While you probably already know fish is high in omega-3 content, you may not be aware grass-fed beef also contains high levels of this essential fatty acid.
What is omega-3?
It is the broad umbrella for a range of fatty acids, including long-chain fatty acids, also known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and short-chain acids known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Long-chain fatty acids are more beneficial for health than the short chain sibling.
Why do we need omega-3?
These fatty acids provide many health benefits and can extend and enhance your quality of life.
DHA, in particular, is necessary to both pre- and postnatal brain development, while EPA has a profound effect on mood and behaviour.
According to 2007 study, entitled ‘Omega-3 DHA and EPA for cognition, behavior, and mood: clinical findings and structural-functional synergies with cell membrane phospholipids’, by the University of California, Berkeley, the combination of these two long-chain fatty acids can help with certain disorders.
It can aid those with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyspraxia, autism, dyslexia and aggression, as well as affective disorders such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.
Omega-3 can also help to reduce inflammation and may also help to reduce the risk of chronic problems such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis.
These fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and evidence suggests they enhance cognitive function and behaviour.
If you suffer from an omega-3 deficiency you may be fatigued with poor memory, heart problems, poor circulation, mood swings and depression.
How much omega-3 is there in beef?
The amount of omega-3 found depends on the cut of meat, but 2010 research from the University of California states grass-fed beef contains twice the level of omega-3 acids than grain-fed cattle.