While your diet should contain colorful organic vegetables, ideally it should include moderate amounts of high-quality animal protein, which are valuable sources of nutrients that cannot be obtained elsewhere.
However, I advise you to avoid meats from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), usually sold in supermarkets. They come from animals raised in poor living conditions (compared to free-range animals) and usually are fed a diet filled with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
They also are often nutritionally inferior and contaminated with growth hormones, antibiotics and pathogens. Opt for organic pastured meats, which are not only healthier but are also leaner and tastier. Discover the nutrition and flavor of these organic meats in the recipe below.
Fresh Herb and Garlic Beef Tenderloin Recipe
Serving Size: 6
- To prepare the beef, trim off excess fat using a sharp knife. Fold the thin tip under to approximate the thickness of the rest of the tenderloin.
Tie with butcher’s twine, then keep tying the roast with twine every 2 inches or so. This helps the roast keep its shape.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, thyme, oregano, garlic, mustard and pepper.
While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the oil and continue to process until the herbs and garlic are finely chopped.
- Rub the herb mixture over the beef and refrigerate for four to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven 425 F. Place the beef on an oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 137 F (medium rare).
Fresh Herb and Garlic Beef Tenderloin Cooking Tips
Get organic pastured meats from responsible, sustainable sources like small family farms. Visit farmers markets and community-supported agriculture programs, as these offer fresh, wholesome food. The manner in which meat is cooked can influence its health benefits. Organic grass-fed beef should be minimally cooked because exposure to high heat can produce dangerous chemicals, such as:
- Heterocyclic amines (HCAs): These are cancerous chemicals that are found at the blackened section of cooked food, which appear when you char your meat.
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs): When fat drips into the heat source, excess smoke appears. When food is exposed to this smoke, PAHs form and transfer to the meat.
- Advanced glycation end products (AGEs): Formed when food is exposed to high temperatures (cooked, pasteurized or sterilized), they enter your body when you eat. They accumulate over time and lead to oxidative stress and inflammation, which can progress to heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease.
If you choose to grill, fry, bake or cook your meat, marinate or dry rub it with herbs, spices and vinegar first. Studies show that these ingredients can successfully limit the formation of HCAs and other chemicals on your meat.1 However, beware of store-bought marinades. While they can effectively reduce carcinogenic chemicals, they often contain high-fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and other additives.
For other tips on improving the nutritional profile of meats and limiting the formation of heat-induced toxins, check out my healthy grilling tips.
For all sorts of cooking and baking, I recommend replacing vegetable oils — including olive oil — with coconut oil, which is heat-resistant and does not go rancid. Olive oil, while nutritious, is susceptible to heat-induced damage and should only be used cold, drizzled over salads.
Fresh Herb and Garlic Beef Tenderloin Nutrition Facts
Why Is Fresh Herb and Garlic Beef Tenderloin Good for You??
When choosing red meat, make sure it’s organic AND grass-fed, which means the meat is raised in a more humane and sustainable way. Ask your sellers if their product is “grass-finished” as this ensures the meat isn’t grain-fed. The pasture should be raised in a cocktail cover crop and provide high-quality pasture for the cattle.
Cattle and other ruminant animals fed their natural diet of grass have five times more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than those fed grains. In a comparison of grass-fed and grain-fed beef for human health, researchers discovered that grass-fed ranked higher in several key areas:
|Lower in total fat
||Higher in total omega-3s
|Higher in beta-carotene
||A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84)
|Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
||Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter
|Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
||Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be transformed into CLA)
|Higher in calcium, magnesium, and potassium
Other ingredients that make this recipe ideal for your health include:
Fifty percent of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, a fat rarely found in nature. Inside your body, this fat is converted to monolaurin, a monoglyceride that can help destroy lipid-coated viruses, including HIV and herpes, influenza, measles, gram-negative bacteria and protozoa, such as Giardia lamblia.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that are easily digested and can readily cross cell membranes. Your liver converts them into energy rather than storing them as fat. For a quick energy boost, a spoonful of coconut oil can do the trick.
Coconut oil also has an impressive list of health benefits, when made a daily dietary staple. In addition to its antimicrobial nature, coconut oil can:
- Promote heart health and brain function
- Provide “fuel” for your body and support a strong metabolism
- Support optimal thyroid function
- Support your immune system
- Maintain healthy and youthful-looking skin
Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices not only make dishes more appetizing, but can also “upgrade” the nutritional density of the foods that you eat and support your immune health and detoxification function. Cloves, for example, are potent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agents. They can relieve pain and respiratory ailments, and eliminate intestinal parasites, fungi and bacteria.
Herbs and spices are also rich in antioxidants. On a per gram weight basis, oregano and other herbs ranked even higher in antioxidant activity than fruits and vegetables. For instance, oregano has 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than tomatoes, 12 times more than oranges and four times more than blueberries.
Due to their thermogenic properties, herbs and spices like cloves and black pepper can help increase your metabolism and assist your weight management efforts.
Salt is actually a nutritional goldmine, provided you consume the right kind. Remember, processed table salt has very little in common with unrefined sea salt. The first contains 97.5 percent sodium chloride, 2.5 percent man-made chemicals such as moisture absorbents and flow agents and, at times, a small amount of iodine. This type of salt will simply damage your health due to its added chemicals.
Unprocessed sea salt, on the other hand, is 84 percent sodium chloride. The other 16 percent is a combination of trace minerals, including silicon, phosphorus and vanadium. It also has flavor incomparable to regular table salt.
My favorite type is Himalayan sea salt, which is completely pure and minimally processed, having spent thousands of years maturing under extreme tectonic pressure, far away from impurities.
Sources and References
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