While it’s true that too much red meat can lead to high blood pressure and cardiac complications, one or two servings per week can end up improving your diet. If you normally avoid red meat, here are just some of the reasons that you should consider switching up your weekly meal plan.
Protein is important for growth and development, both in children and adults. If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, your muscles will begin to atrophy, and you’ll experience symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, and lethargy. Meats are full of protein, helping you to maintain and build healthy muscles. A well-cooked joint of red meat, in particular, is chock full of healthy proteins that are essential to an active lifestyle.
Iron is an important part of a balanced diet. It helps to form hemoglobin, which is the part of blood that transports oxygen around the body to tissues such as the heart and brain. People who don’t consume enough iron are at risk for developing circulatory problems and anemia. Luckily, it’s easy to include plenty of iron in your diet if you eat red meat. It contains more iron per serving than nuts, leafy greens, and meats such as poultry or fish.
The media has given saturated fat a bad reputation for years, holding it responsible for a range of scary health conditions such as blocked arteries, heart disease and obesity. While there’s a lot of truth in the common message that saturated fat isn’t good for you, the reality is that moderation is key, as is the case with all other aspects of nutrition. In fact, a zero-tolerance approach to saturated fat could be doing your body more harm than good. The saturated fat found in red meat can assist your liver by encouraging it to dump fat cells and work more effectively. It can also help to boost testosterone levels which are responsible for sexual function and tissue repair.
B vitamins are crucial to a healthy diet, but unfortunately, many people don’t get their fill each day. Red meats are rich in B-complex vitamins, particularly B12, which vegetarians and vegans usually take a supplement for. This nutrient plays a critical role in overall health, and a deficiency can lead to a variety of health complications, from cardiovascular disease to cancer. In addition to B12, red meat also contains other essential B vitamins, including:
Red meat is also rich in selenium. This in combination with B6 produces an essential balance of nutrients that are vital for fertility, both in conceiving and also maintaining a healthy pregnancy. In females, having enough selenium is important to avoid conditions such as pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, pre-term labour and even pregnancy loss. However, red meat can also assist men to achieve optimal fertile health. Specifically, it can prevent free radicals from interfering with the production of quality sperm and also ensures that there is a good balance of testosterone versus estrogen to maintain a strong sex drive.
Zinc is relatively difficult to find in dietary sources, with shellfish and organ meat being two main sources. Luckily, in addition to other essential nutrients, red meats are rich in zinc. This mineral plays a key role in muscle and brain development as well as immune function. By adding red meat into your diet, you can ensure that you don’t suffer from a zinc deficiency.
Red meat doesn’t necessarily deserve its reputation as an unhealthy indulgence, although it’s important that you do consume the best types, opting for a healthy steak rather than processed sausages or pepperoni toppings on your pizza. Including a serving or two of red meat in your diet each week can help to boost your nutrient levels and keep your body feeling strong and healthy.