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Talking Turkey as Part of a Brain Healthy Diet

William Mick | Oct 15, 2018 | General Health & Nutrition

The holidays are turkey time in many households. This distinctively American centerpiece for any family feast is not only delicious, but also has some impressive health benefits for both the body and the brain.

A food with all the fixings of a healthy diet.

We can't recommend high fat, high sodium accompaniments like stuffing and gravy. But a simple 3 ounce serving of turkey without the fixings is loaded with essential nutrients, while adding less than 200 calories to a meal.

Turkey is packed with protein, but unlike beef, it comes with fewer calories and less fat. An added benefit of high-protein foods like turkey is that they increase the feeling of satiety, so you'll feel fuller and less likely to go back for second helpings or dessert. (Here's a healthy tip: remove the skin and you'll leave most of the fat content of the turkey on your plate.)

Not to blame for nap time.

Turkey has a reputation for making people sleepy after a meal thanks to its tryptophan content. Actually, all meats contain tryptophan, and sleepiness can occur after eating any big meal. Regardless, tryptophan is an important amino acid for brain function since it has been linked to healthy levels of serotonin in the body, the chemical that helps regulate mood and sleep.

That single 3 ounce serving of turkey also delivers almost half the daily recommended amount of selenium, an important antioxidant, as well as healthy doses of phosphorus and zinc. B vitamins are also represented, including niacin, riboflavin and vitamin B6, one of the key players in keeping the brain and nervous system functioning properly.

Turkey is truly something to be thankful for.

Turkey is too healthy --- and too delicious --- to limit to just a few holiday feasts a year. So spread out the bounty, and make turkey a regular part of your brain healthy diet.

MemoryMeals® makes it easy to include turkey in your diet, since it's an ingredient in several of the selections in this increasingly popular nutrition program, which now boasts almost 500 recipes. Here's a sample of the MemoryMeals® "Turkey Top 10":

• Turkey Tenderloin

• Citrus Sage Roasted Turkey Breast

• Cranberry Orange Turkey

• Curry Turkey with Brown Rice

• Lemon Rosemary Turkey Meatballs

• Chipotle Turkey and Corn Soup

• Stuffed Green Peppers with Ground Turkey

• Turkey and Gruyere Radicchio Cups

• Turkey Lettuce Wraps

• Turkey Shepherd's Pie

References:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/285736.php

http://www.chileunderground.com/2011/03/21/brain-food-turkey-its-not-just-for-feasts-anymore/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/turkey-health-benefits-thanksgiving_n_6201446

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