First and foremost, your Thanksgiving Turkey is an excellent source of protein, which provides us with all the essential amino acids that are crucial for the production of neurotransmitters that control our sleep, mood and appetite, as well as other important enzymes and hormones. Amino acids also play a vital role in metabolism and immune function and assists other nutrients in performing their functions.
Just four ounces of turkey will provide you with about 32 grams of protein and 0 grams of sugar, so
turkey is the one food you can eat at Thanksgiving that shouldn’t produce any guilt or remorse. Cover your plate with more turkey and low-starch vegetables and you won’t have room for those other less nutritious foods.
It is fat and protein that provides feelings of satiation, not carbs. Carbs bring you up high temporarily and then bring you crashing down later. Protein keeps you at a nice even keel. So eat more turkey.
Do not worry about getting sleepy. It is a myth that turkey makes you sleepy. It is true that tryptophan produces melatonin, our primary sleep hormone. However, the amount of tryptophan present is not really enough to produce sleep. The sudden urge to sleep after a Thanksgiving meal is usually brought on by the over consumption of food in general and especially the over consumption of carbohydrates, not turkey.
Like all meat, turkey contains no carbs and is low on the glycemic index, and therefore it’s an excellent food for maintaining stable blood sugar and insulin levels. Thus, making it a worry free food for those with insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, sugar addiction, adrenal fatigue, candida overgrowth, depression, anxiety disorders etc.
It is also rich in selenium, vitamin B3 aka niacin, vitamin B6, choline and phosphorus. Among other things, these nutrients help protect us from cancer, nourish our nervous system, improve brain function protects our heart, and aid in the healthy development of bones and teeth.
Other nutrients worth mentioning that can be found in Turkey include, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, folate and B12.
However, keep in mind that not all Thanksgiving turkeys are not created equal. For the most nutritious meal, you should be choosing free-range, cage-free or pasture fed and organic poultry. Turkey and other poultry that is not free-range and organic contains pesticides, hormones and antibiotics that are harmful to your health.
Additionally, choosing cage-free means that your turkey has been treated with respect and not subjected to inhumane and unsanitary conditions, which is important on the spiritual level. Furthermore, free-range turkey is healthier than conventionally farmed poultry, and naturally the health of a turkey prior to slaughter will impact its nutrient levels.
Now, keep in mind that turkey is not just for Thanksgiving. It is a nutritious and healthy food that can and should be enjoyed year round. Turkey is very versatile and can be found as ground, legs, breasts and filets, not just your traditional roaster.