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Tuck into turkey

HealthBy Sunday World
Tuck into turkey

Whether you celebrated the U.S. holiday Thanksgiving, or just ate turkey in solidarity with our American friends, if you tucked into the poultry product on Thursday (24Nov16) then you did your body some good.

Piling your plate with sweet crusted yams, stodgy sides and double helpings of dessert may not be great for your waistline, but it was a special occasion after all. Now you’ll no doubt be left with lots of turkey leftovers, with the same thing happening next month for Christmas, and that’s a good thing!

Turkey, like chicken, has less saturated fat than red meat, providing you don’t eat the skin which can be high in fat. It’s also a rich source of protein, and low in fat thanks to its abundance of white meat. It’s packed full of iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorus, and is also a source of vitamin B6 and niacin, which are both essential for the body's energy production.

Eating the meat on a regular basis can help lower cholesterol levels and can stabilise insulin levels because it’s low-GI. Turkey helps strengthen the immune system as well thanks to the amino acid tryptophan, which produces serotonin, a source of selenium essential for thyroid hormone metabolism, boosts immunity and acts as an antioxidant.

There are some downsides to eating too much though, particularly if you eat the processed lunch meat variety, which is often high in salt and filled with diet nasties. And as mentioned above the skin is high in fat and consuming too much tryptophan can make people sleepy.

But the goodness far outweighs the bad points. With your leftover Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey why not add to a salad, or re-warm it, adding a selection of roasted vegetables as a side. The veggies will bring even more nutrients to your plate!

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