Invented in 1871, Bovril wasn't known as Bovril until 1886, and was made popular by explorers, soldiers and athletes in the several years that followed.(See Reference 1) Marketed in Britain, three and a half million jars are sold each year. (See Reference 1) Similar to bullion or powdered stock, but in the form of a paste, Bovril supplies certain key nutrients, but is also high in sodium.
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Calories, Fat and Protein
A 12-gram serving of beef Bovril contains 22 calories and only a trace of fat. (See Reference 2) The same amount of chicken Bovril has 16 calories and also only a trace of fat. (See Reference 2) On Bovril beef cube contains 13 calories and almost no fat. (See Reference 2) A 12-gram portion of beef Bovril supplies 4.7 grams of fat, which is about 10 percent of the 46 grams of protein women need each day and 8 percent of the 56 grams men require daily, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (See References 2 and 4) Twelve grams of chicken Bovril has 1.2 grams of protein and a beef Bovril cube has less than 1 gram. (See Reference 2)
The amount of sodium in Bovril is a drawback. Regularly eating too much sodium can raise your blood pressure, which increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. (See Reference 3) A 12-gram serving of beef Bovril has 540 milligrams of sodium, which is 36 percent of the recommended 1,500-milligram limit for the day, according to the American Heart Association. (See References 2 and 3) Twelve grams of chicken Bovril has 900 milligrams and one beef Bovril cube has 800 milligrams of sodium. (See Reference 2)
Vitamins and Minerals
Beef and chicken Bovril contain several B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid and vitamin B-12, though the exact amount of each isn't included in the nutrition information made available to consumers. (See Reference 2) B vitamins are essential because they help your body make energy and they also play a role in the production of red blood cells, according to the MedlinePlus website. (See Reference 5)
Incorporating Bovril Into Your Diet
You might need to order Bovril by mail because it isn't as readily available in the United States as it is in Britain. Bovril can be used like beef or chicken bullion or cubes. Add the product to beef stew, vegetable soup or chicken noodle soup. Either flavor of Bovril can also be added to boiling water to make a hot drink. Because Bovril is a meaty paste, you might also enjoy it spread on toast. Use Bovril as a sandwich spread in place of mayonnaise as another way to incorporate the food into your diet.