We’re only a couple of weeks away from Thanksgiving, and having turkey for dinner has been an essential part of this celebration ever since President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863. Ever since, every household enjoys this delicious dish and shares it with their loved ones. Despite the fact that turkey gives us a uniquely tasty variety of flavors, it is important to remember that this type of meat comes with several health benefits that we shouldn’t ignore. This is because it contains a wide variety of nutrients that are quite important for our body, including protein, selenium, phosphorus, B vitamins, and tryptophan.
Turkey Gives You the Right Amount of Protein
We all know that protein is an important part of a healthy diet, with women aiming for 46 grams of protein per day and men aiming for 56. We can find 25 grams of protein in a three-ounce serving of turkey, which is pretty much half of the amount we need. Besides, turkey comes with fewer calories and less fat than a serving of beef of the same size. Therefore, you can balance your protein consumption with turkey and other sources like eggs, milk, and beans.
It Is Rich in Selenium, Too
Another important nutrient that we can find in turkey is selenium, which plays an important role in thyroid hormone metabolism and reproduction. Also, selenium acts as an antioxidant, which helps us reduce and avoid cell damage. Turkey gives us around 24 micrograms of selenium, which represents almost half of the recommended daily value of the nutrient for adults.
Turkey Gives You Healthy Bones and Teeth
An average turkey serving contains around 196 milligrams of phosphorus, a mineral that is essential for building healthy bones and teeth. The recommended daily intake of phosphorus in adults is 700 milligrams, and other sources of this nutrient include milk, beans, lentils, and nuts. Besides, phosphorus also plays an important role in helping the body making protein and taking advantage of carbs and fats.
It Is Also Rich in B Vitamins
Having a diet rich in B vitamins is fundamental for a healthy diet, and we can find a wide variety of them in turkey, including niacin, riboflavin, and B6. Niacin, for example, improves our digestive process and it also helps us turn the food we eat into energy. Riboflavin also helps with turning food into energy, but it also plays an important role in producing red blood cells. Lastly, B6 helps brain development during pregnancy, as well as improving our immune system and keeping our metabolism at pace.
Turkey Will Help You Balance Your Mood
Many of us used to think that tryptophan found in turkey was responsible for making us feel sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner, but this myth has long been debunked. As a matter of fact, this essential amino acid helps our body produce niacin and serotonin, which is a key chemical that helps us balance and regulate our mood. We can also find tryptophan is other protein-based foods like chocolate, oat, yogurt, red meat, eggs, and fish.