Red meat has a bad reputation for being unhealthy and fatty. Eating large amounts of red meat daily is linked to heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues. But red meat isn’t all bad. In moderation, it provides your body with essential nutrients that are difficult to get from plant sources. So, while you don’t want to be eating steaks and ribs every day for every meal, enjoying a filet mignon or a burger once a week might improve your health!
Iron from animal tissue is much easier to absorb than iron from plants. This is because the iron in animals is surrounded by a protein called the heme, while plant iron is not (called non-heme iron). This means that you get more iron out of steak than you’ll get from spinach. Other meats contain iron as well, but none as much as red meat.
One of the biggest challenges vegans face is B12 deficiency. This vitamin is found mostly in animal products, such as red meat, white meat, eggs, and dairy. Shiitake mushrooms also contain B12, but one would need to eat them in large quantities. If you’re not following a strict vegan diet, a small piece of red meat every now and then is enough to give you the B12 you need.
Red meat is muscle tissue, meaning it is full of protein. If you hate drinking protein shakes, then a bit of steak in your salad or stir fry can go a long way to getting your body the protein it needs to rebuild. Red meat is also perfect for women who experience long, heavy periods. A steak a day during your period can go a long way to helping you feel less tired and dizzy.
Red meat is high in zinc, an important element that our cells need. The metal is found in enzyme structures called zinc fingers. Their job is to bind to DNA and help with replication. Basically, without zinc, your cells wouldn’t be able to properly multiply. Zinc is important for wound healing and growth.
Less is More
The problem with red meat is that people don’t eat it in moderation. We consume too much red meat, too much dairy, too many calories. By scaling back the amount we eat, red meat can work its magic on us.