Our grandparents used to say that meat, especially beef, is healthy food. But now, the views have changed. It has become a controversial topic and the opinion has split between whether beef is healthful or harmful. Some extreme vegan views support the removal of meat from the food supply entirely.
There are various types of meat like beef, pork, poultry, lamb, seafood, etc. These are tasty and essential for the body. Protein is the most common thing found in the meat and it provides energy for the body to manage daily functionality. Though the current trend is going vegan, that is, eliminating meat from the diet, you should know that people who don’t consume meat are likely to suffer from neurotransmitter problems like anxiety, depression, etc. While the debate goes on, we are going to discuss the health benefits you can have by eating meat.
1. It’s Packed with Nutrition
Meat is a great source of proteins, vitamins, minerals and important nutrients. Here are some important nutrients that meat contains and their health benefits:
- The liver and other organs contain a high content of vitamin A, vitamin B12, selenium, iron, and choline which are good for the muscle, liver and brain health.
- It is an excellent source of protein and contains all the amino acids that keep the body functioning normally.
- It contains iron that helps to carry oxygen to all the cells, support DNA production, immune function, and more.
- Poultry and red meat contain various vitamins including vitamin A, D and B-complex vitamins that are necessary for healthy bones, teeth, eyes, and skin.
- It contains minerals such as potassium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, etc. that helps to keep the organs functioning well.
You will rarely find any food that contains all the essential amino acids and so many vitamins and minerals. So, it is essential that you include meat in your regular diet to remain healthy.
2. Good for the Heart Health
Different types of meat, including white meat, red meat, and seafood, provide lots of benefits to the heart.
- L-carnitine in meat helps to lower the chances of heart failure.
- The vitamins, fatty acids, EPA, CLA, and DHA lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as myocardial infarction.
- Meat contains amino acid Lysine that helps to lower the cholesterol levels in the blood, and so prevents heart diseases.
- It is rich in vitamin B12 that is effective in reducing the homocysteine levels in the blood and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- It contains magnesium that helps to lower the risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.
Meat is packed with B vitamins, creatine, omega 3 fatty acids, and minerals that help to maintain good cardiovascular health.
3. Controls Diabetes
Including meat in your regular diet can help in controlling or preventing type 2 diabetes. The various nutrients present in meat helps to regulate blood sugar levels in the following ways:
- L-carnitine present in type 2 diabetes patients improves the levels of fasting glucose.
- Omega 3 fatty acids in meat also help to control and prevent type II diabetes by maintaining skeletal muscle health.
- Meat contains magnesium and vitamin B6 that reduces the risk of developing type II diabetes.
- It contains zinc that helps in blood sugar regulation by balancing the hormone insulin.
- If you have sugar spike then zinc, present in meat, can help to bring the blood sugar back under control.
You should eat unprocessed lean meat to stabilize blood sugar. Unprocessed meat contains high quality of protein and fat and so can offset the development of diabetes.
4. Helps in Weight Loss
You will see that today most people are moving towards the vegetarian diet for weight loss. But the fact is that by avoiding meat, these people are actually losing various important nutrients that are essential for the body. Eating meat can actually help in weight loss.
- Meat contains L-carnitine that helps to lose weight.
- It also contains lipid isomer that is efficient in preventing obesity.
- As meat is a source of high-quality protein, it helps to lose weight and prevent weight gain as well.
- Creatine in meat helps to convert the body’s fat into energy, and so improves the body’s muscle to fat ratio which encourages weight loss.
- Tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is found in meat, reduces the cravings of carbohydrates and alcohol, which can promote weight loss and prevent weight gain.
Meat contains various nutrients in abundance that can promote weight loss and prevent obesity. So, if your goal is to lose weight, you should eat meat.
5. Prevents Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency is a common health condition that many people suffer from and it can even cause death. According to the World Health Organization, about 1.62 billion people suffer from iron deficiency anemia. There are two forms of iron available in food: heme and non-heme iron. Heme iron is available in meat and non-heme iron is present in vegetables, fruits, and nuts. It is easy for our body to absorb heme iron than the non-heme iron.
- Iron in meat can ensure proper blood circulation and transport oxygen to different cells.
- It helps to metabolize protein and produce new blood cells.
Deficiency of iron can cause various serious health conditions. If you eat iron-rich food like meat along with vitamin C then your body will be able to absorb iron more easily.
6. Enhances Performance
Creatine present in beef enhances performance by assisting in muscle growth and development. So, you get muscles with more energy supply that improves endurance.
- Beef also improves work product because it has the ability to improve the metabolism of the skeletal muscle.
- High iron, B-vitamins, zinc content in meat helps to improve the work capacity and performance.
Those who suffer from Parkinson’s have reduced muscle strength and mass, and creatine can help to improve the muscle conditions of these people.
7. Boosts Immunity
Meat has a high amount of zinc content that helps to boost immunity. Zinc has antioxidant properties that help to create antibodies that fight free radicals that are harmful to the body.
- Proteins present in meat help in the production of antibodies as well that protect the body from infections.
- Meat contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, Peptides and selenium that help to boost immunity.
- It is a great source of amino acid, Threonine, which helps to produce antibodies and thus improve the immune system.
- It contains vitamin B6 that helps to maintain a healthy immune system.
The various nutrients present in meat like iron, zinc, vitamin B6, etc. play an important role in boosting the immune function.
8. Improves Brain Power
Meat can help to improve the general function of the brain. It is an excellent source of the lipid ALA that is broken down in the body to form DHA, which is an important component of the brain membranes.
- Presence of DHA in meat lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Meat contains vitamin B3 which is essential for the optimal brain health and deficiency of it can cause sleep disorders, schizophrenic symptoms, and Parkinson’s disease.
- It contains vitamin B6 that helps in the production of neurotransmitters like Dopamine and Serotonin and controls the glucose levels in the brain.
- It is rich in the amino acid Methionine that helps to improve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
- It contains iron that improves learning and other brain functions.
Meat contains nutrients that promote proper brain development and protects the body against various cognitive diseases.
9. Good for Pregnant Mothers and Fetal Life
EPA, CLA and DHA lipids are present in meat that is very helpful for the proper development and cognitive abilities of the fetuses.
- Meat contains vitamin B6 that is essential for pregnant mothers.
- It is rich in vitamin B12 that helps to reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
- Iron and zinc in meat help in the development of the fetus.
Meat ensures a safe and healthy pregnancy and healthy offspring as well. So, it is important to consume meat when you are pregnant.
10. Improves Eye Health
Meat is essential for eye health. Including meat in the diet can help to prevent a lot of diseases related to the eyes.
- Meat is rich in omega fatty acids, DHA and EPA that improves vision and prevents dry eye syndrome and macular degeneration.
- It is rich in iron that plays an important role to improve eye health.
- Vitamin E in meat prevents oxidative damage in the eye.
- Zinc helps to maintain retina eye health and aid in the formation of cell membranes in the eyes.
You will be able to improve your eye health by adding meat to your regular diet. As you grow old, it becomes essential to eat meat to prevent various age-related eye problems.
Meat contains lots of health-promoting nutrients that are needed in the diet and that you can’t find in vegetables and fruits. So, no matter whether others are avoiding meat, you shouldn’t; otherwise, you will suffer from various diseases.
I like that you talked about how meat is a great source of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and important nutrients. I just realized that we haven’t been eating much meat lately so I am thinking of adjusting our diet a bit. For that, I should probably stop by a fresh local meat shopping market later this weekend.