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Benefits of Turkey

whole turkey

While turkey has become the centerpiece for Thanksgiving and the Winter Holidays, it is a nutritious source that can be enjoyed throughout the year. 

Benefits of Turkey

Turkey is best known for its high amount of protein which is responsible for the growth, repair, and maintenance of cells. Turkey is also rich in nutrients, particularly in B Vitamins which impact your energy levels, brain function, and cell health. Turkey also has a high amount of selenium and is a good source of zinc, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and iron. All these minerals impact body processes. Turkey also contains omega-3 fats which help in promoting heart health.

Here are some health benefits:

  • Turkey is a high protein food that can help promote muscle growth and support the maintenance of muscle mass, especially after exercise and strength training.
  • Since it is a high protein source, it can support weight loss by reducing appetite and hunger levels by promoting the feeling of fullness. This is partly due to the protein reducing the level of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
  • The B vitamins in turkey support efficient energy production which helps convert proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into usable energy.
  • The selenium in turkey is an essential component required for thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, and immune function.
  • Turkey also contains tryptophan which produces serotonin which is a neurotransmitter that helps improve your mood and provides calming properties that can aid in promoting sleep.

Nutrition Information in 1 serving –Turkey nutrition depends on the part of the turkey. For example, the darker meat found in the legs or thighs has more fat and calories than white meat. According to USDA, here are several turkey nutrition facts for the different types of cut:

Cut of TurkeyServing SizeCaloriesTotal Fat (g)Total Carbohydrates (g)Total of Protein (g)
Turkey Breast roasted3 oz1606024
Turkey drumstick roasted 3 oz17010023
Turkey Thigh roasted3 oz19010023

Best Uses of Turkey

It is best to consume whole turkey meat rather than consuming the processed turkey products since they can be loaded with sodium. These processed varieties can include sausages, turkey ham, and hot dogs. 

ground turkey couscous

Diet Friendliness Chart

Diet FriendlinessYesNo
Ketox 
Diabeticx 
Gluten Freex 
Dairy Freex 
Low Caloriex 
Alkaline x
Vegan x
Vegetarianx
AIPx 
Allergy Friendlyx 
Low Carbx 
Paleox 

Cook Time: The internal temperature of turkey should reach 165F. This includes ground turkey, turkey tenderloins, and any other raw cut of turkey. 

  • If you are roasting a whole turkey at 350F, it will usually take about 15 minutes of cooking time for each pound when it is not stuffed. If the turkey is stuffed, it usually takes about 20 minutes per pound.
  • If you are cooking a smaller piece such as turkey tenderloin, it will take about 30-35 minutes at 400F.
  • If you are sauteeing ground turkey, it usually will take about 8 to 10 minutes.

History of Turkey

Turkey has long been a long staple food of Mayans, Aztecs, and other indigenous people of Mexico, Central America, and the southern parts of the United States. Turkey became a hit with Spanish explorers that they brought them back to Spain and eventually the birds were bred and domesticated in other areas of Europe. In Europe, people thought of turkeys as an expensive luxury food and were eaten on special occasions. As European settlers began to homestead America, they brought their domestic turkeys with them, however, they found the same birds running wild and free. Eventually, it is suggested that Ben Franklin wanted turkey to be the American bird because of its nutritious and wonderful taste that also had economic value for colonists. 

FAQ – About Turkey

  •  Why is turkey bad for you?
    • Consuming too much turkey that has been processed such as hot dogs, sausages, bacon, can have high amounts of sodium. Too much sodium in the diet can increase risks of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Go for fresh, lean, organic, and pasture-raised turkey. 
  • What is the chemical in turkey that makes you sleepy?
    • Turkey is often blamed for making you drowsy because it is packed with a nutrient called tryptophan. However, many other types of meat and protein products actually pack comparable amounts. Although tryptophan helps make a neurotransmitter called serotonin that can promote a slow-wave sleep, eating turkey does not translate the amplified serotonin production in the brain to cause sleepiness. Instead, what makes people sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner is the stretching of the small intestine that induces sleepiness and protein-fat loading of the stomach. This causes more blood to go to the gastrointestinal tract rather than the brain or other muscles. In addition, the nervous system conserves energy reducing heart rate, blood pressure while increasing salivation and gastric action for digestion.
  • .Is turkey better for you than beef?
    • Surprisingly there are not major nutritional differences between ground turkey and beef as long as you select the same ratio of lean to fat. The lower the fat content and the less saturated fat that you consume will help you lower your risk for heart disease.

