Think Thanksgiving is the only time to enjoy turkey? Think again! June is Turkey Lovers Month. Here’s why you should make this bird part of your healthy eating plan today.
1. It’s a lean protein powerhouse
According to the most recent dietary guidelines, lean protein, such as turkey, should be part of a healthy diet. You get a whopping 24 grams of protein and only 132 calories and three grams of fat in one three-ounce portion of cooked turkey breast. A serving of dark meat contains 156 calories and six grams of fat.
2. It provides energy
Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body, and that keeps you revved up. Three ounces of cooked turkey breast (without the skin) has 1.3 milligrams of it — that’s seven percent of your daily recommended allowance. Lack of iron can lead to fatigue, irritability or depression.
3. It may ward off some cancers
Turkey contains the antioxidant selenium, a mineral that has been shown to help prevent lung, colon and prostate cancer in studies. Selenium also plays an important role in regulating your hormones and the function of your immune system.
4. It may improve sleep and mood
Tryptophan, found in turkey, is an amino acid that increases the production of serotonin, a chemical involved in mood and sleep. Many people blame the bird for their Thanksgiving coma (the real culprit is probably the onslaught of carbs and fatty food). In reality, you’d have to eat more than the three-ounce suggested serving to feel comatose effects.
5. It boosts your libido
Turkey contains the amino acid arginine, which helps produce nitric acid. This chemical promotes the relaxation of bloods vessels, allowing more blood to flow to your intimate parts.
Toby Amidor is a registered dietician and the owner of Toby Amidor Nutrition. She holds a master’s degree in clinical nutrition and dietetics from New York University. You can follow her on Twitter at @tobyamidor.