Chicken, duck, turkey, fish, prawns, squid, crab, mussels, lamb, beef – options for non-vegetarians are plenty. Take a look at nine reasons why poultry and meat should be a part of your balanced diet.
1. They are delicious
Some people eat to live. And some people live to eat meat and poultry.
Nutrition and taste go hand-in-hand when it comes to poultry and meat, thanks to the many different cuisines and preparations you can explore and enjoy.
2. There is no substitute for natural protein
Poultry and meat are sources of protein which is a crucial and basic nutrient required for any balanced diet. It consists of all the amino acids that are responsible for the growth and maintenance of the human body. A protein-rich diet lowers blood pressure, blood sugar levels and risks associated with cancer.
3. They strengthen your bones
With high amounts of calcium, protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids, meat, seafood, and poultry have a crucial role to play in maintaining bone strength and preventing loss of bone density.
4. They are rich in iron
Iron is the carrier of oxygen in the blood – that makes it one of the essential nutrients that should be part of your diet. Meat, poultry, and seafood contain both heme and non-heme iron which helps prevent anemia and improves immunity. Darker meat, like lean beef, contains higher iron content than chicken or seafood.
5. They help you get smart and stay smart
Meat is the only naturally occurring source of vitamin B12 – the essential nutrient for brain development and nervous system maintenance. The deficiency of vitamin B12 leads to weakness, fatigue, and even memory loss.
6. Because nutrients are better absorbed
Nutrients in poultry and meat, such as iron and zinc, are easily absorbed by the body – helping you avoid unnecessary medicinal supplements that have side effects.
7. They help you lose weight – that stays lost
Many diet fads are followed by those looking to lose weight. But most are short-term fixes. For better weight management, you need to switch to a high protein diet that has poultry and lean meat. In addition to long-term weight loss, it will help you improve your overall health without compromising on any nutrient intake.
8. They are the secret to aging gracefully
Meat and poultry are high-quality proteins that aid in muscle maintenance. Increasing your protein intake as you grow older is key to keeping fit and preventing muscle loss.
9. They are rich in selenium
This lesser-known nutrient is vital to good health. Selenium is an essential mineral and antioxidant that is required in small doses to enable your body function. Better metabolism, optimal thyroid function, reduced risk of cancer and improved overall health are possible with selenium.
Remember though you have nine excellent reasons, care has to be taken when choosing the quantity and quality of meat. Some cooking methods are better than others when it comes to preserving the nutrients as well – more on that later.