King River Wagyu has become a popular choice around the world, from premium restaurants to home cooks that want a taste of luxury. Wagyu is famous for its exceptional flavour and texture, characterized by unique intramuscular marbling fat marbling and a melt-in-your-mouth feel. However, the benefits of King River Wagyu go beyond culinary appeal.
Wagyu beef also offers a range of health benefits. Did you know that Wagyu is:
- Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids
- High in monounsaturated fats
- A good source of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
- A source of essential nutrients and high in protein
From promoting heart health to reducing inflammation, there are more than enough reasons to add King River Wagyu beef to the menu. Here are a few reasons why these nutritional factors are important.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
One of the main health benefits of Wagyu beef is its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Research has proven that Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that are essential for normal growth and development and for maintaining good cardiovascular health. These fatty acids have been shown to have anti inflammatory, anti-thrombotic, anti-arrhythmic, hypolipidemic, and vasodilatory properties. Studies also show that Omega-3 Fatty Acids can lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease, hypertension, inflammation and type 2 diabetes. If that wasn’t enough, researchers have also stated that Omega-3 Fatty acids are “involved in the development of brain and retinal tissues and in the prevention of human diseases, including heart disease and some cancers”.
Wagyu beef, unlike some other breeds, has a much higher percentage of these “heathy fats” due to its unique intramuscular marbling fat. As one of the few conception to consumption Wagyu farmers, King River is acutely aware of how breeding and rearing impact the development of intramuscular marbling. Purebred Wagyu, like those we raise in the King River Purebred Program, are far more likely to develop healthy intramuscular marbling fat. However, genetics are not the only factor that impact Omega-3 healthy fats. Stress plays a significant role in the development of fat for Wagyu.
Highly marbled Wagyu is also high in monounsaturated fats, due to higher concentrations of oleic acid. Unlike most other cattle breeds, Wagyu have an enzyme that converts stearic acid (a saturated fatty acid) into oleic acid. Monounsaturated fats have been linked to lower levels of cholesterol and improved heart health. These fats have been shown to increase levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and decrease levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). This can help reduce the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems. Higher concentrations of oleic acid might also be able to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Studies show that a higher level of concentrated feed in the later fattening period, a feeding process used by King River, can lead to higher monounsaturated fat concentration in the Wagyu, increasing nutritional value.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
Another potential health benefit of Wagyu beef is its high levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). In fact, Wagyu has the highest levels of CLA than any other breed, and most other food sources. CLA is a type of fatty acid that has been shown to have a range of health benefits. Professional Dietician Dr. Tim Crowe found that CLA in Wagyu may help reduce inflammation, improve immune function, and promote healthy bone density. Some research has even suggested that CLA may have anti-cancer properties and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity. By consuming Wagyu beef, you can help support these important health functions and potentially reduce your risk of certain health problems.
Essential Nutrients and Protein
Wagyu beef is also a great source of essential nutrients that are crucial for maintaining good health. It is rich in iron, which plays a vital role in the production of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. This makes it an excellent choice for people who are at risk of developing iron deficiency anemia. Additionally, Wagyu beef is a great source of zinc, which is essential for supporting a healthy immune system and wound healing. B12, which Wagyu is also an excellent source of, is essential for brain function and the production of red blood cells. Lastly, Wagyu is also a good source of protein. Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue, as well as maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails. Protein also plays an important role in the immune system, helping to fight off infections and diseases. While not all these nutrients are unique to Wagyu, the opportunity to naturally digest these essential nutrients alongside Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Monosaturated Fats, CLA and Protein, makes Wagyu a nutrient packed choice for healthy eating.
At King River we pay particular attention to the feeding and care of our Wagyu. While Wagyu is generally packed with health benefits, the life of the beast has a significant impact on the final nutritional value in the meat. Breeding, stress and feeding are all important factors that impact the way a Wagyu grows and develops.