Recipe Ideas for Turkey

Oven-Baked Turkey Tenderloin

This turkey tenderloin is braised in the oven with broth and aromatics such as celery, onions, and carrots. It is flavored with lots of garlic and thyme for ultimate flavor. A great alternative if you don’t want to roast a whole turkey.

turkey tenderloin

Turkey Soup

This soup is a gluten-free meal that comes together in one pot. It has turkey sausage, chicken stock, coconut milk, kale, potatoes, onions, and minced garlic. 

turkey soup

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Turkey

This is a great fall dinner recipe. Bake the acorn squash, meanwhile, saute the ground turkey. Once the turkey is cooked, place it in the middle of the squash and let it continue to bake in the oven.

turkey acorn squash

Here are some Turkey Recipes we think you may enjoy:

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Benefits of Blueberries

bagels and fruit

Blueberries are one of the top fruits that we often buy and eat because it’s just so tasty and convenient. There are many varieties and can range from sweet to tart and tangy. They vary in shades of dark blue to very dark purple. This fruit has amazing benefits with its combination of nutrients.

Benefits of Blueberries

Blueberries have been appreciated for their unique anti-inflammatory phytonutrients which can help enhance immunity, internal cellular communication, and help repair DNA damage from exposure to toxins. Blueberries are a very good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese. They are also a good source of fiber and copper. 

Here are some health benefits:

  • In combination with other fruits, it can help blood sugar regulation and help improve insulin sensitivity. It is a low-calorie food that is classified as a low GI (Glycemic Index) fruit and has a good source of fiber. This combination helps improve sugar regulation.
  • Blueberries can help support brain health by improving cognitive function. Eating blueberries can protect against oxidative damage to the nerve cells. As a result, it can help improve nervous system responses.
  • Blueberries can help decrease oxidative stress and inflammation in blood vessels supporting blood pressure regulation.
  • This fruit can help lower the risk of cancer due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They can help inhibit the increase of cancer cells and also suppress tumors by inducing apoptosis (cell death).

Nutrition Information in 1 serving –One cup of blueberries has about 84 calories, 21g of carbohydrates, 3.6g of fiber, 1.1g of protein, and 0.5g fat.

Best Uses of Blueberries

Blueberries are so versatile that you can eat them for Breakfast, Lunch Dinner, snacks, and even dessert. You can freeze blueberries and save them for smoothies. You can also bake them in muffins or scones. They are also perfect additions to salads. 

fruit coleslaw

Diet Friendliness Chart

Diet FriendlinessYesNo
Ketox 
Diabeticx 
Gluten Freex 
Dairy Freex 
Low Caloriex 
Alkaline x
Veganx 
Vegetarianx 
AIPx 
Allergy Friendlyx 
Low Carbx 
Paleox 

Cook Time: Blueberries can be enjoyed fresh, and they actually retain their maximum amount of nutrients when they are not cooked. 

History of Blueberries

Although blueberries can be found in many countries such as Europe, Asia, and South America, it is most native to North America than any other continent. Blueberries were not considered the superfood that they are today. The commercial cultivation of blueberries started with the daughter of a New Jersey cranberry farmer who partnered up with a USDA botanist. They were able to develop a variety of modern blueberry varieties, and eventually many started to appreciate this tasty fruit.

FAQ – About Blueberries

  •  How to Select and store?
    • Buy blueberries that move freely in the container. This will indicate that they are firm and not mushy. You’ll often find a whitish bloom on the exterior. This is actually okay because this acts as a barrier against insects and bacteria and helps seal in the fruit’s moisture. It is also a sign of freshness. Ensure that they are free from water to prevent it from decaying quickly. When purchasing frozen berries, make sure that they are not clumped together as this may indicate that they have already been thawed and refrozen. Store the blueberries in the refrigerator and don’t wash the berries until right before eating as rinsing will remove the protective bloom barrier and cause it to decay quickly. However, if you plan to freeze blueberries, it is recommended to wash and drain the berries and place them in a sealed container for storage in the freezer. 
  • What happens if you eat blueberries everyday?
    • Consuming blueberries as part of a balanced meal can help boost immunity and reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. They can also help lower the risk of cancer.
  • .Can blueberries help you lose weight?
    • Blueberries are low calorie and have a good amount of fiber that can help you feel full longer. They are also a great option if you have a sweet tooth to help satisfy those sweet cravings. 

Recipe Ideas for Blueberries

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt Bars

To satisfy the sweet tooth, blend together frozen berries with yogurt, and lemon juice. Place them in muffin pans and freeze them for about 30 to 45 minutes. These simple ingredients make for a quick healthy dessert. 

blueberry frozen yogurt

Blueberry Muffin Bars

Add frozen berries to muffin batter with rolled oats. They pack the texture of a muffin and a bar that makes for a great breakfast, snack, or even a sweet treat.

blueberry muffin

Smoked Salmon and Fruit Salad

Add fresh blueberries as a salad topper. The fresh bites of blueberries pair deliciously with this smoked, fresh strawberries, and creamy avocado. All these ingredients make for a heart-healthy salad. Check out the recipe here

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Benefits of Garlic

Garlic

Garlic is a great herb to add flavor to many meals. It’s in the same Allium family as onions, shallots, leeks, and chives which all contribute to their pungent aroma and flavor. However, it does more than add fragrant flavors to your favorite dishes. Garlic is actually loaded with vitamins and minerals that provide health benefits that have been recognized for centuries.

