My friends called me a turkey for not liking turkey, but now that I have discovered I have allergies to some of the meats I was eating before, I have tried turkey once again. After all, I need meat in my diet to help provide me with energy and nutrients to help keep my immune system healthy and strong so I do not become fatigued and ill. With my autoimmune disease, it is important to keep the immune system functioning properly at all times since I catch illnesses easily. Now, I eat ground turkey, turkey breast and surprisingly the traditional oven roasted whole turkey since the types of meats I can eat are limited and surprisingly turkey provides endless health benefits too, which is just a bonus. However, the turkey still has to be cooked just right with the right flavors in order for me to eat it. On some occasions, this turkey still does not like eating turkey, and that is especially true when it is dried out and tough.
Where exactly does turkey meat come from?
Turkey meat comes from a large feathery bird called, “Turkey.” The wild bird is native to North America and can be hunted during turkey season, which is usually in the early to late autumn months. However, domestic turkeys are raised on farms too and usually have more tender meat and are easily available to the non-hunters like myself who does not have the heart to kill for my food. The average weight of turkey can range between five and thirty pounds depending on the size bird you get for dinner. I prefer the smaller turkeys for cooking with because the meat on them is tender and the bird cooks in the oven a whole lot easier. I personally buy my turkey from the butcher shop because at least there the butcher guts the turkey and remove all its feathers from it while giving it a good cleaning. For me purchasing a turkey already cleaned is much easier for me to handle, but if you have ambition and enjoy hunting and cleaning an animal out for food yourself I say go for it.
What are the nutrients in turkey that are beneficial to health?
One of the many health benefits you can receive from eating turkey is good lean protein, which is one of the main reasons I eat it. In addition, it is easier for my body to digest. Our bodies need lean protein to help provide us with energy, lean strong muscles, balanced hormones, live enzymes, healthy bones, strong blood and healthy tissues, cartilage and joints.
Turkey also contains a high amount of selenium, which is, and essential nutrient my body needs to help keep my thyroid disease in check. Without selenium, my thyroid would be unbalanced causing mood swings and tons of other illnesses such as cancers, inflammatory diseases and the common cold and flu. In order to stay healthy, the thyroid needs to stay healthy and balanced. When the thyroid is healthy and balanced, the immune system is not under stress and becoming weak.
Another reason I have added turkey to my diet is that it contains B complex nutrients, which my brain needs to function properly in order to send the right signals to my nervous system. Without B complex nutrients, I would be depressed all the time and unable to think clearly. I would constantly have anxiety and panic attacks and would not get the adequate amount of sleep I need because I would be suffering from insomnia.
Turkey even contains omega fatty acids, which my body desperately needs all the time to help prevent the inflammation in my body from building up and causing havoc like asthma attacks and severe allergies. In addition, omega fatty acids help keep my joints free from pain too.
Adding turkey to your diet in replace of a fatty meat can help you reduce your cancer risks and help lower cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugar levels, aid in weight loss and keep that immune system strong so you do not get sick as easily during cold and flu season.
My Favorite Ways to Eat Turkey
When I eat turkey, I prefer to purchase some organic ground turkey and turn the meat into turkey burgers with herbs and spices. I then serve the burgers up with a ranch flavored yogurt dressing between two whole grain buns with some leafy green lettuce tucked in between. I find this is my favorite way to get turkey into my diet. However, I like tender turkey breast grilled up and sliced up on top of leafy green salads too. When I cook a whole turkey in the oven, I place the turkey into an oven-roasting bag with tons of herbs, spices, vegetables and broth. I find cooking a whole turkey this way helps keep it tender, juicy and full of flavor. For me, I cannot just eat plain old turkey without flavor, but if you can, go for it. It just might be a bit dry.
Again, I never use to be a turkey lover, but since I have discovered my intolerance to some meats, turkey has been added to my diet because of the health benefits it can provide to me now. Adding turkey to your diet can help provide you with many health benefits too.