Posted on

Health Benefits of Turkey

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and do you ever wonder why turkey is the most served food during this special occasion? It actually traces back to the 19th century when the turkey become a favorite first because it was plentiful and second because hens and cows were more useful for their produce (eggs, milk) rather than their meat; and third, a single turkey can feed a whole family. 

Beyond the bountiful history of this food is a flock of nutrients waiting to be discovered including a healthy turkey recipe! 

Reinforces your Immune System

Turkey is rich in selenium, an antioxidant that promotes a healthy heart and thyroid. 

Source of Protein

Aside from reinforcing your muscle growth, this abundance in protein also assists in regulating insulin levels and preventing fatigue.

Sleep inducing

Ever wonder why after a hefty bite of turkey makes you feel sleepy? That’s because this meat is rich in the amino acid L-tryptophan which promotes serotonin and melatonin. So if you are having a hard time sleeping, you might want to have a mouthful of turkey-enriched food beforehand. 

Improves Vision

Not recognized for vision like carrots or squash but turkey can help improve your eyesight and protect your eyes from cataracts due to the zinc and the B-vitamin Niacin. 

Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 (28 ounces) can no-salt-added organic crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14 ounces) can organic kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh garlic
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ cup sliced scallions, for serving
  • Hot sauce, for serving

Directions

  1. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add turkey and cook, breaking it up into chunks, until no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.
  2. Add tomatoes, kidney beans, onion, squash, water, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, garlic, cinnamon, salt and cayenne to the slow cooker; stir to combine. Cover and cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.
  3. Remove lid and stir to combine. Serve hot, topped with scallions and hot sauce, if desired.

Adapted from eatingwell.com

Posted on

Here’s to Your Health AND your Heart

What you do today, will affect your heart health tomorrow.

Cardiovascular disease is a growing problem and financial burden costing the United States approximately 214 billion dollars a year.  Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the most common form of cardiovascular disease.  Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to other health problems such as congestive heart failure, stroke, heart attack, and death.

Alarming statistics show that over the past 50 years, cardiovascular disease has been the number one cause of mortality in the United States, but 100 years ago it was not even ranked in the top ten causes of death.  In other countries that have diets lower in salt, cholesterol and fat people have a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease.  Most high blood pressure has no identifiable or secondary cause and is considered essential hypertension.

Some causes of essential hypertension include obesity, congestion of the liver, kidneys, or gall bladder, stress, and adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism, high alcohol consumption, food allergies, and unbalanced essential fatty acids.  Only a qualified healthcare professional can test for the causes of high blood pressure and put you on a specific protocol that would best suit your needs, but the following are tests and recommendations to consider with your healthcare provider.

Tests to check for the causes of hypertension

  • Lipid profile:  Many people with high blood pressure and cholesterol have been linked with thyroid problems as well
  • Complete thyroid profile
  • Liver enzyme profile
  • Fatty acid blood profile:  breaks down the ratio of omega 3-6-9 and determines what specific nutrient(s) you are lacking

Steps that may help naturally control hypertension

  • Aerobic exercise:  at least 30-60 minutes 3-7 days per week
  • Detox programs:  These can help with clearing out the kidneys, liver, and gastro-intestinal system of any congestion and aid in weight loss (only do with the permission and guidance of a qualified healthcare professional)
  • Replace regular table salt with a sea salt
  • Increase intake of calcium, potassium, antioxidants, CoQ10, and essential fatty acids but make sure that you receive these nutrients in a food based formula, not from synthetic supplements.
  • Learn relaxation and stress management techniques
  • Herbs that are heart helpers include Hawthorne, Coleus, and Garlic.

Already taking a prescribed Statin drug?  Recent research has shown that they upset the omega 3-6-9 ratios and they rob the body of CoQ10, which can then lead to fatigue and shortness of breath.  These individuals need to make sure that they are replacing the CoQ10 with food based supplements and making sure that their omega 3-6-9 ratios are balanced.  It is never too late to begin the journey of eating your way to a healthy heart.