A newly released report into the benefits of game meat consumption, conducted by independent food research organisation Leatherhead Foods International on behalf of the Countryside Alliance?s Game-To-Eat campaign, has revealed that pheasant and partridge meat contains high levels of the mineral selenium, which has been scientifically linked to improvements in mood and alleviation of feelings of depression.

Nutritionist Dr Kelly Johnston, who was one of the report?s co-authors, commented: ?There is growing concern among health professionals in the UK that selenium intakes are not adequate and this needs to be addressed before the signs of deficiency become more prevalent in the population. These test results show that gamebird meat provides high amounts of selenium per serving, and including meats such as partridge and pheasant as part of a healthy diet may result in an improvement in subjective ratings of mood.?

The same report, which was sponsored by the sporting agency Roxtons, also offers good news for those feeling tired, lacking energy, feeling faint or breathless. Venison stands out as being the highest source of iron of all the meats tested, which is good news for the 97 per cent of women in the UK aged between 19 and 49 who are not getting enough of the mineral in their diet, according to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey.

Separately, the profile of game last week received a massive boost when BBC Radio 2?s drivetime DJ Chris Evans tasted Suffolk partridge live on air for the benefit of his six million listeners. ?It?s amazing. That?s as good as food gets,? he reported, adding ?It?s an anti-depressant ? it?s working for me.?