Is Turkey As Healthy As We Think?

Around this time of the year I always get questions concerning festive holiday foods and which ones to eat and which one to stay away from?

So, I think I’ll start with the more popular foods and dishes then work down to which herbs and spices to cook with to promote better health during the holidays and colder weather.

I’ll start with a popular meat eaten during the holidays, Turkey which is a favorite meat for a lot of us.

As you know, Turkey is considered a meat. Meat is a valuable source of protein and other nutrients. When it comes to a healthy diet, it's important to choose the right kind of meat and eat the correct portion size. There are about 32g of protein in a 4-oz. serving of turkey, making it a very good source of essential amino acids. Just one serving of turkey provides 65 percent of your recommended daily intake of protein. Eat a turkey sandwich for lunch and you'll almost have your daily protein covered. Its protein content makes turkey a healthy meat choice.

Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

A little-known health benefit of turkey is that it contains trace minerals thought to aid in cancer prevention. Turkey contains selenium, which is essential for the healthy function of the thyroid and immune system. Selenium also has an essential role to play in your antioxidant defense system, helping to eliminate cancer-causing free radicals in the body.

Turkey is considered a good source of vitamins B3 and B6, rated because of the density of these vitamins in the meat. A serving of turkey meat has 36 percent of the daily allowance of B3 and 27 percent of your recommended intake of B6.

B vitamins are essential for growth, development, and a variety of other bodily functions. They play a major role in the activities of enzymes, proteins that regulate chemical reactions in the body, which are important in turning food into energy and other needed substances. B vitamins are found in plant and animal food sources.

Turkey meat is sold in various forms, including whole, prepackaged slices, breast, thighs, mince, cutlets and tenderloins. The best source of Turkey is whole non processed, no preservatives added, organic feed, free range roaming with no salt water added. 

Grass-fed turkey raised under organic conditions conveys the most health benefits. Grass-fed turkeys offer higher nutrition and are superior to birds given antibiotics or raised without access to natural pasture. Consider looking for a local, grass-based poultry farm when shopping for organic turkeys.

Turkey pros

  • Turkey is a rich source of protein.
  • Skinless turkey is low in fat. White meat is lower in kilojoules and has less fat than the dark meat. A typical turkey consists of 70 per cent white meat and 30 per cent dark meat.
  • Turkey meat is a source of iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorus.
  • It is also a source of vitamin B3,B6 and niacin, which are all essential for the body's energy production.
  • Regular turkey consumption can help lower cholesterol levels. The meat is low-GI and can help keep insulin levels stable.
  • Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan, which produces serotonin and plays an important role in strengthening the immune system.
  • It is also a source of selenium, which is essential for thyroid hormone metabolism. It also boosts immunity and acts as an antioxidant.

Turkey cons

  • Turkey can be high in sodium.
  • Some meat, particularly prepackaged slices, can be processed and contain other substances.
  • Turkey skin is high in fat.
  • Research suggests large amounts of tryptophan can make you sleepy.

Turkey tips

  • If you can, buy organic. Turkeys raised organically will have been treated humanely and are less likely to contain pesticides and herbicides.
  • Look for meat that is supple.
  • A turkey roast is cooked properly when it is piping hot all the way through.
  • Turkey dries out quickly, so don't overcook it.
  • If marinating turkey meat, put it in the fridge straight after you've finished, as it is highly sensitive to heat.
  • Store turkey separate from any gravy, stuffing or raw food.
  • Refrigerated turkey will keep for about one or two days. If it is already cooked, it will keep for about four days.

 

End Results Health & Wellness has developed unique exercise programs to help prevent certain illnesses, improve fitness levels, and improve the quality of your life. For more details about our Fitness, health, Sports and wellness programs please contact us at endresultswellness@gmail.com, or visit us on our website at endresultsfitness.com. Also, call us at 310-378-4866.

 

This article was written by Curtis Mann Co- Owner and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

Information for this News Article was obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Mayo Clinic, LiveStrong Foundation, and the American Cancer Society.