In another Healing Gourmet article, you learned about the health benefits of grass-fed beef (and the bull that “all beef is created equal”). Now I’ve got more advice on getting the most from your meat.

Enjoy it with a side of spinach… and a glass of red wine!

Not only is this a tasty combination, but it can protect your body from the unsavory cell-damagers that are produced when we digest red meat.

Here’s why.

Grass-Fed Beef … with a Side of Spinach

Red meat contains heme iron. And as it is digested, heme iron irritates the cells lining the colon. Over time, this irritation could set the stage for colon cancer.

But green vegetables (like spinach) contain chlorophyll – a powerful detoxifying nutrient that was found to neutralize the health-harming effects of heme iron.

In fact, studies published in the journal Carcinogenesis, found that heme iron in red meat increased cell-damaging byproducts in the colon by 800%. But eating spinach (or an equivalent amount of chlorophyll) inhibited the harmful effects of heme iron completely!

Grass-Fed Beef and Red Wine: A Protective (and Delicious Combination)

But there’s another group of cellular bullies lurking in your burger you should know about: lipid oxidation products (LOPs).

Research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that polyphenols in red wine substantially reduced the formation of two cell-damaging LOPs – malondialdehyde and hydroperoxide.

The researchers say the stomach acts as a “bioreactor,” enhancing the beneficial effects of cell-protecting polyphenols. And not only do polyphenols help prevent the formation of harmful compounds, they also prevent their absorption from the gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream.

So go ahead and enjoy a nice herb-rubbed grass-fed London broil with a side of sautéed organic spinach and glass of your favorite organic Pinot Noir – the varietal that boasts the most polyphenols.