While you might focus on meats as a good source of protein, they also contain a number of essential vitamins and minerals. The vitamins and minerals found in meats help boost your energy, balance your blood pressure and keep your immune system healthy. Choose mostly lean meats, such as skinless poultry, pork loin and beef tenderloin, to limit your intake of saturated fat.
The B vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that includes thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, folate, vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6 and biotin. Each B vitamin performs a different function in your body, but they are primarily responsible for converting the food you eat into energy. In addition, B vitamins are necessary for red blood cell formation. A 100 g portion of beef sirloin contains 0.126 mg of thiamin, 0.126 mg of riboflavin, 6.93 mg of niacin, 0.514 mg of pantothenic acid, 0.545 mg of vitamin B-6, 8 micrograms of folate and 1.53 micrograms of vitamin B-12. A 100 g portion of broiled pork loin contains 0.49 mg of thiamin, 0.313 mg of riboflavin, 7.927 mg of niacin, 1.1 mg of pantothenic acid, 0.489 mg of vitamin B-6 and 0.66 micrograms of vitamin B-12.
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Meats contain a highly absorbable form of iron called heme iron. A 100 g portion of roasted beef sirloin contains 1.66 mg of iron, and a 100 g portion of broiled pork loin contains 0.87 mg of iron. A 100 g portion of roasted light-meat turkey contains 1.35 mg of iron, and a 100 g portion of roasted white-meat chicken contains 1.04 mg of iron. Adult men and women over the age of 51 need 8 mg of iron a day, and women between the ages of 19 and 50 need 18 mg of iron a day.
Zinc is another essential mineral that supports immune health, promotes wound healing and is needed for the synthesis of protein. Beef and pork contain higher amounts of zinc with 4.67 mg in a 100 g portion of roasted beef sirloin, and 3.15 mg in a 100 g portion of broiled pork loin. Poultry also contains zinc with 1.0 mg in a 100 g portion of roasted white-meat chicken, and 2.04 mg in a 100 g portion of roasted light-meat turkey breast. Adult men need 11 mg of zinc a day, and adult women need 8 mg.
Most of the magnesium in your body is found in your bones, but magnesium is also necessary for muscle and nerve function, blood sugar regulation and the promotion of normal blood pressure. A 100 g portion of beef sirloin contains 22 mg of magnesium, pork has 20 mg, white-meat chicken contains 29 mg and turkey has 28 mg. Adult men need between 400 and 420 mg a day, and adult women need 310 to 320 mg a day.