You probably know this, but Serrano and Iberian ham is one of the most typical and traditional foods in Spanish gastronomy. Its juicy texture and unmistakable taste make it a real delicacy made from the pig’s hind legs, while at the same time it is a source of nutrients, especially proteins of high biological value. Ham is a product with beneficial properties for health. It is a food that can be included in all types of diets, even in hypocaloric ones. You should not hesitate and enjoy it, because today in this article we will tell you the 10 main benefits of eating Iberian ham. Ham is a food that is highly valued both locally and internationally; it is an ingredient that is in demand in good Mediterranean cuisine.
Include jamón ibérico in a healthy diet
Beyond its popularity, due to its exquisite taste, few people know and appreciate the nutritional properties of Serrano ham, which are varied and essential for our health. Ham is to Spain what cheese is to France, to Italy it can be pasta, or to Norway salmon. It is our star product, but do we really know what its main health benefits are? If we look at the classification established by the Spanish Nutrition Foundation, there are different types of ham. Among the varieties of the Iberian pig we find:
- Acorn ham.
- Field fattening ham.
- Fattening ham.
There is always a good reason to eat it and no time of the day should be missed. But, in addition, the Iberian ham is a source of properties for our organism that do nothing but add an important value to its exquisite taste.
10 main benefits of eating Iberian ham
Get to know them!
1. Source of high biological value protein
In addition to its special and unique taste, Serrano and Iberian ham is a nutritious and rich product, and from this we can highlight its 10 main benefits of eating it. The high value of proteins stands out, necessary for the good functioning of our body, especially indispensable for the muscles and the brain. What makes Serrano ham stand out is that it is a food rich in high-quality protein. Around 31 grams per 100 are of protein. Very high values that have to be taken into account especially by those who follow a diet high in this nutrient because they are looking for muscle growth.
2. Relatively low content of saturated fatty acids…
Helps to improve cholesterol levels. It is a rich source of fatty acids (especially oleic acid), so it helps improve LDL (bad) and HDL (good) cholesterol levels and contributes to the protection and care of the heart.
3. … and high in healthy unsaturated fatty acids
The amount of fat it possesses is not as high as many people think, besides being largely unsaturated fatty acids (as is the case with olive oil or nuts), in proportions of around 40%.
4. Help to overcome stress and depression with vitamin B1
Although it may seem impossible, Serrano and Iberian ham is an ideal food for people with low spirits. Because of its high content of vitamin B1 it helps to overcome stress and depression. The high contribution of vitamin B1 (responsible for maintaining the proper functioning of the brain, nerve cells and heart) of the ham makes its consumption contribute to overcome and prevent situations of depression or stress, since it is demonstrated that in this type of situations the body needs a greater amount of vitamin B1.
5. High protein assimilation
Ham is a food that is easily digestible due to the reduced presence of collagen and because during the process of maturing Serrano ham, a chemical reaction takes place involving the action of peptidases, which are responsible for breaking the bonds of proteins and give rise to amino acids, which are more easily assimilated by our organism.
6. Vitamins B3 and B6, great allies
And it’s not just ham with a high vitamin B1 content that counts. B3 and B6 will also be of great help. B3 is directly related to growth, as well as making it easier to obtain energy through food. And the B6 that combined with the oleic acid contained in Serrano ham helps us to prevent cardiovascular disease, as well as helping to regulate cholesterol.
7. High content of polyphenols
These are powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents at the vascular level, which are commonly found in vegetables. It has been demonstrated that polyphenols have a positive effect on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, which is why it is mandatory to include them among the 10 main benefits of eating Iberian ham.
8. Provides zinc, calcium or phosphorus, among other minerals
Due to its high zinc content it improves attention span, comprehension and retention. This contributes to the development of greater intellectual capacity, especially in pre- adolescents. The mineral that is most present in this precious meat is iron: 100 grams of acorn-fed Iberian ham provide 20% of the iron that should be consumed daily (between 3 and 4 mg per 100 grams of ham).
9. Helps prevent osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease in which there is a decrease in bone mass density. Thus, the bones become more porous, the number and size of the cavities or cells that exist inside them increase, they are more fragile, they resist the blows worse and they break more easily. Ham has a high iron content, which makes it the perfect ally to prevent this (it protects against loss of bone mass) and a product to include in the diet of people with iron deficiencies and nursing mothers to contribute to the correct development of babies.
10. Low levels of carbohydrates
The fact is that carbohydrates are practically non-existent in ham (less than 0.5 g per 100 g) and its caloric contribution is not as high as it could be considered, which makes it an ideal product for weight loss or slimming diets. If you are in this situation, do not think, as usual, that ham is a product to be avoided… on the contrary!
Where can you taste the best Iberian ham in Gran Canaria?
As you surely know, at Nomad Gastro Market we have a restaurateur specialized in the best Iberian ham. It is +QJAMÓN. There you will find a laugh, a drink… and a bit of typical Spanish ‘picoteo’. An option that will enchant the lovers of ours. At +QJAMÓN you will enjoy some of the most important references in Spanish gastronomy. They have specialized in Iberian products and cheeses, always of the highest quality, and at a very moderate price considering the level of their raw material.
All their products have gone through traditional production processes and natural curing. We are talking about pieces, therefore, of great quality, derived from the Iberian pig and the Serrano, and with a wide range of presentations and formats. Its intense flavour accompanied by a glass of wine may be the best choice, because enjoying a freshly cut Iberian ham is one of the pleasures you should never forget!