17 Turkey Health Benefits

Turkey is a regular feature in Thanksgiving, so it’s great that it has so many amazing health benefits. It can help boost a number of systems in your body and is a healthy source of lean protein. Keep reading to learn more about turkey health benefits.

Turkey doesn’t have to be just a festive meat option. It can be eaten all year round to benefit your body. It’s packed full of so many different nutrients and has incredibly low-fat content when compared to other meats like beef, pork, and chicken.  

You can add turkey into your diet quite easily as it will suit a number of recipes. To avoid excess calories, you should remove the turkey skin before eating it. You should also choose fresh turkey over frozen turkey, as this will usually contain preservatives which may be harmful to your health and digestive process.


Turkey Health Benefits

turkey health benefits

The turkey health benefits in this article are for natural turkey, not processed turkey (like lunch meat)

  1. Rich Source of Protein

Turkey is an extremely rich source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6 and the amino acid tryptophan. If you remove the skin, it’s also really low in fat.


  1. Reduced Risk of Cancer

Turkey is also a very great source of selenium, which is essential for your antioxidant defense systems, and immune function. By increasing your body’s defense against free-radicals in this way, turkey can help to reduce your risk of cancer.


  1. Low Saturated Fats

Light, skinless turkey is naturally low in fats and if roasted it’s very low in saturated fats too. It’s also less of a cholesterol risk that chicken, pork and beef.


  1. Boosts Mood

Because turkey contains a compound called tryptophan, it’s thought to help lift low moods. This is because tryptophan help increases the production of serotonin – a mood-boosting neurotransmitter.

eating, belching, garlic health benefits

Eating tasty turkey is sure to improve anyone’s mood!

  1. Improved Immune System

Tryptophan also helps to strengthen your immune system, meaning that turkey could help you fight off infections of various kinds and give you a faster immune response.  

  1. Combats Insomnia

The tryptophan in turkey has a number of health benefits. One of these is that it’s extremely effective in relieving chronic insomnia.


  1. Boosts Metabolism

Nutritionists will often recommend consuming foods that boost your metabolism as this is essential to stay active and energized. Studies have also shown that having a properly functioning or enhanced metabolism are less vulnerable to weight gain and obesity. Turkey contains potassium, niacin, and zinc which are all known to help boost your metabolism. Add this to the naturally high nutritional value of turkey and it makes a great dietary option.


  1. Ideal for Weight Loss

As an extension of its metabolism boosting powers, turkey is a great food option if you’re looking to lose some weight. It has a low-fat content and helps to speed up your metabolism, which makes it much easier to lose weight. Not only that but a single turkey breast only contains 23 calories and is packed full of vitamins B and C. It also contains phosphorus, protein, and potassium.

Scale, weight loss after 40

Diet and exercise are both key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight

  1. For Cardiovascular Health

Consuming two or three servings of turkey in a week (making sure to avoid preparing it in excess oil) is a great way to promote better heart health. This is because it’s low in calories and saturated fats.


  1. Stronger Teeth and Bones

Whilst most of us are aware of the calcium and vitamin D that’s needed for strong teeth and bones, many people don’t realize the body also needs plenty of phosphorus for this reason too. Phosphorus stimulates protein production which is key to strengthening your teeth and bones. Boiling or grilling turkey is the best way to maintain its high phosphorus content and keep your bones and teeth healthy.


  1. Maintains Cholesterol Levels

High cholesterol levels can lead to a range of health problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Turkey has a much lower level of cholesterol when compared to other meats, which makes it a lean and healthy alternative to most other meats.

  1. Treats Diabetes

Studies suggest that eating turkey on a regular basis could help to manage your diabetes symptoms. This is because it contains few calories, little fat and low levels of cholesterol.


  1. Treats Anemia

People diagnosed with anemia suffer from a lack of iron in their bloodstream. Whilst they can take an iron supplement, many people prefer to increase their iron intake naturally. Turkey is a great dietary option to help increase your iron levels in a natural way. Known as a powerhouse of minerals and vitamins, turkey is a great option for a number of deficiencies and anemia is just one of them!

Fast food

Any meat that is high in iron can help to treat anemia

  1. Promotes Healthy Skin

We’ve all heard the saying ‘you are what you eat’ and it’s true. Having a poor diet will often show up on your skin, but so will eating a healthy and well-balanced diet. In fact, eating well is often the simplest and most effective way of achieving smooth, glowing, and flawless skin. Because turkey is rich in important nutrients and vitamins that are easily absorbed by the skin, it is great for improving the appearance of your skin.

  1. B Vitamins

B vitamins are vital to unlocking the energy stored in your food. Foods like whole-grain bread, fortified cereals and – of course – turkey.  Many people believe that including grilled turkey into your diet is a more natural and better way to increase your intake of B vitamins, instead of taking a vitamin supplement. Turkey is especially rich in vitamin B6 which is key to reducing fatigue as they ensure your red blood cells are kept healthy. This means they’re more able to take blood and oxygen to the cells that need it.  


  1. Selenium

Selenium is essential to a number of bodily systems and functions. According to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, most of us don’t get enough of it. Selenium is vital to keeping your hair and nails healthy whilst also helping to boost your immunity. You can get around twenty percent of your daily recommended intake of selenium a 100g portion of turkey breast.


  1.  Low in Calories

Turkey has a lower number of calories per 100g portion than almost any other meat. This makes them one of the best meats for maintaining a low calorie, healthy diet.  

broccoli, peas, beans, carrot, steamed, high choleserol

Eating steamed veggies with your meat is a great way to keep your whole meal low in calories

Now that you know some of the health benefits of turkey, will you enjoy more of it on Thanksgiving? Comment below!





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