Over the next few weeks, you’ll probably notice a bit of a holiday theme developing with the content that we post, for obvious reasons, and nothing is more festive than the humble Turkey. Turkey, which is a staple for Thanksgiving and the holidays, is a bird that often gets a great deal of bad press, unfairly we have to say, due to the fact that it can be difficult to prepare. The perfect holiday turkey should be moist, tender, juicy, and succulent, yet for many, the meat they serve up is dry and chewy, because it has simply been cooked for too long, or on too high a heat. There is nothing worse than dry and chewy turkey, and no amount of gravy in the world will be able to rescue an overcooked turkey. Whilst this isn’t an article on cooking the bird, a top tip for a moist turkey is to liberally coat the skin, and under the skin, with plenty of flavoured butter, before roasting it on a slightly lower heat for longer, making sure to baste the meat every 15 minutes. So, now that you know the secret to a moist and delicious bird, let’s look at some of the health benefits of this delicious meat, shall we?
Great source of protein
Starting off with perhaps the most important health benefits for those of you in an endless pursuit of those all important gym gains, we have the fact that turkey is a great source of protein. Protein is the most essential macronutrient when it comes to muscle growth and repair, so ensuring you consume enough each day is absolutely vital. Protein helps to initiate protein synthesis, which is when new muscle proteins and tissues are created to replace old damaged ones, plus it helps ensure our cells function as they should as well. A typical three ounce portion of turkey will provide around 25 grams of protein, which is more than enough to feed those gains and help keep you looking like an absolute holiday beast in the process.
Although not too many people will be overly worried with how much fat they are consuming over the holidays, it always pays to watch your weight and to keep an eye on your waistline every now and then. For those of you who are trying to enter the New Year fairly lean, turkey is a great meat because it is naturally low in fat and is actually very lean. Yes, the skin does contain fat but you can easily remove the skin, leaving you with a lean meat underneath. Turkey is actually leaner than chicken, and this is actually why it needs so much butter to help make it tender. Another great thing about turkey is the fact that, with those inevitable leftovers, you can use the meat in salads, sandwiches, curries, and stir fries etc.
Great source of selenium
Selenium is a mineral that is very highly underrated, and as a result, we often find ourselves not getting enough each day. This mineral is vital for the activation and regulation of the thyroid, which is actually very important for people looking to maintain their weight. What does selenium have to do with Turkey? Well, turkey meat is naturally high in selenium, which also functions as an immune system boosting antioxidant. A typical serving of turkey will provide roughly 50% of an adults recommended daily intake. This is around 24 micrograms in case you were wondering.
Rich in Tryptophan
Tryptophan is a form of amino acid that has very substantial nootropical benefits, making it great for mental health and well-being, as it has such a positive effect on the brain. Not only can this amino acid help improve cognitive function, and reduce your chances of suffering from dementia and other forms of degenerative diseases, it can also put you in a much better mood as well. Tryptophan is a pre-cursor for the production of serotonin, which is a chemical that is responsible for feelings of happiness and sleepiness. If you’ve ever wondered why so many people tend to feel sleepy and have a little snooze after eating far too much turkey on Christmas and Thanksgiving, it isn’t simply because they’ve eaten too much food, it’s because they’ve consumed so much tryptophan.
Turkey is good for your bones
When we think of minerals that play key roles in bone health and density, generally it is calcium that instantly springs to mind. Whilst it is true that calcium’s primary benefits are involved in bone and teeth health, there are other minerals in the mix that also play very important roles. Phosphorus is one of them, and wouldn’t you know it, Turkey is a fantastic source of this very mineral. A typical serving of turkey will provide close to 200mg of phosphorus, making it great for the teeth and bones.
Turkey is a great source of energy
Sticking with Phosphorus, not only does this mineral benefit the bones and the teeth, it also plays a crucial role in the production of energy within the human body. Phosphorus helps the body to utilize fats and carbohydrates as a source of energy. On top of phosphorus however, it is Turkey’s B vitamin content that is also very beneficial in this instance, as B vitamins are also absolutely crucial for energy production, and Turkey has them to spare. Turkey is particularly rich in Riboflavin, which helps the body to convert food into glucose for energy, plus it plays a vital role in the production of red blood cells.