Red Meat and your health
Red meats are very good source of vitamins and can play an important part in a healthy balanced diet as they have a high nutrient density. This means that they contain a wide variety of nutrients in a relatively small amount of food. Red meats include beef, pork and lamb. Meat is a major source of protein. It also contributes minerals and trace elements to the diet, particularly zinc and iron. It is an important source of B vitamins, including B12, which is not found naturally in foods of plant origin. Lagos market in Nigeria has one of the largest supplies of red meats in West Africa. , including
Meat is a major source of protein which helps to improve satiety and fills you up for longer. This makes protein-rich foods excellent for helping to control our weight so that we don’t become overweight or obese.
Iron is a vital mineral for red blood cell formation. A deficiency of iron in the diet is the most common dietary cause of anaemia. Certain groups of the population are at particular risk because of poor iron intakes. The type of iron found in red meat (haem iron) is more easily absorbed and used by the body than the iron in plant foods such as pulses, nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables (non-haem iron).
Zinc is important for the healthy functioning of the immune system, growth, wound healing and fertility. Red meat is a source of readily absorbable zinc. We get about 30% of our dietary intake of zinc from red meat and meat products.
Red meat also provides other minerals such as potassium and for pork, selenium. Selenium is an important antioxidant, which has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease and certain cancer.
Red meat is a source of a number of B vitamins: B3, niacin, B6 and B12 – a vitamin which is not found naturally in foods of plant origin and is important for healthy red blood cells, growth and the production of energy. It has also recently been found to make an important contribution to vitamin D intakes. Vitamin D works with calcium and phosphorous to build strong bones and teeth.
The fat content of red meat has been considerably reduced over the last few decades and the amount of fat in red meat is actually much lower than most people think.
These reductions have been achieved by breeding techniques on the farm and new butchery techniques, which trim off most of the fat.
Fully trimmed lean raw beef typically contains only 4.3% fat, fully trimmed lean raw pork only 4% fat and fully trimmed lean raw lamb only 8% fat. This compares well with a food such as cheddar cheese which contains an average of 34% fat.
About half of the fat found in red meat is in the unsaturated form that is believed to be healthier. Surveys show that meat is a major contributor of mono-unsaturated fat in the diet. Choosing lean cuts of meat and trimming off any visible fat helps to reduce the saturated fat content further.
Red meat contains very small amounts of omega-3 fats, which help to keep the heart healthy. With the exception of oil-rich fish, few foods contain good amounts of omega-3s. This makes the small amounts in red meat an important source, especially for people who eat little or no oily fish.
Fresh red meat is naturally low in salt. Processed meat products, such as burgers, do have higher levels but are consumed on average just once a week.
Red Meat Is Very Nutritious
Red meat is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat.
It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and various other nutrients that can have profound effects on health.
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of raw ground beef (10% fat) contains:
- Vitamin B3 (niacin): 25% of the RDA
- Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): 37% of the RDA (this vitamin is unattainable from plant foods)
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): 18% of the RDA
- Iron: 12% of the RDA (this is high-quality heme iron, which is absorbed much better than iron from plants)
- Zinc: 32% of the RDA
- Selenium: 24% of the RDA
- Plenty of other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts
This comes with a calorie count of 176, with 20 grams of quality animal protein and 10 grams of fat.
Red meat is also rich in important nutrients like creatine and carnosine. Non-meat eaters are often low in these nutrients, which may potentially affect muscle and brain function.
Grass-fed beef is even more nutritious than grain-fed beef, containing plenty of heart-healthy omega-3s, the fatty acid CLA and higher amounts of vitamins A and E.
TURKEY (White meat)
Turkey refers to the meat of turkey, a large bird native to the American continent. These birds are generally domesticated and farmed for their meat. Since turkey is low in myoglobin (a protein that gives red meat its color), it is classed as “white meat”.
Nutritional Value of Turkey
A single serving of turkey breast contains following nutrients
- Fat 2g
- Carbohydrates 1 g
- Cholesterol 1 g
- Protein 24 g
- Selenium 24 mg
- Phosphorus 196 mg
- Vitamin B6 7 g
- Vitamin C 4 g
- Riboflavin 7 g
- Niacin 7 g
- Fat 3 g
- Potassium 3 g
- Thiamin 6 g
- Zinc 5 g
- Tryptophan 3 mg
Benefits of eating Turkey
Eating foods like turkey that are high in protein help to increase the feeling of satiety, meaning that they make a person feel fuller for longer.
