Your health has been your number one priority over the last several months. You wake up each morning at the same time, you do meditation and breathwork, you hit the gym by 7:00 am for your morning workout, and you’ve cleaned up your diet too. You’re feeling better than you ever have before… and now the holiday season is here: Thanksgiving and Christmas – two back to back holidays with tons of get togethers in between (Friendsgiving, your company holiday party, etc). The holiday season can seem like a never ending time lapse of excessive food and booze intake leading to a few extra pounds around the waistline. If you’re feeling some panic that all the hard work that you’ve put in the last few months might be sabotaged by the amount of pumpkin pie and egg not that you’re going to be consuming over the next 30+ days, don’t fret! Remember the wise adage: “Everything in moderation!” Restricting yourself is not sustainable in the long run, and you can, with some planning, enjoy the good food that comes this time of year while also continuing to progress towards your goals. This week we’ll discuss the number of health benefits of the centerpiece of these holiday meals: turkey!

PROTEIN: Turkey is a great source of protein! Two thick slices of turkey (about 84 grams) contain 24 grams of protein. 

VITAMINS: Turkey is rich in vitamins! Turkey can provide impressive levels of vitamins B-6, B-12, niacin, choline, selenium, and zinc. These nutrients play a role in cognitive function, the nervous system, the immune system, skin health, strengthening cell communication and amino acid formation, red blood cell production, and DNA production.

PROTECTION FROM COGNITIVE DECLINE: Turkey and other kinds of poultry are believed to slow the mental decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of dementia.

HEART HEALTH: Turkey can also help increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol in your body. HDL cholesterol travels through the bloodstream and helps to remove “bad” LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol can damage the walls of your arteries and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

IMPROVES MOOD: Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid sometimes blamed for causing sleepiness after a hearty Thanksgiving dinner. Our bodies use tryptophan to make serotonin, a hormone that stabilizes mood.