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Grass Fed Red Meat is a Superfood!

Many have paid a high price in their health for avoiding red meat. As long as it’s raised naturally and is grass fed, red meat is one of the healthiest foods on earth. I will even go so far as to say it is a superfood!
Red meat is medicine. It’s one of the most nutritious foods you can eat, containing one of the most abundant dietary sources of vitamin B12, highly absorbable forms of iron and zinc, vitamin D, dozens of minerals and many other essential nutrients.(1)

If you don’t eat it, you may join many in the population who are B12, vitamin D and zinc deficient.

red meatIron

Red meat contains primarily heme iron, the form that is far more absorbable than the non-heme form of iron found in plant foods.(2) Non-heme iron is found in spinach and tofu, but little is absorbed because phytates in these foods bind to it and prevent its absorption. Surprisingly, even small amounts of red meat can aid in the absorption of non-heme iron.

B Vitamins

Red meat contains significant levels of B vitamins, including B12, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folate, niacin, and vitamin B6. Eating red meat is one of the easiest ways to ensure adequate intake of your B vitamins.
Red meat is a rich source of vitamin B12, which is vital to proper functioning of nearly every system in your body, especially your nervous system. Tufts University reported that 39% of the population has a B12 deficiency low enough to cause neurological problems.(3) You need your red meat!

Zinc

Red meat is an especially important source of zinc. Many people are zinc deficient with an estimated global prevalence of zinc deficiency around 25%.(4)
Zinc is an essential mineral that is an imperative part of many functions in the body, including structure in many proteins and enzymes and regulation of gene expression. Zinc, ironically, is used to repair damage in our arteries. Without it, our arteries cannot be repaired properly, yet cardiovascular patients are told to avoid zinc-rich red meat.

Fats

Red meat gets a gold star for its fatty acid profile. Naturally reared grass fed meats contain approximately equal parts of saturated and monounsaturated fat, with only a small amount of polyunsaturated fat.(2) Contrary to popular belief, you must eat saturated fats to be healthy. In fact, you must ensure that 50% of your dietary fats are saturated to be able to absorb the minerals from your food.(5)

The reason red meat is such a celebrated superfood in the ancestral and paleo communities is because it’s exploding with highly absorbable nutrients. However, too much of any food is probably not a great idea and red meat, like any food, needs to be eaten in moderation and complemented with fresh vegetables and fruits. Great sources of grass fed, naturally reared meats are our local farmers markets at Brigg, Barton or the Humber Bridge and they’re not expensive as you’re buying the meat directly from the farmer. Try to avoid any meat from supermarkets as these are rarely grass fed or naturally reared.

References
1. Sharma S, Sheehy T, Kolonel LN. Contribution of meat to vitamin B (12), iron and zinc intakes in five ethnic groups in the USA: implications for developing food-based dietary guidelines. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2013 Apr; 26(2):156-68.?http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23398393
2. Wyness, L., E. Weichselbaum, A. O’Connor, E. B. Williams, B. Benelam, H. Riley, S. Stanner. Red meat in the diet: an update. Nutrition Bulletin. March 2011. Volume 36, Issue 1. Pages 34–77. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-3010.2010.01871.x/abstract
3. McBride, Judy. B12 Deficiency May Be More Widespread Than Thought. August 2, 2000.http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2000/000802.htm
4. Maret W, Sandstead HH (2006). “Zinc requirements and the risks and benefits of zinc supplementation”. J Trace Elem Med Biol 20 (1): 3–18. doi:10.1016/j.jtemb.2006.01.006. PMID 16632171.
5. Colbin, Annamarie, PhD. The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach.?New Harbinger Publications, 2009. Oakland, Ca.

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