A love letter from our cows to your heart this Valentine’s Day. 

Welcome to our February journal! This month’s article has been kindly written for us by the lovely Jess Oldfield. If you’re a farm shop regular, you will have met Jess in the farm shop usually on the weekends as Jess is a member of the team here at Hartley. Alongside her weekend shifts in the Farm Shop, Jess is a passionate foodie and also a Nutrition & Lifestyle Medicine practitioner. Check out her Instagram or her website where you’ll find loads of healthy, hearty recipes as well as updates on all things family, food and health, it’s right up our street! Take it away Jess…

Did you know that our cows could hold the key to your heart? Now we love our cows, but did you know that choosing grass-fed Hartley beef not only supports supporting sustainable agriculture but could keep your heart healthier? 

The heart is the heart of all your bodily functions and without good heart health, everything suffers. However, nine out of ten of the major risk factors for heart disease are modifiable by dietary changes! Science has shown us that eating a diet high in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol has been linked to heart disease, but is it as simple as that and what can we do about it? 

I’m sure everyone has read somewhere, that eating too much red meat and therefore saturated fat, can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. But did you know that grass-fed beef, such as we pride ourselves on at Hartley farm, can be beneficial for heart health? Great news for our steak lovers! 

So why is this? Grass-fed beef is a fantastic source of essential fatty acids which are the building blocks for health and wellbeing. There are two types of fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6. Now I’m sure a lot of you have heard that omega-3 (anti-inflammatory) is good, and omega-6 (inflammatory) is well, not so good. However, both are essential in our diet, but it’s the ratio of the two that is important. The ideal ratio is 4:1 which means we want to aim to have no more than 4 omega-6 to every 1 omega-3. Ratios between 1:1 and 1:4 have been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body whereas higher ratios of over 4:1 have been known to promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. 

How does our grass-fed beef help? Not only is grass-fed beef one of the most nutrient-dense proteins on earth. It has a much higher micronutrient profile than grain-fed beef. It’s higher in B vitamins and iron which are great for energy levels as well as increased vitamin D, perfect for the cloudy, rainy winter we are having. Most importantly grass-fed beef can have up to 4 times more Omega-3 than the grain-fed variety you find in the supermarkets. These extra Omega 3s help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, improve circulation, strengthen the heart, and protect against heart disease.

And if you’re cutting down on meat, that’s also not a problem. Other great sources of omega-3 we have available in the shop are walnuts, chia seeds as well as a great selection of high-quality frozen and smoked fish. Or you may have noticed we are pretty obsessed with kale at Hartley. This is not only a good plant source of omega-3 but full of vitamin K and dietary nitrates which have been shown to protect arteries, promote proper blood clotting and reduce blood pressure. A great leafy green to have in a warm winter salad or paired with that steak.

Happy cows, happy hearts.