While turkey is widely consumed in the U.S. thoughout the month of November its wonderful flavor and nutritional value make it a healthy choice year-round.
LIVESTRONG.COM has nutritional information and healthy preparation tips for your Thanksgiving turkey and all of your holiday favorites.
1. Get Your Protein
There are about 32g of protein in a 4-ounce serving of turkey, making it a very good source of these 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.
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2. Protect Yourself From Cancer
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-friendly free radicals in the body.
3. Get Your B Vitamins
Turkey is a nutrient rich food, making it a healthy choice year-round. A serving of turkey meat has 36 percent of the daily allowance of Vitamin B3 or niacin, which plays a critical role in the processing of fats in the body and 27 percent of your recommended intake of B6, a vitamin that helps maintain steady blood sugar levels.
4. Benefit From Less Saturated Fat
Saturated fat is necessary for biological functions, hormone production, padding for organs and energy. While saturated fat is necessary for a healthy body, most moderately-active people should be mindful of overindulging. Turkey has less than 12 percent of the recommended daily allowance of saturated fat per 4-ounce serving.
5. Choose Organic, Pasture-Based Turkey
Grass-fed turkey raised under organic conditions convey the most health benefits, as they offer higher nutritional value 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.
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