Turkey is a popular holiday entrée, but this nutrient-dense option should be part of the menu all year round. Succulent, fresh-from-the-oven turkey is the perfect lean protein, and is full of essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, it’s an affordable and versatile choice.
Turkey has “superfood” status
It may come as no surprise that spinach, blueberries and salmon are considered superfoods for their high nutritional value. What most people don’t know is that turkey – the lesser known poultry – also makes the top-10 superfoods list. Turkey has achieved superfood status because it is high in protein, and the white meat has the lowest fat and cholesterol content of any meat. Plus it’s loaded with an array of vitamins and minerals, including niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.
Canada’s Food Guide recommends choosing lower fat foods more often and including leaner meats and poultry in the diet. Turkey is a natural choice for healthy eating — and it’s also inexpensive to purchase and prepare.
While whole turkeys can take between one-and-a-half to four hours to cook, Maple Leaf has a variety of ready-made and fully-cooked turkey offerings that can be used in many delicious recipes, such as sandwiches, casseroles, wraps, salads and soups. For added ease and convenience, consider Maple Leaf Grilled & Ready Turkey Strips (Code: 64358), Maple Leaf ¾” All-White Diced Turkey (Code: 80316) and Healthy Selections 30g Sliced Turkey Breast (Code: 21363).
Turkey and a nap?
You need not worry about falling asleep after a turkey dinner. The idea that turkey makes you sleepy is a myth! While turkey does contain tryptophan, the amino acid that promotes sleep, it has no more tryptophan than an equal size serving of beef or chicken.
People tend to get tired after eating a large festive meal, and since turkey is often served at holiday dinners, it became associated with fatigue. Eating any large meal can induce drowsiness since blood flows away from the brain and towards the stomach, where it is needed to help with digestion. Turkey is not the sleep-inducer that many people think it is!
Holidays and beyond…
Thanksgiving is often the holiday that comes to mind when you think about turkey, but statistics from the Turkey Farmers of Canada show that Christmas far surpasses Thanksgiving as the most popular occasion when turkey is served. In fact, 43 percent of all whole turkeys sold during the year will happen at Christmas time, compared with just 28 percent at Thanksgiving.
Why leave this delicious, nutrient-packed protein option for the holidays only? Add turkey to your regular menu more often and enjoy this superfood all year long.