Benefits of Garlic

Garlic is loaded with many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, selenium, and calcium to name a few. However, the sulfur compounds in garlic are what have been shown to provide health benefits for our systems such as the cardiovascular system, immune system, inflammatory system, and detoxification system. Keep in mind, most of the studies show the health benefits usually occur when taking high doses of a supplement. Most recent studies are suggesting that it would take approximately 4 to 6 raw cloves consumed at least 1 to 3 times a week to reap measurable benefits. However, adding this ingredient to your daily meals, along with other Allium vegetables such as onions and leeks, over a period of time can help.

Here are some health benefits:

  • Garlic has been known to reduce the hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis).
  • Some studies also suggest that it can act as an anticoagulant reducing the risk of heart attacks. It increases the production of nitric oxide which keeps blood vessels relaxed and prevents platelets from binding to proteins reducing blood clots. 
  • Some studies show that taking garlic may reduce total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which is known as the “bad” cholesterol in people with high cholesterol levels. However, it takes a long period of time to let the vitamins and minerals build up in your body.
  • Garlic can also contribute to lowering blood pressure by its ability to widen blood vessels. The sulfurous compounds have also been shown to inhibit cancerous cells and block tumors by slowing DNA replication.

Nutrition Information in 1 serving –One raw clove has about 4.5 calories, 1 g of carbohydrates, 0.2g of protein, and 0 fat.  

Best Uses of Garlic

Garlic is a great addition to marinades, sauces, and salad dressings. It adds tons of flavors to soups, roasted veggies, and stir-fries. It is also a tasty spread after roasting it in olive oil.

green vegetables

Diet Friendliness Chart

Diet FriendlinessYesNo
Ketox 
Diabeticx 
Gluten Freex 
Dairy Freex 
Low Caloriex 
Alkalinex 
Veganx 
Vegetarianx 
AIPx 
Allergy Friendlyx 
Low Carbx 
Paleox 

Cook Time: Heat oil on medium heat and add the garlic. Garlic usually cooks in less than 30 seconds. You’ll know it is cooking when you can smell the garlic and your mouth starts to water. Garlic cooks very quickly so keep stirring to avoid burning it. Most health benefits come from raw garlic due to allicin which is most potent briefly after it has been chopped or crushed. It is destroyed by temperatures over 140 degrees, therefore, if you want to add it to hot meals, add it at the end of the cooking process to limit the loss of health benefits.

beef stir fry

History of Garlic

Historical records show that garlic has been cultivated 5000 years ago and found in ancient Egypt, India, and China. As of today, China is the largest commercial producer of garlic, followed by India, South Korea, South Korea, Egypt, and Russia.  

FAQ-About Garlic

  •  How to Select and store?
    • Buying fresh garlic will give you the best flavor and maximum health benefits. Avoid buying garlic that is soft. Gently squeeze the garlic bulb between your fingers to check if it is firm. Store it at room temperature uncovered in a cool dark place away from heat and sunlight. We recommend finding large bulbs as they are easier to peel and chop than the smaller cloves. The whole garlic bulb can keep fresh for about a month. Once you break it up, it greatly reduces its shelf life, so be sure to use it in the next few days.
  • What are tips for preparing garlic?
    • You will want to separate the individual cloves by removing the layers of skin that hold the bulb together. Then, you will peel the garlic by placing it on a cutting board and using the flat side of a wide knife, and gently tapping it. Start peeling the skin with your fingers. Slice it, mince it, or just crush it whole and add it to your recipes towards the end of the cooking to better retain the flavor and also maintain the most amount of nutrients 
  • Are there any safety issues with garlic?
    • Ingesting raw garlic may cause indigestion, flatulence, and diarrhea if taken in high doses.

