Read about the nutrition facts, health benefits, nutritional value and calories found in Turkey

Turkey Nutrition

What is the first word that strikes you when you hear the word, “Thanksgiving”? Without any second thoughts, it must be turkey. Turkey, originally a native of United States, holds an iconic status in the American culture. In the US, it has become synonymous with the Thanksgiving festival and is associated with family celebrations. On special occasions, like Christmas and Thanksgiving, turkey gives an opportunity to the entire family to sit around the large roasted bird and enjoy the soft meat while sharing some memorable moments. With the increase in health awareness, people have now started looking for alternatives to red meat, and turkey perfectly fits into this category. Being a rich source of essential nutrients, turkey is a healthy choice that can be savored anytime throughout the year and is not just a festival delicacy. The less saturated fat and calories make it a good life-giving source. Bake, broil or sauté in some healthy oil, you have a tempting and succulent cut of nutritious turkey to feast on. Baste it with some broth, lemon or orange juice for that taste enhancement. Moving ahead are some amazing health benefits of gorging on to this delicious bird.



Turkey is believed to be a native to the United States and Mexico. The bird has been a part of the traditional culture of Americans for centuries. When Christopher Columbus returned back to Europe from the New World, he brought turkeys along with him. By the 16th century, turkeys were popularly domesticated in Italy, France and England. In the beginning, turkeys were reserved for banquet tables of royalty, but later they became popular amongst other classes of the society. Turkey has been so significant in American culture that the very thought of turkey itself brings forth images of pilgrims and Thanksgiving dinners. Historians believe that Benjamin Franklin wanted turkey to be the national bird of America but got upset when the eagle was chosen instead. The place of the turkey in American culture is pretty established; it is an icon of America and was even a part of the first meal that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin enjoyed on the moon. The top producers and consumers of turkey include Israel, the United States, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada and the Netherlands, currently.


Health Benefits of Peru (Turkey)


  • Animal meat foods, such as chicken, pork and beef, are high in saturated fats that can be harmful for the body cholesterol level. Researchers state that consuming light skinless, roasted turkey can be beneficial since it contains less saturated fat, less total fat, and less cholesterol compared to chicken, pork or beef.

  • Turkey contains the essential trace mineral selenium which is important for the healthy functioning of the thyroid and immune system. Selenium plays a significant role in the antioxidant defense system and effectively helps in eliminating cancer-friendly free radicals in the body.

  • The selenium content in turkey acts as an antioxidant by preventing cellular damage caused by free radicals, stimulating metabolism, and reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

  • Being a good source of essential amino acid tryptophan, turkey plays a vital role in promoting the immune system. Studies prove that tryptophan is very effective in alleviating symptoms of the autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis.

  • Turkey provides great amount of protein which helps in maintaining optimum testosterone levels in men. Inadequate intake of protein in elderly men may lead to elevated sex hormone-binding globulin levels and decreased testosterone bioactivity. This can further result in decline in sexual function and muscle and red cell mass, thereby contributing to the loss of bone density.

  • Turkey is a low carb food and scores low on the glycemic index scale. It helps in regulating blood sugar levels of the body and moving the food through the digestive tract at a steady pace.

  • Zinc, found in turkey, is a powerful antioxidant that plays several roles in the body. Assisting in healing the wounds, maximizing insulin sensitivity in the body’s cells, supporting sperm production, strengthening the bones, protecting against prostate cancer, reducing stress levels and supporting good mental health are some benefits provided by the zinc mineral.

  • Turkey is a great source of the essential amino acid, tryptothan which effectively treats chronic insomnia and promotes sleep.

  • Tryptothan present in turkey produces serotonin, a neurotransmitter that improves your mood. Besides, it facilitates in strengthening the immune system.


Nutritional Value & Calories In Turkey 

Amount (light meat): 3 oz

Weight: 85 g

Basic Components

19 g


62.7 g


0.9 g


55 mg


Total Calories


Calories From Fats


Calories From Proteins

Fats & Fatty Acids

Total Fat

3.4 g

Saturated Fat

937 mg

Monounsaturated Fat

1.2 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

808 mg

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

60 mg

Omega-6 Fatty Acids

663 mg


Vitamin A

2.6 IU


47 mcg


101 mcg


4.7 mg

Vitamin B6

443 mcg


6.5 mcg

Vitamin B12

0.37 mcg

Pantothenic Acid

559 mcg


10 mg


1 mg


22 mg


164 mg


240 mg


50 mg


1.3 mg


72 mcg


16 mcg


20 mcg


How many calories in turkey (per 100 gm)

Turkey has about 133 calories per 100 gm of weight.


How to Buy Turkey


  • Frozen turkeys are available at the supermarkets across the year, though you can opt for a fresh turkey also by informing the grocer a few days in advance.

  • Always buy turkeys that are organically fed as they will provide you healthy food, without any unhealthy contaminants. Look for the label, “pasture fed” or you can ask the dealer about the conditions in which they are kept.

  • Select a turkey with a smooth, creamy, soft texture, free from any kind of bruises or torn skin.

  • While purchasing turkey meat, select turkey breasts with the skin still intact instead of skinned turkey breasts. Remove the skin from the breasts only after cooking as it will enhance the moisture, flavor, and aroma of the turkey.


Turkey Storage Tips


  • Fresh turkey should be brought back home as soon as possible. It should be stored in the coldest sections of the refrigerator.

  • If the store packaging is intact and secure, do not disturb it as this will reduce the amount of handling. In case of insecure packaging, rewrap it securely before storing.

  • Raw turkey can be kept fresh in the refrigerator for one or two days, while cooked turkey will last for about four days.

  • You can also store fresh turkey in the freezer where it will last for about two months. Cooked turkey can also be frozen for up to one month. To retain its moisture, freeze the cooked meat in turkey or chicken broth.

  • It is highly recommended that you store turkey meat separately from any stuffing or gravy you have prepared.

  • While storing raw turkey, make sure that it does not come in contact with other foods, especially those that will be served uncooked or raw. Follow basic steps like washing the cutting board, utensils and your hands well with hot soapy water after handling the turkey.

  • Defrost a frozen turkey in the refrigerator and not at room temperature. Turkey should be placed on a plate to collect any liquid dripping.

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