How Does Turkey Affect The Cardiovascular System?

Do you wonder how turkey affects the cardiovascular system?  How often have you heard that the tryptophan in turkey makes you feel fatigued after your Thanksgiving or Christmas or Easter dinner? It is more likely that the larger amount of food and fat eaten at a holiday dinner are really the culprits, because with that much more food than normal to digest, extra blood is sent to the intestinal tract and less to the rest of the body including your organs and nervous system.  This can result in a zap to your energy, especially since fats take a lot of energy to digest. 

Overall, turkey is a great food to eat for cardiovascular health. Turkey breast meat has one-fifth fewer calories than lean beef plus it has one of the lowest saturated fat levels compared to other meats.  The key is to remove the skin and then grill or roast the turkey and not fry it.  Read the label if you get ground turkey because some will have the fatter dark meat and skin in it.  Instead get the fat-free variety. 

This lean meat is also low in cholesterol  The less build-up of cholesterol in the arteries, the better one's cardiovascular health.  Also, having 34 grams of protein per 100 grams, turkey gives you as much protein as roast beef but without the amount of calories and fat.  It is high in minerals such as phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.  It also contains, B-vitamins including B12 which aids in the replenishment of red blood cells. 

Tryptophan, one of twenty amino acids and a proteIn builder, is a precursor for the neurotransmitter serotonin and the hormone melatonin, both of which play a role in sleep regulation.   If serotonin is taken orally, it does not get to the nervous system but instead remains in the blood stream and can enter the brain to have an effect on not only sleep but also mood, emotional empathy, calmness, and a feeling of well-being. All of the  features just mentioned are also important to maintain a good cardiovascular system. 

Tryptophan also helps the body produce the B-vitamin niacin. Just one portion of turkey gives the niacin daily requirement and is important for energy and digestive health as well as cardiovascular health.



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