Pork, another name for pig in the kitchen realm, is one of the most consumed meat globally, with beef (cow), chicken, and fish being the others. It can be eaten freshly cooked, but it can also be preserved. Examples of preserved pork include sausage, bacon, and ham, among others. As a food, it offers various health benefits.

 

Protein

Just like beef, chicken, and fish, pork is rich in protein. According to Authority Nutrition, a lean cooked pork has about 26 percent protein content by fresh weight. On the other hand, a lean pork has 89 percent protein by dry weight; thus, it is viewed as one of the greatest sources of protein in the diet. In nutrition, protein is a macronutrient made up of amino acids. It is responsible for the growth, development, and repair of tissues and cells. Examples of people who consume large amounts of meat are body builders, since meat is one of the best dietary sources of protein.

 

Nutrient-Packed

Aside from protein, pork also contains various vitamins and minerals, such as copper, potassium, zinc, sodium, selenium, and phosphorus, according to Practo. It also has iron and magnesium, in addition to some traces of manganese and calcium. Pork is also rich in vitamins A, E, and B, with the latter being in large amounts. As per the publication, the B vitamins help in the growth and repair of muscles and nerve tissues, extract energy from food, promote carbohydrate and fat metabolism, production of red blood cells, maintaining strong bones and teeth.

These nutrients contribute to the overall function of the body systems and cells, in microscopic level; thus, pork contributes to the body’s total health and wellness.

 

Weight Management

While pork contains fat, it also helps manage weight, if consumed adequately. According to Authority Nutrition, the pig meat not only maintains muscle mass, but it also promotes muscular function and physical performance. As per the publication, pork include substances that promote muscle activity, such as beta-alanine, carnosine, and creatine. Beta-alanine is an amino acid that produces carnosine, a substance that is essential for muscle function. It was found that high levels of carnosine in the muscle tissue linked with decreased fatigue and increased physical performance. Meanwhile, creatine, a bioactive substance found in meat, serves as an energy source for the muscles. It is usually taken by bodybuilders, as it is known to boost muscle performance and growth.

 

Sample Recipe

Pork has many recipes and one of them is Apple Butter Pork Loin. According to All Recipes, the ingredients include two pound boneless pork loin roast, two cups of apple juice, half cup apple butter, two tablespoons water, one-fourth teaspoon of ground cinnamon, one-fourth teaspoon of ground cloves, salt, and pepper.

To prepare, the oven is preheat to 350 degrees Celsius. Then, the pork loins are season with salt and are then placed on a baking dish or roasting pan. Next, apple juice is poured over the pork and the dish is covered with an aluminum foil or lid. After that, the dish is baked for an hour while the apple butter, water, cloves, cinnamon, and sugar are mixed. Once cooked, the pork roasts are removed from the oven and is spread with the apple butter mixture. Finally, the food is covered, returned to the oven for two hours or until the pork becomes fork-tender.

Overall, pork is one of the natural food sources that benefit the body, as it contains nutrients like protein. Including it to a meal plan boosts diversity of food choices for an individual or a family. However, it also contains fat, so it should not be consumed excessively.

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