Let’s Talk Turkey: Health And Benefits

Let’s Talk Turkey: Health And Benefits

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and another opportunity to think about and give thanks for what we have. Being grateful can be very beneficial, and we really shouldn’t relegate it to just one day a year. While turkeys themselves may not be very thankful for Thanksgiving, it turns out that turkey meat has health benefits for us, too.

Turkey meat is an excellent source of protein, of course, but did you know that it also contains significant amounts of phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, vitamin B6, and other vitamins and minerals? The mineral selenium, which some studies suggest may help with cancer prevention, is also found in turkey. The meat is a low glycemic index (GI) food, helpful for managing blood sugar levels and increasing your body’s levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.

White turkey meat contains less fat than dark meat and is therefore often considered to be healthier, but nutritionally there is not much difference between the two. Which you consume (at Thanksgiving and all year ’round) should be more a matter of preference. Turkey bacon and sausage, however, may be somewhat better than the pork alternatives but shouldn’t be gobbled too much, as they’re still processed and contain relatively high amounts of sodium and saturated fats.

Sleepy after that Thanksgiving meal? While there is tryptophan in turkey meat that produces some serotonin in the body, it’s generally the rest of the meal that causes drowsiness. Consider the high-fat and high-carb sides that typically get served alongside the turkey, and any alcoholic beverages consumed. Spending time with loved ones also (hopefully) contributes to the relaxed feeling.

The average American will consume over 3,000 calories at the Thanksgiving table. I, for one, hope to be below average tomorrow, and I’ll give thanks if I manage it!

Share this post