If you love meat, then you will love biltong. You will love how much the flavour remains preserved inside the meat for such a long time. You will love the shelf life and how easily you can snack on it any time, anywhere. Not only that, but you will love how affordable it is to buy and how easy it is to make. You will most definitely love how many health benefits come from this delicious delicacy now readily available anywhere in the UK.

But first… what is biltong?

This snack food originated in South Africa and is essentially cured and dried slices of meat.

Although biltong is a relatively new addition to the global snacking scene, it’s not a new product. In fact, African communities have been making biltong as a means to preserve meat for hundreds of years.

Historically, beef, ostrich, and other wild game have been the most common choices of meat, but any other meat may be used, including chicken, fish, and pork.

Why Is Biltong So Delicious?

To understand why biltong is so delicious, you will need to understand its nutritional value. So what is biltong made of?

Over the centuries, biltong has evolved from being just a lump of red meat to a meat and vegetable snack. There are four different types of meats used in the making of biltong and a few veggies used for the vegan kind. Let’s take a look at some of these and see what their health benefits are:

Benefits Of Red Meat

Red Meat

Red meat is suitable for many reasons, and our diets can suffer when we do not have any of it. There are valuable nutrients that come directly from red meat.

That could be substituted in other ways. However, these substitutes are not the first choice when it comes to biltong itself.

One of the primary functions of red meat is to act as an antioxidant. It helps fight off harmful free radicals in our bodies. It is a protein source that helps with muscle mass sustainability and cell regeneration. This includes iron that aids our blood cells.

Benefits of Chicken

Chicken biltong has become as popular, and through a perfect method of maturing meat, it is now perfectly safe for consumption and completely delicious. The curing method dries the chicken out and kills the possibility of bacterial growth while giving you great biltong.

Chicken is known for so many great nutritional benefits that it is a wonder it has been added to the list of meats safe for curing. It assists with oral and mental health, supports your eyesight, and boosts your immune system. It’s also a source of protein that helps with rebuilding your cells.

However, not all chicken is created equal so try to stick to free range chicken meat.

Benefits Of Fish

Fish biltong is the saltiest of the lot, but it still has a lot of nutritional value given fish is considered generally the healthier lean protein choice.

Fish

If you are a fan of anchovies on toast or crackers, then you will love the taste of fish biltong on either.

It is a much more tender biltong, very soft, and easy to digest. Fish is low in calories, and low-calorie foods burn off much faster, which is excellent for diets. It also improves cardiovascular and psychological health.

Benefits Of Pork

If you love pork crackling, then you will love the taste of bacon biltong. It is the only biltong that works with sweet or sour flavouring, and it is the only bacon that does not have to cure in a cure box. You could make bacon biltong in the microwave, cure it behind your fridge and have it ready to eat within 5 hours.

Pork is rich in niacin and thiamine, a form of vitamin B higher in value than vitamin B found in red meat. It is a highly essential nutrient that the body needs to function.

The selenium in pork supports your thyroid function, which regulates your body’s metabolism and temperature, so now you have plenty of reasons to go out and grab that bacon.

Benefits of Being Vegan

Brinjal and mushrooms make up this version of biltong to cater to those who want the benefits of a healthy snack with the same delicious taste. The lack of meat is substituted with an overdose of flavour.

Still, the fact remains that vegetables are great for you, and having them as a preserved snack not only helps with your immune system and brain functions, but it’s a great way to get your kids to enjoy something healthy and nutritious

vegan

Vegetables digest faster than meat, and with no preservatives, your body can benefit from it without worrying about chemicals. Organic vegetables are free from GMOs.

Veggie biltong is air dried the same way fruit preserves are made. They have an excellent shelf life, so they store well and make great snacks for vegan diets.

Our bodies need all kinds of nutrients to function every day. The best way to get it is with the food we eat. Vitamin supplements give us a bit of a boost, but if you want a healthy body without sacrificing good food, then consider a bag of biltong and get a snack.

The lowdown

According to Healthline, biltong has recently gained immense popularity as a snack globally. Indeed, research shows that meat-based snacks like biltong are expected to gross over $9 billion in revenue by 2022.

If you haven’t tried some yet, then go on. Biltong is a fantastic addition to your healthy snacking routine. Just remember, moderation is key.

References:

Nutrients Composition in Fit Snacks Made from Ostrich, Beef and Chicken Dried Meat
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29799493/
Report on Processing of South African biltong – A review M. Jones1, 2, E. Arnaud2, 3, P. Gouws1 & L.C. Hoffman2# 1Department of Food Science, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland (Stellenbosch) 7602, South Africa 2Department of Animal Sciences, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland (Stellenbosch) 7602, South Africa 3CIRAD, UMR QualiSud, F-34398, Montpellier, France
Healthline:  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/biltong#what-it-is
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Guest Writer

This post has been curated by a Longevity Live editor for the website.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.