A Comprehensive Review of Nutritional Benefits of Minerals in Meat and Meat Products
Andrew Bamidele Falowo*
Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Nigeria
Minerals are chemical elements that organisms require as a necessary nutrient to sustain good health at various stages of life. To support human biochemical processes, including structural and functional activity in the body, at least twenty mineral elements are required. However, inadequate consumption of these essential minerals in the human diet can result in metabolic problems, organ damage, chronic diseases, and death. Mineral deficiency affects roughly two billion people globally, the bulk of whom live in third-world nations. Among those, infants and pregnant women are more susceptible to the mineral shortage in the body. To avoid these deficiencies, humans need to consume muscle foods, which are superior sources of essential minerals, particularly zinc, selenium, phosphorus, iron, etc. compared to plant-based foods. Minerals derived from muscle foods are easier to absorb in the body than minerals derived from plant foods. However, the amount of essential minerals in muscle foods varies widely and depends on several factors, including nutrition, species, breed, sex, age at slaughter, muscle types, physiological status, production system, and post-mortem factors such as processing and analytical methods. The present study discusses the mineral composition of different muscle foods, factors affecting the mineral contents in different muscle foods and the beneficial and important roles that minerals play in human health.