Over the years there’s been a spotlight on the role that steak plays in our diet, so you’re forgiven for wondering whether or not steak is good for you. So how healthy is steak? Whether you love it or not, we can all agree that eating steak carries a huge amount of nutritional benefits with it. Let’s dive into exactly why steak is a healthy food choice.
1. Steak is one of the best protein rich foods
Steak is one of the best protein sources, and protein is important for pretty much every cell in your body. It’s a macronutrient, which means your body needs a large amount of it to function.
Protein is essential for keeping our hair, nails, skin, bones, cartilage and blood in good shape. It’s an important building block for increasing muscle mass and repairing tissues, and is also needed to create hormones, enzymes and other chemicals within the human body.
Eating steak is an easy way to up your dietary protein, and whether you’re after a porterhouse, sirloin or t-bone, you’re looking at about 176 calories, 20 grams of protein per 100 grams.
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2. Steak can help to prevent iron deficiency
Iron is important for our body; it helps our red blood cells to deliver oxygen to our cells, making it incredibly important for everyday functioning.
Steak is one of the best sources of iron, making it a great food choice for those who are likely to suffer from anemia. Not only is it iron-rich, but iron in red meat is also more easily absorbed by the body. One serving of beef contains 15% of our recommended daily iron intake, with the iron recommended daily intake sitting being between 13.7–15.1 mg/day.
Scientists have also done studies that suggest iron deficiencies are less likely to be found in people who eat red meat, poultry and fish regularly.
3. Steak is also rich in other important micronutrients
Apart from protein and iron, steak is incredibly rich in other nutrients that our bodies need to function, like carnosine and creatine which help our muscles and brains to function. In fact, those who don’t eat meat have historically shown to be low in these nutrients.
It’s also a great source of iron, B-vitamins, selenium and zinc. If you wanted to up your vitamin intake even more, you could opt for grass-fed beef over grain-fed, due to its higher count of omega-3s, CLAs and vitamins E and A.
4. Steak can improve your smile
As if we needed more reasons to convince us that steak is a healthy food for dinner… turns out it can even protect our beaming smiles.
Believe it or not, steak is great for maintaining oral health. Medical organisations like the American Dental Association promote red meat consumption because red meat is rich in phosphorus, and phosphorus plays a big role in protecting bone and tooth enamel.
5. Steak is good for mental health
Now this one is really interesting, because it looks like red meat can be highly beneficial for our mental health.
There are a number of studies that show a correlation between red meat consumption and a lower incidence of mental health disorders. In one study, scientists identified 60 women diagnosed with major depressive disorder and another 80 diagnosed with anxiety. The red meat consumption of each woman was compared to the Australian daily recommendation of 65g to 100g.
The study found that women who consumed less red meat than the daily recommended intake doubled their odds for dysthymia and major depressive disorder compared to those who were eating the recommended daily amount. In addition, the women who ate a low amount of red meat were twice as likely to have anxiety disorder.