Have you noticed that burgers get a really bad rep theses days? They are often classified as junk food and sometimes we can feel guilty for eating them. While it is true that cheap fast food burgers are in no way good for you, it doesn’t necessarily follow that all burgers are bad. As we mentioned in Real Food for Real People, eating healthy isn’t about restricting and taking away foods we love. Eating healthy is about eating the best foods in their purest forms for optimum nutrition.
With that being said there are several reasons a properly prepared burger is very, very good for you. Here are some of our tips to making and enjoying a healthy and delicious burger:
Fist off, make sure your beef is organic and grass fed. This helps ensure that the meat is free from harmful chemicals and added hormones. Organic, grass fed (also known as pasture raised) beef can have many benefits such as being higher in Omega-3’s (which is essential to good health) and containing more vitamins and antioxidants than conventional beef (Source). It is also free from those harmful chemicals. Double win there!
Another aspect that really makes a healthy burger is to make sure you use a whole grain bun instead of a highly processed, white one. Whole wheat, for instance, can have benefits such as helping with weight control, aiding mental health, Reducing chronic inflammation and lowering risk of type 2 diabetes (Source). We love to whip up a batch of Quick Rolls or Do Everything Dough for a tasty and health promoting burger bun.
A third reason burgers can be good for you is all the good, organic veggies you can pile on top! Onions, help boost the immune system, tomatoes are anti-inflammatory, avocados are an excellent source of healthy fat and leafy greens are packed with good nutrients. The options are endless as to what health promoting ingredients you can add.
Lastly, burgers can be a great place to add some fermented pickles or sauerkraut. Fermented foods happen to be an excellent source of probiotics! Probiotics can have wonderful benefits such as boosting the immune system, improving digestion and fighting food-born illnesses (Source). Fermented pickles and sauerkraut also add delicious flavor that you won’t want to miss out on!
All in all, after some closer examination it’s pretty easy to see how burgers can be an exceptionally healthy meal when done right. So enjoy your burgers this Memorial Day weekend and all summer! Your body will thank you for it 😉
What are your favorite burger toppings?
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