Posted: 05/01/2018

 

From lunchtime staples to midweek suppers and Sunday roasts, duck is the kind of versatile meat that can be used for a myriad of delicious dishes. Whilst chicken may have had the poll position as the leanest protein source, it’s time that duck is brought to the forefront as a healthy option. Registered nutritional therapist, Eva Humphries, shares the surprising health benefits of eating duck.

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It’s waistline friendly

The biggest misconception about duck is in relation to the fat content, so let’s debunk this myth as a start. Sure, duck has a generous layer of fat, how else could it be used to make such great roast potatoes, however this fat is on the surface. By simply removing the skin, the majority of the fat is taken away, leaving behind a lean source of protein. In fact, once the skin is removed, duck breast is on par with skinless chicken breast, both of which come in at approximately 3g of fat per 100g of meat. Consequently, skinless duck breast makes a tasty and lean addition to waistline friendly midweek suppers.

 duck burger

Duck Burger with Clean Eating Plum and Chia Ketchup. For the recipe (Click Here).

Source of b vitamins

As vitamins go, B vitamins fall in a pretty important category, helping with everything from creating energy to detoxing and cellular function (1). Whilst B vitamins are available from various sources, duck contains all 8 essential B vitamins. B12 in specific is only available from meat based sources such as duck. This vital B vitamin is useful for cognition with research associating a lack of dietary B12 with poor memory and attention deficit (2).

 duck orange wrap

Duck and Orange Wraps. For the recipe (Click Here).

Immune boost

When it comes to immune function, most of us will naturally reach for Vitamin C to give us a boost against colds, flus and the like. There is however more to immunity than this one vitamin. Research shows that the minerals zinc and selenium are also essential for the correct functioning of the immune system (3). White blood cells, the body’s main infection fighting components, all contain and need a good dose of selenium to be battle ready (3). Zinc has a similar effect, regulating each part of the immune system, helping to kick those infections to the curb (4). Duck is a good source of both minerals, in fact a single duck breast contains over a third of the daily recommended intake of selenium.

 Paleo duck berry sauce

Paleo Duck and Berry Sauce. For the recipe (Click Here).

Iron

Iron deficiency may not completely answer why teenagers sleep so much, but data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey does suggest that there are still a large proportion of children, teens and women with less than optimal iron levels (5). A lack of this mineral can leave you tired and generally lacking in energy, since iron is an important component of the oxygen carrying part of each red blood cell (6). Fortunately, duck is amongst the top sources of iron, in fact gram per gram duck contains as much iron as beef. Before you present your teenage daughter with an entire roast duck, it’s worth noting that you don’t need vast quantities. A single duck breast meets half of the recommended daily intake of iron for most women.

 buddha bowl

Duck Macro Bowl. For the recipe (Click Here).

For more nutrition advice and delicious recipes to upgrade your health take a look at The Wholefood Warrior website (Click Here) and follow her on Instagram: @wholefoodwarrior

References:

(1) Depeint F, Bruce RW, Shangari N, Mehta R, O’Brien PJ (2006) Mitochondrial function and toxicity: Role of the B vitamin family on mitochondrial energy metabolism. Chemico-Biological Interactions, 163: 94-112.

(2) Brian C, Torre CD, Citton V, Manara R, Pompanin S, Binotto G, Adami F (2013) Cobalamin deficiency: clinical picture and radiological findings. Nutrients, 5: 4521–4539.

(3) Ferencík M, Ebringer L (2003) Modulatory effects of selenium and zinc on the immune system. Folia Microbiologica, 48: 417-426.

(4) Hojyo S, Fukada T (2016) Roles of Zinc Signaling in the immune system. Journal of Immunology Research, doi:10.1155/2016/6762343.

(5) Public Health England (2016) National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Accessed: https:// www.gov.uk/government/statistics/ndns-results-from-years-5-and-6-combined.

(6) DeLoughery TG (2017) Iron deficiency anemia. Medical Clinics of North America, 101: 319-332.