?

The simple fact is, all natural foods that are suitable for human consumption, including beef, serves a different function for your body. You can’t say that a food is unhealthy just because it doesn’t provide tonnes of antioxidants because it’s probably serving an entirely different purpose. Think of your body like a car - the oil and air filters keep all the dirt and pollution from the system, making them the engine’s antioxidants, while the fuel powers it forward, making that like the proteins and carbohydrates you eat.

Just because beef isn’t a significant source of antioxidants, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a place in your normal healthy diet. In fact, to be healthy, you should strive for a good balance of fresh, lean meats and vegetable proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables. Healthy eating isn’t about focusing on just one aspect of your food, it’s about giving your body everything it needs to do a multitude of jobs - and that includes your favourite red meat.