beef meals your immune system will thank you for

This isn’t quite what we were anticipating when Punxsutawney Phil announced an early spring for 2020, right? A quick suggestion, Phil. If you can successfully predict spring, a little warning about grabbing a few extra rolls of TP would have been much-appreciated, k?   

 As many of us are transitioning from #TheGoodLife to #QuarantineLife and social distancing, It’s important to support health with nutrition-focused meals at home. And with the current climate, it’s important to take items you get from the grocery store and stretch them as far as possible while, at the same time, providing solid nutrition in great-tasting meals for your kids.

How can beef support a healthy immune system? 

Let’s be clear, the biggest things you can do for your immune system is to wash your hands (and maybe sing while you’re doing it a la Jimmy Fallon) and eat a balanced diet. And, when it comes to a balanced diet, you’re missing out if you’re not including servings of beef in your meal prep.   When it comes to beef and your health, you can rest easy knowing that along with being delicious, beef contains important nutrients that your body needs. In just one 3 oz. cooked serving, you’re getting 10 essential nutrients, including about half your Daily Value for protein.

protein

Supplies critical building blocks for cells. Additionally, diets anchored in protein keep us fuller longer, which is essential when you’re trying to stretch your meals with what you have in the pantry.

zinc

Supports the immune system. It is a necessary nutrient for white blood cells to function properly in the body. Research shows zinc deficiencies are positively associated with lower immune response, and a serving of beef provides 39% of your DV of zinc.

Selenium

Deficiency may make your symptoms stronger when you have a viral infection. A single serving of beef has 38% of your Daily Value of selenium.

Antioxidants

Beef pairs perfectly with fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants. For children, ground beef is the perfect food to hide pureed or finely diced vegetables. Frozen, canned, dried and even fresh! Eat the rainbow, enjoy bright colors and anchor it with America’s favorite protein, beef!

Vitamin d

Don’t forget the importance of vitamin D! You can get outside and still keep your social distance . If you are able, continue to enjoy walking outside, hiking trails that aren’t full of people, riding your bike or soaking in the sun on your deck or in the backyard.

Health Professional Fact Sheets

Helpful ways to stretch ground beef 

whole grains

Oatmeal, whole-grain bread crumbs and brown rice serve as a binding agent in meatballs and meatloaves, so they hold together better. Using fillers like these makes more food allowing for leftovers, so they also can help stretch your food budget further. 

ground beef stuffed peppers

stuffed peppers

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beef and savory oats

BEEF SAUSAGE SAVORY OATS

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beans and lentils

When it comes to protein per serving, ground beef comes out on top of beans and lentils. However, you can stretch ground beef and add some fiber by adding a cup of cooked beans per pound of ground beef. If your recipe typically doesn’t include these fillers, mix them into the beef well and prepare and cook your recipe per the usual directions. 

beef and black bean burger

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beef, red beans and rice

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beef recipes that use vegetables

Mixing in grated vegetables like zucchini, carrots, potatoes and more is a great way to add more fiber and vegetables to a dish without the kids even noticing. Combine the grated vegetables with the uncooked ground beef and cook the combination together following your recipe directions.

post roast pasta with hidden veggie sauce

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Cowboy Beef and Black Bean Chili

beef chili

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Szechuan Beef Stir-Fry

szechuan beef stir-fry

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Beef & Pasta Skillet Primavera

ground beef pasta primavera

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Beef & Vegetable Fried Rice

beef and veggie fried rice

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Zippy Beef Alphabet Soup

beef alphabet soup

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