Eat This Meat If You Want To Add More Protein To Your Diet

We all love choosing our destiny, and food gives a leg-up on doing just that. As the saying goes, you are what you eat. Fortunately, we have plenty of resources for keeping healthy and happy — it just takes a bit of effort to identify what we need. 

From endless supermarket food options to a wealth of nutrition intel, it's easy to find a healthy balance of vitamins, fats, fiber, carbohydrates, and more. But protein is an often-misunderstood nutrient.

The amino acids in protein serve as building blocks for many parts of the body, explains Piedmont Healthcare, including bones, muscles, skin, and cartilage. It fuels our cells, helps build and repair tissue, transports oxygen through the body, digests food, and regulates hormones. 

In more visibly practical ways, it contributes to overall fitness as it builds lean muscles and helps curb the appetite for healthy weight reduction. WebMD adds that antibodies created from consuming protein can help combat infection and illness.

Getting sufficient amounts of protein may seem easy. But there's one nutritional source that's often overlooked — except on major holidays. That would be fresh roasted turkey. Here's a look at this lean, protein-infused option for routine meals.

Gobble up turkey any day of the week

Turkeys get a whole lot of attention on winter holidays, even receiving official pardons from U.S. presidents on Thanksgiving. Lancaster Online notes that turkey legs have a presence on many Kwanza tables, and various religions incorporate some form of turkey recipes into food-based celebrations. 

But what about the rest of the year? The goodness of turkey, including its notable amount of protein, doesn't suddenly disappear after a couple of huge meals. Two thick slices of fresh turkey contain an impressive 24 grams of protein, per Healthline. This equates to 48% of the recommended daily value, which the FDA uses to define how much a nutrient contributes to a total healthy diet. 

White turkey meat tends to be slightly higher in protein than legs or thighs, which also contain more fat. Other iterations of the notorious big bird, including ground turkey, vary in nutritional values. Livestrong reveals that deli-style turkey cold cuts still contain a decent amount of protein, with about 4.2 grams in one ounce of lean deli turkey.

No matter how you slice and dice it, turkey delivers on the protein front. If fresh, whole birds are unavailable in your supermarket year-round, look for turkey legs and breasts, or check the freezer section. With the National Turkey Federation claiming a 2021 production of more than 216 million turkeys in the United States alone, those birds are definitely out there.