Getting enough protein helps maintain lean muscle mass and keep insulin levels stable after meals. Protein is, however, the one nutrient that most meat-eaters are already getting in sufficient amounts.
Keep in mind that the amount of protein at each meal matters. You can only absorb so much at one time. Make sure to have a lean protein source at each meal and spread your intake throughout the day. Because much of the fat content in turkey is in the skin, it is easy to remove the skin and eat a leaner, less fattening dish as a result.
The tryptophan content in turkey may help to support healthy levels of serotonin in the body, which promotes alertness and good mood. While quantities are low, this is a possible benefit of eating turkey.
The breast of the turkey has less fat and calories than most other cuts of meat. However, do not assume just because a product is made from turkey that it is better for you. For example, a burger made from ground turkey can contain just as much saturated fat as a beef burger, depending on how much dark meat is included in the ground turkey.
1. It Strengthens Immune System
Eating turkey thigh and breast will provide you with a slew of nutrients and a boost in energy. It is loaded with potassium, protein, and selenium. When consumed regularly, the nutrients begin functioning resulting in a strengthened immune system. The selenium found in the turkey meat allows your immunity to ward off health-damaging viruses and bacterial infections.
2. Boosts Metabolism
Nutritionists recommend consuming foods that boost your metabolism. It is essential to keep your body active and energized. Moreover, studies have shown that people with an enhanced metabolism are less prone to weight gain. Thus, you can incorporate turkey into your daily diet to make this happen.
Compounds like potassium, niacin, zinc, thiamin in turkey are known to increase your metabolic rate. Turkey is also considered a whole meal due to its high nutritional value. It can work well to boost your metabolism. However, if you encounter frequent problems in this regard, you should seek professional help to identify the actual cause.
3. Maintains Psychological Health
You can find adequate levels of tryptophan in it that are essential when it comes to managing your psychological health. Various factors can affect your mental state leaving you with depression, stress, and anxiety.
Tryptophan is responsible for producing and boosting serotonin. It is a neurotransmitter found in your brain, blood platelets, and digestive tract. The latter is necessary to consume as it helps balance your mood regularly. Nutritionists suggest that serotonin deficiency could result in high levels of stress and severe depression.
4. Ideal for Weight Loss
Nutritionists not only recommend incorporating it into the diet of obese and overweight people, but they encourage eating it if you want to maintain your body weight too. That is because its meat is a powerhouse of nutrients like riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin B and C, phosphorus, protein, potassium, etc. Plus, turkey meat has no fat content.
Moreover, a single serving of grilled turkey breast contains only 23 calories that are indeed delightful for the people who want to lose weight but cannot imagine meals without meat. Therefore, incorporate turkey into your diet, reap benefits, and shed extra those pounds.
5. Cardiovascular Health
Maintaining cardiovascular health refers to a diet packed with nourishing foods options. You can consume 2 – 3 servings of turkey in a week but avoid preparing it in excess oil. It contains zero fat content and fewer calories.
Nutritionists state that heart patients can incorporate turkey meat into their diet with regular physical activities to maintain a healthy, functioning heart. However, avoid making changes to your food without seeking professional advice.
6. A Source of Protein
Enriched with the high protein content, turkey could become your only safe and natural source to treat various skin, hair, and nail problems. These body parts are made of proteins and require frequent doses of the substance to help you steer clear of possible health complications concerning your nails and skin.
Moreover, the nutrient is also necessary to transfer oxygen to all vital organs; it impedes blood clotting and helps rejuvenate damaged cells. Therefore, you can reap plenty of health benefits only by incorporating it into your daily routine but do not forget that everything is meant to be consumed in moderation.
7. Strong Teeth and Bones
After calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K, your body needs phosphorus. The mineral is necessary as it helps strengthen your bones and teeth. Apart from this, phosphorus facilitates your body to produce protein allowing it use obtained carbohydrates and fats.
You can find phosphorus in grilled or boiled turkey alike. One serving of its meat contains 196 milligrams of phosphorus, which can keep your bones and teeth healthy in the long term.
