Protein is a macronutrient (meaning your body needs a lot of it) that is key for overall good health; it is a main building block in your body and it’s part of every cell. Protein is also used as fuel (energy) to maintain basic body functions.
Protein is made up of smaller parts called amino acids. Think of amino acids as individual train cars that link together to make up a train. There are 20 amino acids that are combined in various ways to make up different proteins.
Nine of those amino acids are essential, meaning that your body either can’t make them, or can’t make them in the amounts you need. That means that you have to get these essential amino acids from food. The remaining 11 amino acids come from food but can also be made in the body.
Animal foods, like turkey, have all nine essential amino acids in amounts that your body needs, so they are called “complete” proteins and are considered high quality.
Protein-containing foods are an important part of a nutritious diet. You might know that protein is important for building healthy muscles, but it’s so much more!
Check out some of the essential functions of protein:
The Recommended Daily Intake for protein for adults is 0.8g/kg. For a person weighing about 70 kg/154 lbs. for example, that would be 56 grams/2 ounces of protein. This amount is based on the minimal amount of protein needed to sustain body functions and prevent deficiency. However, mounting evidence suggests that for optimal health, you need more protein than previously thought. In fact, for additional health benefits research suggests you eat about 20 to 30 grams of protein at each meal. A 100-gram serving of turkey gives you about 30 grams of high quality protein.
A higher protein diet can help optimize health benefits such as muscle building, healthy aging, and weight management.
Protein Power Tip: Eating a snack with high quality protein (e.g. turkey, Greek yogurt, eggs) within two hours after exercise can help maximize muscle repair and growth so you’re ready to hit the gym, soccer field, hilly hiking trails or hot yoga studio again.
Protein Power Tip: Most of us load up on protein at dinner, but we don’t get enough at breakfast. Try stirring leftover turkey into a frittata, wrapping up ground turkey in a breakfast burrito or enjoying turkey sausages along side your eggs.
Protein Power Tip: Protein can help crush cravings. Eating protein at meals can help you to feel satisfied/full longer (i.e. satiety) and that can help you control your appetite and manage munchies.
Protein is found in varying amounts in all sorts of foods; however, it’s especially high in animal products such as turkey, eggs, fish, and Greek yogurt. Plant foods such as tofu, nuts and seeds and pulses (e.g. chickpeas, black beans) are also high in protein.
With 30 grams of high quality protein per 100-gram serving, enjoying turkey at your meals is an easy (and delicious) way to help meet your protein needs.
Protein is not just about quantity; quality also counts! And that’s good news for turkey lovers! Emerging research suggests that protein from animal sources, like turkey, is especially good at promoting lean muscle and improving satiety.
Not only is turkey an excellent source of high quality protein, but also it’s lean and nutrient-rich (meaning it has a whole lot of nutrients per calorie). Every bite of turkey is filled with health-boosting nutrients such as:
As a protein-rich food, turkey is a nutritional powerhouse. And that’s why we call it the Power Protein.