The Plentiful Health Benefits of Turkey
We all know turkey as the thing you eat for days after Christmas Day because your husband/dad/best friend bought the biggest turkey they could lay their hands on and once the skin was ripped off the bird, no one really ate much else from it.
Before you get depressed about how many days you’ll be eating turkey curry for, let us remind you of one very simple fact – YOU CAN DO SO MUCH MORE WITH TURKEY THAN CURRY & SANDWICHES! We talk about this in greater detail shortly, we promise you. You can make sausages, burgers, bolognese, pizza, stews, casseroles, salads, sandwiches that will knock your socks off and much, much more!
This is something that should come as good news to you. Turkey is one of the healthiest meats out there and does so much more than just subdue your hunger. We don’t mention it in our investigation of so-called “super foods” but maybe we should have done…
We know that turkey contains protein and that is something we’ve already covered. What we haven’t covered is exactly how good the protein found in turkey will be for your body. You need this to stop your muscles wasting away. Children need it for their growth spurts. Elderly people need it to nourish the cells in the body. It helps to build both bones and muscles, and helps with maintenance and development.
Sadly, most protein rich foods are high in fat content. Turkey is not one of these foods. Turkey goes the other way entirely. Raw light meat in turkey will contain just 0.3g of saturated fats per 100g. Lean, raw beef on the other hand, has 1.7g of saturated fat per 100g. Do you see what we mean?
You’ve heard of selenium but you’re not entirely sure what it is… It’s okay – that was us too before we investigated things a little closer. Our lack of knowledge about it means that most of us aren’t getting enough of it, but this is actually very important to assume your immune system is working as well as it should be plus preventing and protecting against damage to the nerves and cells in the body. We told you it was important!
Foods that are high in selenium include fish, lean meat, eggs and brazil nuts. Turkey, as you may have guessed, contains amazing amounts of the nutrient. 100g of lean turkey will give you about 20% of your daily recommended intake of selenium, and once you throw the brazil nuts and boiled eggs into the salad with spinach that you should be making, you have a dish that is high in selenium, low in calories and low in fat too! What more could you possibly want?
B Vitamins are another vital thing in your diet and comes in plentiful amounts in the good old Christmas turkey! Before you throw that Boxing Day turkey curry in the garbage, be aware that the B vitamins that you can find in turkey help to unlock energy from the food that you eat. Unless you want to feel sluggish after your meal, this is important. It will help to beat fatigue, reduce the tiredness that you will feel throughout the day plus keeping your red blood cells healthy. Why not try grilled turkey with a side order of roasted new potatoes and garlic roasted asparagus… It’s lovely!
Another one that you’ve probably heard about but not really understood is phosphorus. This is needed for the development of the bones in the body, and also for normal growth. Just like the selenium, this mineral helps to unlock and release the energy within the food that you eat and in turn, this will make you feel better in general. There’s quite a few foods that will contain this and aside from turkey, you will find that best are grains, dairy food, rice and poultry.
Of course, with all the good there must occasionally come some bad. In the case of turkey, certain parts of the meat can contain high amounts of saturated fat which isn’t good for your cholesterol. There are things that you can do to avoid this, of course, and one of the best is to know which parts of the bird are right for you. For example, the dark meat will contain more fat than the white meat in its raw form. Dark meat has 0.8g saturated fat and white meat has just 0.3g. Roasted dark meat can contain as much as 2.0g in 100g! That’s such a great jump!
That’s all that we can find really for the bad in turkey… It’s a great thing that it only has one con for all those pros! One final pro that you should probably know about before you go running to grab the turkey leftovers is that the lean breast meat can contain as LITTLE as 150g in 100g portion. Roast lamb can contain 240 calories plus, depending on how it is cooked! Again, that’s a pretty staggering jump!
Have we convinced you of the good about turkey yet? If we haven’t, check out some of the other posts on the site. We guarantee you’ll be hooked once you’re finished!