8. Maintains Cholesterol Levels
High cholesterol levels contribute to various cardiovascular problems. That is why nutritionists emphasize on consuming food with minimum cholesterol content. Turkey has been blessed with such a quality and like zero fat and fewer calories; it contains minimum cholesterol levels as well.
If you are prone to high cholesterol, you can still incorporate it into your diet. However, do not forget to consult with your primary care provider in this regard.
9. A Meal option for Diabetics
People with diabetes do not have much food options due to calories and sugar content in them. Studies have revealed that consuming moderate servings of turkey can be helpful to curb diabetic symptoms. That is possible mainly because it contains minimum calorie, fat, cholesterol, etc. Thus, people with diabetes shouldn’t be worried as they can consume turkey at least thrice a week and can satisfy their meat cravings.
10. Treats Anemia
People diagnosed with anemia are suggested to incorporate foods enriched with nutrients like iron. These properties promote red blood cells in your body that help ward off anemia. Consuming turkey can help in this regard as it is a powerhouse of minerals and vitamins. However, more studies are underway in this context.
11. Healthy Skin
A well-balanced diet will show on your face and will give you supple, smooth, and fresh skin. Achieving flawless skin isn’t a tough nut to crack; it only requires consuming nutritious foods. You can reap plenty of nutrients by incorporating turkey breast into your salads. When you eat healthy meals, your skin will absorb minerals, and vitamins and their effects will begin showing on your face.
Chicken (white meat)
Chicken is the common poultry type across the world. Nutritionists suggest at least 2-3 servings of chicken in a week to reap numerous vitamins and minerals found in it. It was widely domesticated in households for centuries until its demand increased and proper chicken poultry farms developed.
Chicken is a part of almost every cuisine and is considered a delicious source to obtain protein. Nutritionists recommend moderate quantity of chicken meat to patients with high cholesterol, and blood pressure levels as the nutrients found in it can alleviate those high levels effectively.
Nutritional Value of Chicken
According to the research, chicken (100 g) has moisture (65 g), energy (215 kcal), protein (18 g), fat (15 g), saturated fat (4 g), cholesterol (75 mg), calcium (11 mg), iron (0.9 mg), magnesium (20 mg), phosphorus (147 mg), potassium (189 mg), sodium (70 mg), and zinc (1.3 mg). In terms of vitamins, it contains vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin K.
Health Benefits of eating Chicken
Being known all around the world for its protein content, chicken has a wide range of health benefits. These are some of it benefits.
1. High Protein Content
Chicken breast, with 31 grams of protein per 100 grams, is one of the best foods for protein. Protein plays an important role in our diet. It is made of amino acids, which are the building blocks of our muscles. Generally, the recommended amount of daily protein requirement is 1 gram per 1 kg of body weight or 0.4 g of protein per pound of body weight. For athletes, the daily requirement of protein is about 0.6 g to 0.9 g per pound.
2. Rich in Vitamins & Minerals
It is not only a good source of protein but is also very rich in vitamins and minerals. For example, B vitamins in it are useful for preventing cataracts and skin disorders, boosting immunity, eliminating weakness, regulating digestion, and improving the nervous system. They are also helpful in preventing migraine, heart disorders, gray hair, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Vitamin D in chicken helps in calcium absorption and bone strengthening. Vitamin A helps in building eyesight and minerals such as iron are helpful in hemoglobin formation, muscle activity, and eliminating anemia. Potassium and sodium are electrolytes; phosphorus is helpful in tackling weakness, bone health, brain function, dental care, and metabolic issues.
3. Weight Loss
Diets with high levels of protein have been known to be effective in reducing weight and chicken has been one of the main contenders in weight loss. Studies and trials have shown that significant weight control was observed in people who regularly ate chicken breast. This can be attributed to its high protein content and low calories.
4. Control of Blood Pressure
Chicken consumption has been found to be useful in controlling blood pressure as well. This was observed in people with hypertension and in many African Americans, though the diet was also comprised of nuts, low-fat dietary products, vegetables, and fruits.