Recipe Ideas for Garlic

Marinades

Use garlic in marinades to add yummy garlicky flavors to your poultry, meats, and seafood. For example, you can mince cloves and add it to a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and fresh herbs. Place it on top of the salmon and veggies and bake it in the oven.

salmon and asparagus

Add to Soups

Save the steps of chopping garlic. You can actually add peeled, whole cloves directly into the soups. Over time, the soup will release the garlic’s sweet flavors. We paired it with sun-dried tomatoes in this creamy Tuscan chicken soup.

chicken soup

Roast the Garlic

One of the best ways to add flavor to a classic side dish, such as mashed potatoes, is to add roasted garlic. Cut the top of the bulb and drizzle it with olive oil. Wrap it in foil and bake it in the oven at 400F for 45 minutes until it turns soft and creamy. After it has cooked, let it cool, and squeeze it out of the bulbs. Mix it in with mashed potatoes along with your favorite seasonings and herbs. 

chicken and mashed potatoes

Here are some recipes that incorporate garlic that we think you’ll enjoy:

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Benefits of Watermelon

Watermelon slices

Watermelon is a refreshing fruit that is full of nutrients. Not only does it taste wonderful, but it also has numerous health benefits.

Benefits of watermelon

  • Watermelon is a sweet and refreshing low calorie snack and provides hydration since it is about 90% water. It provides essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Watermelon contains B Vitamins that can help boost your energy levels and electrolytes such as potassium to replenish nutrients lost as you sweat. Drinking watermelon juice may also help increase athletic performance by having quicker recovery heart rates and fewer sore muscles the next day due to an amino acid called citrulline. Watermelon also has usable carbs which can help replenish glycogen stores as part of proper recovery.
  • It is also known to help reduce hypertension and lower blood pressure due to high levels of lycopene. As a result, it may help lower the risk of heart disease. This phytonutrient can help keep your arteries flexible and avoid the accumulation of artery-clogging plaque. Lycopene also contributes to the red hue in watermelon, therefore, the more red the watermelon, the better. 
  • Watermelon has some anti-inflammatory effects that could help reduce inflammation such as those that suffer from arthritis. 
  • Watermelon contains nearly one-quarter of your recommended daily intake for Vitamin A and it has a high amount of Vitamin C. Both vitamins help encourage healthy growth of new collagen and elastin cells keeping skin healthy and eyesight sharp.
  • Nutrition Information in 1 serving –1 cup 46 calories, 11.6 carbs

Best Uses of Watermelon

  1. Make a refreshing drink 
  2. Roast watermelon seeds
  3. Make watermelon fruit pizza for kids 
  4. Use it as a fruit basket 

Diet Friendliness Chart

Diet FriendlinessYesNo
Ketox 
Diabeticx 
Gluten Freex 
Dairy Freex 
Low Caloriex 
Alkalinex 
Veganx 
Vegetarianx 
AIPx 
Allergy FriendlyX-mainly for children
Low Carbx 
Paleox 

Cook Time: Watermelon does not require much prep other than cutting it open and slicing it up which should take less than 5 minutes with a sharp knife.

History of Watermelon

  • First discovered 5000 years ago in Egypt, depicted in hieroglyphics
  • Over 1200 varieties of watermelon grown across 96 countries
  • Watermelon is considered both a fruit and a vegetable
  • You can eat the rinds (most recipes are pickled)
  • Largest watermelon weighed 350.50 lbs

FAQ – About Watermelon

  • Is watermelon good for weight loss?
    • Since it is 90% water and low in calories, it is a great fruit for weight loss. It helps you stay hydrated and snacking on it will keep you full in between meals.
  • How much watermelon should I eat a day?
    • Although it is low in calories and fat, it is possible to overdo it with watermelon. This fruit contains a phytonutrient known as lycopene which can cause gastrointestinal distress. More than 30 mg a day can cause nausea, diarrhea, bloating, and indigestion
  • Does watermelon improve skin?
    • Watermelon can also be used as a skin-care product. The rinds can help with calming skin inflammation while the seeds can boost collagen in your body. Rub rinds on sunburns, rashes, or irritated skins to soothe the skin. It is also loaded with Vitamin E which contributes to rejuvenating your skin.

Recipe Ideas for watermelon

If you want to do more than just slice and dice your watermelon, here are a few other ideas on how to prep and eat watermelon to make the most out of its health benefits:

Watermelon Sorbet

If you’re looking for a lower calorie version of a frozen dessert to keep you cool in the heat, then try making this simple 2 ingredient sorbet. In a blender, blend 2 cups of watermelon with ¼ cup of water:

Watermelon On a Stick

Beef and chicken aren’t the only things good for kebabs, try watermelon on a stick. Layer watermelon with mozzarella balls, cucumber, and drizzle with a balsamic glaze.

Watermelon Salsa

Make a salsa with watermelon as a dip for an appetizer or snack and serve it with tortilla chips. Dice up watermelon, mango, green onions, and red onion. Squeeze some lemon juice and mix it all together.

watermelon and proscuitto

Watermelon with Prosciutto

Here’s a twist on the classic prosciutto and melon combo. Try it with watermelon instead. Cut watermelons into sticks. Wrap them with prosciutto. Serve it with mozzarella balls and almonds.

Here’s a Steak and Watermelon recipe that we think you’ll enjoy!

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