Subscribe to our Newsletter:
Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Poultry and Lean Meats >>  Turkey

Turkey is a lean meat

Turkey is a delicious food available throughout the year. Turkey is a good source of protein and provides 65.1% of the daily value. It is a lean meat, available commercially as cutlets, breasts, ground turkey and tenderloins. Around 11.9% of saturated fat (daily value) is seen in turkey, which is half of that seen in red meat. Selenium helps in the functioning of the various metabolic pathways, namely antioxidant defense systems, thyroid metabolism and immune function.
There exists an inverse relationship between the incidence of cancer and selenium intake.

Inhibition of cancerous cells’ multiplication, DNA repair and the self-destructing sequence or apoptosis, the method of removal of abnormal cells are performed in the presence of selenium. Selenium is integrated with the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, vital for cancer protection. It is a potent enzyme, used for liver detoxification. When the enzyme levels are low, these molecules affect any other substance, thereby, resulting in the damage of DNA and multiplication or proliferation of the cancer cells. 47.1% of the daily value of selenium is provided by four ounces of turkey.

Turkey is also a good source of B vitamins, which aids in cancer prevention and niacin and deficiency results in damage of DNA. It also contains a good amount of pyridoxine or vitamin b6. Vitamins B6 and niacin are essential in energy synthesis. Niacin is a component of the GTF or glucose tolerance factor, which aids in optimizing the activity of insulin. It is necessary for the transfer of protein, fat and carbohydrate into energy that can be used. A daily value of 27% of pyridoxine is provided by four ounces of turkey. Vitamin B6 is important in the process of methylation and acts as a methyl donor. Carbohydrate processing to starch and sugar, especially glycogen breakdown, calls for the necessity of vitamin b6.

Decrease in B6 or niacin results in a decrease in the methyl groups. This results in the non-conversion of molecules, such as homocysteine, a severe risk factor for cardiac diseases. Purines are natural substances seen in turkey. These purines are broken to uric acid and accumulation of the same results in gouty arthritis and renal calculi. Turkeys that are of rounded breasts, supple and of solid shape should be bought. They should not produce any 'off' smell. When bought with the skin, it should be devoid of bruises and white in color. Expiry date is of great concern, while purchasing perishable items, such as turkey.
Submitted on January 16, 2014