5. Reduced Cancer Risk
Studies have found that in non-vegetarians, a higher consumption of red meat, pork/ham increased the risk of colorectal cancer, while in chicken and fish eaters, the risk of developing this cancer in later life was reduced, although the evidence is not conclusive. It is also said to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
6. Reduced Cholesterol
The amount of saturated fat and cholesterol found in red meat such as beef, pork, and lamb are much higher than the levels found in chicken, fish, and vegetables. Therefore, the American Heart Association has advised consuming chicken or fish instead of red meat for a lowered risk of cholesterol and subsequent heart disease development. The AHA also says that consuming chicken or fish must be limited to normal levels, as excessive consumption can also lead to the development of heart disease.
- Psychological Health
Many studies have revealed that vitamin B is necessary to maintain psychological health that you can find in chicken. Consuming vitamin B regularly can prevent you from falling prey to stress, anxiety, and memory-loss syndrome. Moreover, it can improve concentration in children and adults alike. Nutritionists are determined that consuming chicken in moderation can help delay age-related psychological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
- It Treats Anemia
Anemia is one of the troubling health problems that nutritionists say, shouldn’t be taken lightly. You can treat anemia by consuming foods enriched with iron, a mineral that is widely found in chicken’s liver. It has a high content of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin K that contribute to producing red blood cells. When your body obtains the required amount of iron and vitamins, it can produce and balance red blood cells that will eventually deal with anemia. However, in case of severe deficiency, it is suggested to consult with your primary care doctor and refrain from self-medication.
9. Protect Eyesight
You can consume chicken to protect your eyes from weak vision as it is a powerhouse of, retinol, lycopene, alpha, and beta-carotene, etc. The nutrients are essential to maintaining the overall health of your eyes. Consuming chicken cannot only beneficial for dry eyes or night blindness, but it is equally effective for cataracts and macular degeneration. Therefore, incorporate a moderate quantity of chicken into your daily routine and let it protect your precious eyes.
10. It improves Body Cells and Tissues
Various mineral and vitamin deficiency lead to cell and tissue damage in your body that result in swollen lips, peeling and cracking of the skin. Moreover, dry patches on the skin also indicate that your body needs plenty of riboflavin. Thus, consuming chicken regularly can promote the growth of damaged cells and tissues effectively. You can find the high content of riboflavin in chicken breast and liver.
11. It Boosts Immune System
Your immune system requires adequate levels of protein; iron, magnesium, and potassium to function properly that are abundant in chicken. When consumed together, these nutrients strengthen cells in your immune system. A strong and boosted immunity then ward off health damaging factors such as toxins, free radicals, and cancerous cells. Therefore, start incorporating chicken into your daily diet and improve the health of your immune system.
- Chicken for Oral Health
Consuming chicken can be beneficial for your oral health. It can strengthen your teeth and gums alike due to the high content of phosphorus. When you consume phosphorus regularly, it can alleviate factors that weaken your teeth and prevent gums bleeding as well. However, if you observe constant blood in your gums, consult with your dentist immediately as it could be a serious oral problem. In a condition like this, it is suggested to avoid self-medication and opt for professional help.
13. It improves Nail Health
In most cases, mineral and vitamin deficiency can weaken your nails. Beauty experts and nutritionists have determined that lack of essential nutrients in your body affects your body adversely that results in various nail problems. Therefore, consuming chicken can improve your nail health as it is a combination of iron, potassium, and various vitamins.
14. Balances Cortisol Hormones
Consuming chicken can balance cortisol hormones in your body. Imbalanced cortisol hormones could in increased stressed levels. This mainly happens due to improper functioning of the adrenal gland. You need to maintain properly working adrenal gland to balance hormones in your body.
15. It maintains Cardiovascular Health
Chicken can maintain your cardiovascular health. Nutritionists suggest that adequate servings of chicken throughout the week can help alleviate increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels that contribute to cardiovascular problems like stroke and heart attack. Many studies have also conducted in this regard and revealed that chicken breast contains zero fat content and thus, effective for heart patients. This is possible because chicken is a powerhouse of minerals like magnesium and phosphorus that are known to maintain your cardiovascular health.
16. Prevents Seasonal Cold
Seasonal cold is indeed utterly irritating. You can combat factors associated with seasonal viral like infectious bacteria only by sipping on some warm chicken soup. This delicious meal contains plenty of nutrients that help relieve common cold and other illnesses associated with it such as a sore throat and congested nose. Moreover, nutritionists recommend incorporating healthy food options like corn and other vegetables to improve your overall condition during a seasonal cold.