Nutrients. That is what the body needs. Vitamins and Minerals. They are so important that we are advised to take a multivitamin just in case we don’t receive them in our normal diet. Wouldn’t you rather eat some nice food rather than swallow a hard pill though?
Red meat happens to be one of those foods that is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It contains all the complex B vitamins including B12, Vitamin D, Iron, and Zinc.
If you are a vegan or a vegetarian than B12 is a very important topic of discussion. It is recommended that anyone eating a primarily plant based diet needs to supplement with B12. A lack of B12 can cause anemia which is a lack of oxygen in your red blood cells. This can cause you to become very tired and fatigued.
Vitamin D is a big one. We primarily get our Vitamin D by synthesizing it from the sun. When UV rays hit our skin they interact with cholesterol to form an inert form of Vitamin D. Red meat contains a vitamin D metabolite called 25-hydroxycholecalciferol. This form of Vitamin D is very easy for the body to absorb. Even though red meat may offer you lower overall vitamin D than say oily fish or sunlight, the fact that is it highly bioavailable makes it a good source.
Iron is also important in preventing anemia. Iron supports healthy red blood cells, and eating red meat could potentially help you feel more energetic and prevent fatigue. Iron is especially important for woman and nursing mothers. Iron is crucial for the growth and brain development of the child while they are still inside the womb. Although a doctor will recommend some prenatal and post natal vitamins to take it is wise to only get the ones you might lack and to avoid any multivitamin that includes iron during pregnancy. Iron in red meat also is much more bioavailable compared to plant foods.
As with Vitamin D and Iron, Zinc is very bioavailable in red meat. Lack of zinc contributes to acne, low testosterone, lack of appetite, immune function disregulation, and is associated with depression. Red meat and poultry are the main dietary sources of zinc, but you can also get zinc from beans and nuts. Zinc is so important in immune function that is worth focusing on getting as much as you can to both prevent disease and to help you heal faster when you do become sick or hurt.
Red meat has all those vitamins and minerals and more, but perhaps the best benefit is the fatty acid profile of red meat. The fat of rudiments such as cows is made up of approximately half saturated fat and half monounsaturated fat (the fat found in olive oil), and very little polyunsaturated fat. While the general public has heard that saturated fat is bad for you, there has yet to be a conclusive study showing that saturated fat is the causal factor of any disease.
What we know is that trans fat is the real enemy. This type of fat comes from industrial oils that have been partially hydrogenated. If you look at the ingredients of any food and see partially hydrogenated oil in it, you should probably put it back on the shelf.
There really is not enough evidence to show that red meat is bad for us. With so many beneficial nutrients in red meat, we should really be questioning why we aren’t eating it to improve our health.