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Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans and peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds supply many nutrients. These include healthy proteins, B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, B6 and B12), vitamin E, magnesium, zinc and iron. Iron is used to carry oxygen in the blood.
The healthy proteins in meat, beans and nuts function as building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. They are also building blocks for enzymes, hormones and vitamins.
B vitamins found in this food group serve a variety of functions in the body. They help the body release energy and help build tissues.
Vitamin B12 is needed for healthy blood. It is found only in animal products. If you are a vegetarian and do not eat any other animal foods like eggs, milk or cheese, you may need to take a supplement for this vitamin.
Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of essential fatty acids and vitamin E. Beans are an excellent source of fiber.
About four to five and one-half ounces of meat or equivalent, are recommended each day.
Cooking with Meat, Beans and Nuts
Dried beans and peas are inexpensive sources of protein. Meat and poultry are nutritious and economical sources of protein and other important nutrients. Many lean meats like beef chuck are lower in fat and also lower in cost.
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