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Serrano Ham: Natural Source of Health

Vota 1 2 3 4 5
Resultado 3  261 votos

Dr. María  Gea Brugada

Specialist in General Surgery and the Digestive Tract

Very few people know all of the benefits of this jewel of Spanish gastronomy, which is generally valued solely for its flavor.


A person's diet is directly linked to certain chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, osteoporosis, obesity, etc. Fortunately, our diet is a risk factor which can be adjusted. By following a healthy, balanced diet, we can prevent or delay the appearance of these chronic diseases.

Serrano ham is one of the culinary jewels of the Iberian Peninsula. In the times of the Roman Empire hams were cured in some areas of the peninsula, as well as during the Celtic and Visigoth Eras.

Serrano ham has a very high nutritional value, and it is recommended for the prevention of several illnesses. It is high in proteins, monounsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals.

From a nutritional point of view, Serrano ham has many highly beneficial properties:

  • It is rich in high biological value proteins, which contain all of the essential amino acids our body requires but does not produce on its own. It contains 30 gr of protein per 100 gr of ham -twice what we find in lean meat- which is due to the curing process. This high protein content is beneficial for bone density and muscle strength.
  • It has a moderate energy value (160 kcal / 100 gr of ham), as the curing process cuts the number of calories in half.
  • It has a highly balanced fat content (5.5 %), as nearly half of the fatty acids found in Serrano ham are monounsaturated (oleic acid), which means that they help to produce HDL, or good cholesterol, as well as protect against cardiovascular disease. There are studies that show a positive relation between the consumption of monounsaturated fat and bone density.
  • It is rich in B vitamins -B1, B2 and B6- which help to maintain bone integrity, and iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and zinc which, together with calcium, are essential elements for bone mineralization and which work to protect our bone structure. Bone magnesium makes up 50% of our total body content.

Regular, moderate consumption of Serrano ham can prevent and/or postpone the appearance of osteoporosis due to its high protein, vitamin and mineral content. Osteoporosis should be prevented at all ages, but we should pay special attention to our diet during infancy and childhood in order to obtain the greatest bone mass during these critical growth periods and stave off bone mass loss.

We should therefore include Serrano ham as part of our diet in order to avoid or delay the appearance of a number of illnesses or diseases.


1.- Orozco P. Actualización en el abordaje y tratamiento de la osteoporosis. Inf.Ter.Sist. Salud 2001; 25: 117-141.

2.- Olmos Martínez, J.L. Osteopatías Metabólicas. Medicina Interna Rodés, Guardia.2004; Vol. II, 2704-2721. Ed. Masson.

3.- Rapado, A. Dieta y osteoporosis. En Osteoporosis. Rapado, A: Díaz Curiel, M; Galindo Tobal, P:1997; 79-89. Ed. Fhoemo.

4.- LLopis González, J., Mataix Verdú, J. Hueso y dieta. En Nutrición y Salud Osea. Díaz Curiel, M. Gil Hernandez, A., Mataix Verdú, J. 2005; 58-72. Ed. Puleva Food.

5.- Lanchares Pérez, J.L., González Rodríguez S.P. Balance mineral y homeostasis: calcio, fósforo y magnesio. En Osteoporosis y menopausia. Castelo- Branco y Haya Palazuelos, J.2004; 43-68. Ed. Panamericana.

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Pedro Delgado

"Jamón Serrano has always been part of the cyclist's diet"

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Proyecto financiado por:

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