If you’ve been including quality meat in your diet for a significant amount of time, you might be familiar with the feelings of brain fog or fatigue you can experience when it’s been too long since you enjoyed a meat-based meal. There’s scientific reasons for this phenomenon, and research shows that meat is essential for optimal brain function. Our bodies are best able to absorb nutrients from sources that are straight from nature with vitamins and minerals available in their most bioavailable forms. Meat, especially grass fed meat, is the best and most easily absorbed source of these brain boosting nutrients.
Also Read: Top 3 Reasons Women Benefit From Eating More Red Meat
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The Most Important Brain Food
Omega-3 fatty acids are one of only nutrients that is specifically found in brain tissue. They are an essential structural and functional component of the brain. These healthy fats boost blood flow to the brain and directly enhance mental performance. A plentiful amount of omega-3 supports the prevention of cognitive impairments like dementia as the brain ages. Grass fed meat contains less total fat than conventionally raised meat, while providing much higher levels of omega-3’s. The plants that pasture raised and wild animals graze on are rich with omega-3’s, making quality meat an excellent source of this invaluable nutrient. Antioxidants in grass-fed meat protect our brains against damage from free radicals.
2. Grass Fed Meat Is A Powerhouse Source Of Vitamin B12
Meat is plentiful in vitamin B12, which is essential for preventing mental issues like fatigue, brain fog, nerve damage and a decrease in brain volume for older people. Inadequate levels of vitamin B12 have been shown to correlate with memory loss. Vegans are deficient in vitamin B12 unless they regularly take a supplement. Wanna know something amazing? Just one slice of grass fed liver contains over 800% of the daily value of vitamin B12. Pretty incredible, right? If liver isn’t your thing, don’t worry – any cut of grass fed meat is still rich with this important nutrient. Then again, we also have some great ideas for adding more liver into your diet without making paté or frying it up with onions (although I’m not knocking those preparations at all).
Also Read: Women’s Health: Benefits of Eating Grass-Fed Red Meat
One of my favorite ways to take liver is to freeze it, cut up into small squares small enough to swallow like a pill. We also offer our amazing Primal Blend ground bison and ground beef. These ingenious blends contain 20% organ meat, just enough to enjoy all of the amazing health benefits with hardly any organ meat flavor – if you eat it with seasonings or toppings, you’d never be able to tell the difference from our regular ground beef or bison.
3. Protein Creates Pathways Of Communication In The Brain
Protein is the second most abundant building block of tissue in our bodies, outranked only by water. Getting adequate protein in your diet helps to optimize brain function and is essential for brain cells to receive the nutrition they require. Protein helps neurons communicate with each other due to the amino acids that neurotransmitters are composed of. The parts that are made up of fats like the omega-3 fatty acids previously mentioned actually are able to interact with one another thanks to proteins. This is why eating a protein-rich meal in the middle of the day can help you feel more alert, while consuming a high amount of carbs might make you feel a bit tired. Eating protein also helps to increase levels of tyrosine, another amino acid, that helps the brain to produce different types of chemical messengers that make all your mental functions chug along efficiently.
4. Iron Is Essential For Healthy Brain Function
Iron deficiency can be the cause of many issues with brain development from cognitive function to language and motor skills. In fact, studies have shown that children with low iron levels tend to score lower on standardized tests in schools. Increasing iron intake has been shown to result in improvements with children that have been diagnosed with ADHD. Eating enough iron helps to prevent oxidative stress in the brain. People with iron deficiencies often report fatigue and brain fog.
Also Read: Eating Meat: It Made Us Human, And Makes Us Smarter
Most of us can relate to not feeling as mentally sharp when we feel tired, and if you’re constantly feeling fatigued there could be a general decline in cognitive performance. Red meat gets its color from its rich iron content. Grass-fed meat in particular contains high levels of bioavailable iron that is easily absorbed into the bloodstream. In fact, red meat contains a form of iron known as heme iron that is not available from any plant-based natural source.
5. Our Brains Evolved Because Of Meat
The effects that a meat-based diet has had on the human brain might span further than you think. There’s evidence to suggest that eating meat was the impetus for a massive increase in brain growth, playing a key role in the evolution of humans. Grass-fed red meat is an amazing source of iron, which is essential for brain growth in the womb. Although many plants contain iron, it’s often less bioavailable than the form found in meat. Our bodies absorb iron from meat more readily than any other source.
Basically, we wouldn’t have the brains we do now without meat. This means that we would not exist as the humans we are today if we hadn’t developed the ability to consume meat as a food source. Studies show the dramatic brain development that took place over several million years would have been biologically impossible with a vegan, plant-based diet. It’s not surprising that continuing to eat high quality, pasture raised meat can enhance brain function throughout the course of your life.