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The many health benefits of turkey

Elements4Health.com
2008 November 26

The domestic turkey is a descendent of the Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), and is native to the United States, and the Ocellated Turkey (Meleagris ocellata) is native to Mexico.

The turkey has become synonymous with Thanksgiving in the United States and is becoming more popular due its health benefits.

The health benefits of turkey include reduced LDL cholesterol, mood-enhancing properties, helps prevent cancer, boosts testosterone and immune system.

Health Benefits of Turkey

  • Nutrients
    Turkey is a very good source of protein, selenium, niacin, vitamin B6 and the amino acid tryptothan. It’s a good source of zinc and vitamin B12. The skinless white meat is an excellent high-protein, low-fat food.
  • Reduce LDL Cholesterol
    The Cholesterol Education Program recommends adopting diets that are low in cholesterol, saturated fat and trans fatty acids. Light, skinless, roasted turkey has less saturated fat, less total fat, and less cholesterol than chicken, pork or beef.
  • Cancer Prevention
    The amino acid tryptophan is needed for T cells, a type of immune system cell that kills cancer cells. T cells activated in the absence of free tryptophan become susceptible to death via apoptosis.
  • Mood Enhancer
    Neurotransmitters are made from amino acids, and the neurotransmitter serotonin is made from tryptophan. Serotonin helps to improve mood and eating food such as turkey can improve your mood.Fifteen women who had suffered recurrent episodes of major depression received two amino acid mixtures in a double-blind crossover design. One of the mixtures was nutritionally balanced and contained tryptophan and the other was identical except it contained no tryptophan. After drinking the tryptophan-free mixture, ten of the 15 women experienced temporary but clinically significant depressive symptoms. No changes in mood were seen after taking the nutritionally balanced mixture containing tryptophan.
  • Immune Booster
    There is a growing body of evidence indicating that the amino acid tryptophan plays a pivotal role in the immune system. In a study on mice it was found that tryptophan metabolites (molecules formed as the body breaks down the amino acid), work as well as any other existing medicines to alleviate symptoms of the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis.
  • Testosterone Booster
    The protein from organic turkey will help in maintaining optimum testosterone levels in men. The hormones used in industrial turkey might increase estrogen production and lower testosterone levels. Diets low in protein in elderly men may lead to elevated sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels and decreased testosterone bioactivity. The decrease in bioavailable testosterone can result in declines in sexual function and muscle and red cell mass, and contribute to the loss of bone density.
  • Insomnia
    The amino acid tryptophan plays a vital role in sleep and is effective in promoting sleep in cases of chronic insomnia.

Full article here

Quinoa (KEEN-wah): mother grain

Quinoa nutrition – why quinoa can help you lose weight and improve your health

Tara Green
Natural News
2011 November 10

Quinoa is native to South America. The pre-Columbian Incas saw it as a sacred food, calling it chisaya mama (mother grain). They planted the first seeds of the season in religious ceremonies using golden tools. Depriving the people of quinoa was one of the means the Spanish used to conquer the Incas. In recent years, people who value nutrition have begun to appreciate the wisdom of the Incas in esteeming this food which offers a host of health benefits.

Quinoa Protein

Technically, quinoa (KEEN-wah) is classified not as a grain but as a type of seed, that of the goosewort plant, a relative of spinach and chard. Quinoa provides a complete protein, making it especially valuable for those who prefer to reduce or completely eliminate animal protein from their diets. It contains all the essential amino acids, including lysine, which is crucial for growing and repairing body tissues. One cup of quinoa provides 9 grams of protein which is one more gram than a medium chicken egg (and unlike the egg, quinoa is unlikely to come from a factory farm).

Migraine Protection

Its high magnesium and riboflavin (B2) content make quinoa an excellent nutritional ally for migraine sufferers. Magnesium prevents the migraine pattern of constricting and rebound dilating of the blood vessels. Migraine sufferers who consume more magnesium in their diets have reported fewer headaches. Riboflavin’s ability to promote cellular energy production has a beneficial effect on energy, brain and muscle cells metabolism, providing further protection against migraine attacks.

Cardiovascular Health

Magnesium’s ability to relax blood vessels also means eating foods high in this mineral helps reduce hypertension, heart arrhythmias and ischemic heart disease.

Digestion and Detoxifying

This seed-like grain has prebiotic properties, feeding the beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract. Since it is easily digested, your body can readily access the vitamins and minerals it contains. Quinoa also provides a good source of insoluble fiber, promoting healthy elimination processes, helping maintain colon health and preventing the formation of gallstones. The folate and vitamin B in quinoa also boost the liver’s ability to eliminating toxins from the body. People at high risk for cancer, as well as those with high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease are often advised to eat more whole grains, yet if they have celiac disease or other forms of gluten sensitivities, they must steer clear of many popular grain products. Quinoa is gluten-free, so those who cannot tolerate gluten can eat it.

Full article here

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