Foods that reduce stress: Turkey Breast

EasternWildTurkey

By Gary M. Stolz, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve talked about food that reduces stress before but I’m really looking forward this instalment of it because in this one I get to talk about one of my favourite types of food, turkey, more specifically the breast part. I can’t express how happy I am that turkey breast, a food I love, can actually help reduce stress, but there’s no point in me rambling so let’s talk about the benefits.

So turkey breast, why is it good for stress? Well apart from the delicious taste (if you’re vegetarian or vegan, you’re missing out) turkey is filled with an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan helps our body produce serotonin which makes us feel happy; it also regulates the feeling of hunger. So eating turkey is a good if you want to go on a diet since you don’t  need to eat that much to feel full, which is one of the biggest problems people who go on diets face and is one of the reasons they give up on diets (trust me I know, I’ve been through it myself).

A turkey sandwich can make a good snack when you’re feeling peckish in between meals and snacks by themselves are good way to help calm your nerves and relax you. I talk about that in one of my other posts; you can check it out here

Tryptophan can even be beneficial by itself. Back in 2006 a study was conducted which studied the effects tryptophan had on people with argumentative personalities. The researchers took a group of men and women with argumentative personalities (based on the results of personality tests) and gave them either tryptophan supplements or a placebo for 15 days. At the end of the 15 days those who took the tryptophan were observed to be more agreeable by their study partners when compared to those who were given the placebo. The results of the study were later published in the Journal of Psychiatry Neuroscience , so if you want to check it out for yourself you can just click on the link.

Be careful though, while turkey does have its benefits there are cons to eating too much turkey. For example:

  • Turkey slices can be filled with high amounts of sodium
  • Pre-packaged turkey is filled with preservatives and other chemicals that you probably don’t want in your body
  • Turkey skin is very high in fat (which is sad because that is my favourite part)
  • Research suggests that consuming too much tryptophan can leave you very sleepy, not something you want all the time.

I’ll end this post with this, if you feel like adding turkey to your diet to help against stress and for something nice to eat, that’s fine, but you need to be smart about it. Remember, too much of anything is bad for you.

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