Improving the diet in order to live a longer, healthier life is a goal for many people, and one recommendation you hear often is to eliminate meat. However, not only is that too much to ask for many meat lovers, but it will also deprive you of certain nutrients that either can’t be found in vegetarian sources or is harder to get adequate amounts of from those sources.
If you feel strongly that you want to keep meat in your diet, here are the top five healthiest meats that will keep you well-nourished and feeling great.
Organic turkey contains selenium, which can boost your immune system, help your body battle infection, and protect against heart damage and cataracts. Studies show that selenium can bind with arsenic and mercury – two heavy metals that are toxic to the body – making these substances less harmful. With only 3 ounces of turkey you’ll be provided a full day’s complement of selenium.
Organic turkeys have been found to harbor less drug-resistant bacteria than their conventionally-produced counterparts. Factory-farmed birds, on the other hand, are housed in such cramped quarters (with an average of 6,200 birds per conventional turkey farm) that disease is rampant, which is why the farmers feed the turkeys antibiotics in an effort to keep the birds alive until slaughtering time. Those antibiotics are passed on to consumers through the conventional meat. By choosing organic turkey, you bypass the antibiotic-tainted meat.
With high levels of vitamin E, a potent antioxidant, grass-fed beef is a nutrition-rich winner. Grass-fed beef is three times higher in vitamin E than conventional grain-fed beef, giving you even more of this free-radical fighting vitamin.
Other benefits of eating grass-fed beef include a slightly higher level of protein and a leaner meat with half as much fat and two-thirds less saturated fat than grain-fed beef.
You may be surprised to learn that chicken has some of the highest levels of protein of any meat. Protein will keep you fuller longer by dulling the hunger sensation, reducing the likelihood of overeating and protecting you from the risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
Another reason to stick with organic is the shocking account by Consumer Reports, which reported that conventional factory-farmed chicken has tested positive for low levels of arsenic, caffeine, painkillers and antidepressants. Arsenic, a toxic carcinogen, is added to chicken feed to activate faster growth, while the caffeine, painkillers and antidepressants were fed to keep the chickens more alert so that they would eat more.
A surprising choice to the average consumer, wild boar is chock-full of immune-boosting zinc and some B vitamins, including over 70 percent of the RDA of such B vitamins as niacin, thiamin, and B6. Thiamin and B6 can lift flagging energy levels, while niacin helps to lower the “bad” cholesterol levels while raising the “good.”
There’s an ecological advantage to eating wild boar as well, Wild boars have spread from their native habitat to an additional 45 states. They’re an invasive species that destroys crops, forests, and edges out the native quail and turkeys in the search for food.
By partaking of any of these four delicious and ecological meat choices, you’ll not only be eating the healthiest meats possible, but you’ll be improving the environment at the same time.