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Bakra Eid is never quite complete without tantalising meat recipes for   get-togethers and barbeque nights. Among the dishes that are served, lamb is a firm favourite, with its succulent, flavourful meat.

Lamb is loaded with nutrition, and here is why it should be on your menu this Eid:

1. Lamb contains a significantly higher quantity of heme protein compared to mutton and beef. This protein adds muscle mass to your body and ensures low levels of triglycerides (‘bad’ fats). This makes lamb ideal for people who are watching their weight. Lamb is also a better source of regular protein compared to beef and mutton and contains significantly fewer calories.

2. Lamb is an excellent source of selenium (a mineral that lowers blood pressure, prevents skin diseases and regulates the thyroid gland) and vitamin A, which prevents macular degeneration and cataracts, and boosts vision. Recent research indicates that both selenium and vitamin A have anti-carcinogenic properties.

3. Lamb kidneys – delicious when cooked in a mint and yoghurt sauce, with garlic and cayenne pepper – are rich in iron. Iron plays a key role in strengthening the immune system to fight infections, helps in haemoglobin production and prevents insomnia.

4. Nutritionists believe that boiled lamb meat, coupled with cauliflower and spiced with turmeric and coriander, can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease as well as age-related cognitive decline and osteoarthritis. It also helps maintain a healthy nervous system due to the presence of niacin (an organic compound of vitamin B) and vitamin B12.

N.B: Due to high levels of cholesterol and fat in lamb, cardiovascular patients should consult their physicians before adding lamb to their diet. 

– Saba Gul Hasan                                                                                                   The writer is a nutritionist and a wellness coach.

First published in the ADBUZZZZ Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on September 28, 2014.