Here in the United States, we often associate eating pork with the large pink pigs that you see at farms across the country. In certain parts of the U.S. and around the world, the wild boar is much more common, however. Boars are members of the pig family, but have a lot of different characteristics that make them look much different, and can even be dangerous. Over the years, farming boar has become more common, and the animal is still around in large numbers.
Boar meat is one of the oldest forms that mankind has consumed throughout history, from nobles to the common man. Since they’re out in the wild for the most part, boar is much more lean than the pork that most of us are accustomed to seeing. With that said, boar is also one of the better meats to consume according to many professionals. To show you why, let’s take a look at the nutritional value of boar and the health benefits you’ll get from eating it as part of your diet.
Nutrition of Boar
A little higher in calories than other types of healthy meats, you’re still only getting 160 calories per serving of 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of roasted boar. Boar is a great food to eat if you’re trying to increase your protein intake, as it delivers more than half of your daily recommendation at 28.3 grams. While there’s no fiber and a couple of vitamins missing out, you’re getting more than 20 percent of the recommended value of thiamin, niacin and vitamin B6. Boar is also a significant source of vitamin B12 and riboflavin around 10 percent daily value, with smaller amounts of vitamin E, vitamin K and folate.
Zinc and selenium are the key minerals in boar with 20 percent daily value, as phosphorus and potassium are both over 10 percent. Coming in at around five percent daily value are minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and copper. Boar is low in fat with just 4.4 grams (only 1.3 grams saturated fat) and lower in cholesterol than other forms of meat.
One of the most effective ways to get lean and burn fat is by increasing your protein content and watching calories. Boar has one of the better protein to calorie ratios that you can find in food with 120 of the 160 calories per serving coming from protein alone, and just under 40 calories from fat. Those are ideal numbers for people who are on a low carbohydrate plan (such as the Paleo Diet).
Getting more protein in your diet naturally helps your muscles repair and build, and more muscle in your body means more calories and fat burned naturally. This also gives you an energy boost that lasts for longer than it would from simple carbohydrates. Of course, you’ll want to incorporate some carbs into your diet even if you’re trying to lose weight. Overall, though, boar is easy to fit into any muscle building or fat loss plan.
Better For the Heart
Most of us are told to stay far, far away from red meats as they can have a negative impact on your heart health. That’s why more people are turning to leaner meats to both lower their blood pressure and cholesterol. Wild boar contains plenty of helpful nutrients that boost your heart, including thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6 and potassium. Thiamin helps regulate your heart’s function and reduces your chances of heart failure, which is why it’s given intravenously to heart failure patients.
Vitamin B6 has similar results, and has been linked with a reduction in heart disease. As for niacin, this vitamin has been shown to both lower triglycerides and lipids, lowering overall cholesterol. Finally, you have potassium, which regulates your blood pressure by soothing the blood vessels and flushing out excess sodium. Boar just happens to be very low in sodium, especially compared to other meats.
The heart and brain are the two most vital organs in your body, and you need to make sure you’re taking care of both to live a long and happy life. Many nutrients within boar will help both, especially ones such as thiamin. In addition to boosting your heart health, research has shown that thiamin has a direct link to preventing Alzheimer’s disease. For those that already have it, thiamin even slows down this disease’s progression.
Niacin also plays an important part in your brain’s day to day health, as it boosts your memory retention and reduces your chances of senility, schizophrenia and even depression. If you’re looking for better sleep, the vitamins and minerals found in boar have been linked to promoting less time to fall asleep, and an increase in your ability to stay asleep. From mood to memory and disease prevention, boar is great for the brain.
When it comes to your skin’s health, we frequently look at nutrients such as vitamins A and C to help your appearance, but there are others that are just as beneficial. There are antioxidants in boar such as selenium that can help get rid of free radicals, which attack your skin and cause signs of aging such as wrinkles. Adding niacin to the mix makes sure that you’re more protected from the sun and its harmful UV rays.
Vitamin B6 is one of the more important nutrients you can take for skin care, as it helps to prevent dry and cracked skin, as well as other ailments like eczema or acne. It’s also a big tool in fighting against skin cancer. Finally, you have zinc, which plays its own role in getting rid of acne while also working with vitamin C to boost collagen production. This will make your skin more elastic, giving it a youthful appearance.
More Environmentally Friendly
While there’s certainly a high amount of people that will object to any animal, those that eat meat are actually doing the world a favor by eating wild boar. This animal has a high population total, to the point where researchers say there’s too many of them. Research also says that wild boar is damaging to the environment as they’re frequently destroying crops and cost taxpayers millions in population control alone. For those looking for a more organic approach to their eating, know that wild boar doesn’t contain hormone supplements or other chemicals that commercially raised pigs might have.
Summing it Up
Boar is a fantastic meat option because of its nutritional content, but is there anything that might make it worse than your average pig? One concern that’s been raised about wild boar is the fact that it’s wild, so you might not know what it’s been eating. In certain areas, boar is more susceptible to contamination, but that shouldn’t be a concern if you’re getting boar from a reputable source. Hunting for your own should always be done with caution, though.
Some have also been surprised when they see the cholesterol content of boar since it’s over a quarter of your daily recommended allowance. As we’ve pointed out, though, this type of cholesterol isn’t the form that you should be worried about as it actually helps your heart. With all of that in mind, boar isn’t the easiest meat to find, but it’s certainly among the best both in terms of taste and nutritional value!