The Benefits of Turkey Meat
We’ve heard so much about beef, chicken, and pork, but how does turkey meat compare? Let us take a look at the nutrition facts and potential benefits of eating turkey.
Meat is a valuable source of protein and many other nutrients, but with many different kinds of meat in the market, it's important to choose the right kind to support a healthy diet. While it may not be quite as nutrient-dense as red meats like beef, turkey is still nutritious in its own right.
Benefits of Eating Turkey Meat
Turkey is often compared to chicken in terms of its nutrients and taste. When it comes to flavor, turkey has a richer and darker taste, but its meat (both dark and white) is lower in fat content. Here are other benefits of eating turkey meat:
Good Source of Protein
Turkey is a protein-rich food, and protein is important for muscle growth and maintenance. It gives structure to our cells and helps transport nutrients around our body.
Furthermore, a high-protein diet may even support weight loss by promoting feelings of fullness. Just two thick slices (84 grams) of turkey pack 24 grams of protein — that’s nearly half of the daily value.
What’s more, turkey is touted to be a healthier alternative to red meat, as recent studies link red meat to an increased risk of colon cancer and heart disease.
Loaded with Vitamins
Turkey meat is a particularly rich source of B vitamins, including B12 (cobalamin), B6 (pyridoxine), and B3 (niacin).
Two thick slices of turkey contain 61% of the daily value we need for vitamin B3, 49% for vitamin B6, and 29% for vitamin B12.
These B vitamins have many benefits:
- Vitamin B3 (niacin) is important for efficient energy production and cell communication.
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) supports amino acid formation and helps produce neurotransmitters.
- Vitamin B12. B12 is vital for our DNA production and the formation of our red blood cells.
In addition, turkey is a good source of folate and vitamins B1 (thiamine) and B2 (riboflavin).
Rich Source of Minerals
Turkey is loaded with selenium, zinc, and phosphorus. Selenium helps the body produce thyroid hormones, which regulate metabolism and growth rate. Zinc, meanwhile, is an essential mineral needed for bodily processes, such as gene expression, protein synthesis, and enzyme reactions. Phosphorus, on the other hand, is vital to bone health. Even further, turkey provides small amounts of magnesium and potassium.
Adding Turkey to Your Diet
You can include turkey in your diet in a myriad of ways, and it can be purchased year-round from your local grocery store. This meat is often roasted in the oven, but can also be slow-cooked using a slow-cooker until tender.
You can add it to salads as a good protein boost, as a substitute for chicken in curries, as your protein source in sandwiches, and as an alternative to beef burger patties.
Turkey can also be bought minced, so you can use it as a replacement to ground beef in dishes like spaghetti Bolognese. That said, you should note that it’s still best to limit your intake of processed turkey products, such as sausages and sandwich meat because of their high sodium content.
Overall, turkey is a nutritious food that can play a key role in our diet. With a lower calorie count, it boasts of high-quality protein and packs a multitude of vitamins. You can easily include it in soups, salads, curries, and many other dishes — and if you cook it right, it tastes absolutely delicious.