5 Benefits of Lean Pork + a High-Protein Omelette Recipe

Words: Crush

Since the dawn of time, adolescents and adults across the globe have been told, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. And while sugar-coated cereals and carb-heavy plates rank high on the breakfast menu, they’re also the fastest way to hit a midday slump. If you’re looking to sustain your energy throughout the day, lean pork is your best bet…

5 Reasons Pork Is Good For You

Pork might not be your first choice when you think ‘breakfast’ (bacon excluded), but it’s actually loaded with essential vitamins and minerals like thiamine, selenium and complex B vitamins. Of course, health myths paint a different picture, but some scientists beg to differ. Here are five ways you could benefit by adding lean pork to your diet:

1. Improved Immune Response

Pork is a rich source of selenium. This micro-ingredient is essential to reproduction, thyroid gland function, DNA production, and protecting the body against free radicals and infections. Approximately 100g of cooked loin lean meat can provide 79.81% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of selenium for adults. Studies (Avery JC & Hoffmann PR, 2018) show that selenium deficiency could impair adaptive immune responses.

2. Maintaining Healthy Muscle Tissue

Good-quality pork is rich in protein; combined with a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise, it can help maintain healthy muscle tissue, while improving muscle function and physical performance. It’s also believed that sarcopenia, loss of muscle mass, could be prevented with increased protein intake (Rogeri PS et al., 2021). Furthermore, 100g of cooked lean pork can provide 40.1% and 50% of the RDA for protein.

3. Heart-friendly Protein Choice

One common misconception is that pork has a high-fat percentage. In 2008, the nutritional value of South African pork was assessed for consumer clarity; findings showed that fat percentages for pork leg, loin and shoulder were below 10%, as recommended by the South African Heart Mark, making it a heart-friendly choice.

4. A Fantastic Source of Nutrients

Studies (Van Heerden and Smith, 2013) suggest that pork is a healthy source of nutrients. It’s a great source of iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, and more. Additionally, protein, energy and cholesterol content markers for lean pork compare favourably against other red meat and poultry types.

5. Contains Complex B Vitamins

Besides containing loads of vitamins and minerals, lean pork has at least four of the twelve B vitamins, namely thiamine (B1), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and cyanocobalamin (B12). Thiamine is essential to regular brain and heart function. According to a study (Qin B et al., 2017), niacin may help improve cognitive function. Pyridoxine is crucial for immune function and haemoglobin formation, while vitamin B12 helps increase the body’s energy levels.


Start your Day the Right Way

Lean mince is not only a cost-effective option, but also simple to incorporate into meals… we’ve created a Mexican-inspired, protein-packed omelette that’s as nutritious as it is delicious. Filled with healthy fats from avocado, nutrients from the pork mince and black beans for energy, this loaded brekkie pretty much has everything you need. We can’t imagine a better way to start the day!

benefits of porkThe Ultimate Breakfast Recipe – Pork Power Loco Omelette

Serves: 2 | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 1 hour | Difficulty: easy

Ingredients

Mince

250 g pork mince
1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 small red pepper, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp (5 ml) chilli flakes
1 tsp (5 ml) smoked paprika
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin
1 Tbsp (15 ml) tomato paste
1 C (250 ml) chicken stock
1 x 400g tin chopped tomato
200 g black beans (½ a tin drained and rinsed)
2 corn on the cob, grilled and kernels cut off the cob

Omelette

4 extra large eggs
¼ C (60 ml) milk
2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
100 g grated white cheddar

To Serve

½ an avocado
1 tsp (5 ml) lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
small handful of fresh coriander

Method

Mince

Heat a medium-sized saucepan to hot, add the pork mince and fry until evenly browned. Remove the mince from the saucepan and set aside. Heat the oil in the same pan; add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the red pepper and garlic and cook for another minute. Add the chilli flakes, smoked paprika and cumin and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and tomatoes and stir to combine, then cover with a lid. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure that it doesn’t catch at the bottom.

Add the beans and corn and stir through. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes, adding a little water if needed.

benefits of porkOmelette

Beat the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together.

Heat a shallow, non-stick pan over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to cover the whole base of the pan in oil. Add half of the egg mix into the pan and swirl to cover the whole base of the pan. When the egg looks set around the edges, sprinkle half of the cheddar over the egg and let it melt a bit. Add half of the cooked mince mixture on top of the cheese and fold the omelette over to close it. Slide it out of the pan and onto a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make the second omelette.

To Serve

Mash the avocado lightly with a fork, season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Serve the omelettes with a dollop of avo smash and fresh coriander.

Reap the health benefits of pork with these tasty SA Pork recipes

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