Is there any benefit to eating turkey for perimenopause?
Turkey is one of the most iconic dishes served during the holidays, especially Thanksgiving. Its history dates back centuries ago when Native Americans shared wild turkeys with the first settlers in America. Today, turkey remains an important part of the Thanksgiving meal, providing a filling and delicious centerpiece to the dinner table.
Thankfully (pun intended) turkey is an incredibly nutritious food that offers a variety of health benefits.
Turkey is a lean source of protein and provides an array of essential nutrients such as zinc, selenium, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamins B6 and B12. It also contains high amounts of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps to produce serotonin and melatonin.
Let’s take a look at how these nutrients benefit women in perimenopause and menopause.
But first let’s define perimenopause and post-menopuase. Perimenopause means the time leading up to menopause and can last from four to eight years. Menopuase is one year after your last period. Post-menopause means the time after menopause and can last for several years. During these periods, women may experience physical and emotional changes due to hormone fluctuations.
A. Improves Mood and Cognitive Function
Eating turkey is beneficial in improving mood and cognitive function. Turkey is an excellent source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps the body produce serotonin–the neurotransmitter responsible for creating feelings of happiness.
It is also a great source of B vitamins, which are essential for healthy brain and cognitive function. Eating turkey has been linked to improved focus, concentration, and memory during perimenopause.
The zinc found in turkey is important for hormones related to regulating mood.
B. Helps to Reduce Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
Eating turkey can be a helpful way to reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes and night sweats during perimenopause. It’s the high levels of tryptophan found in turkey that boosts serotonin levels and the high levels of zinc that help reduce the severity of hot flashes in perimenopause.
C. May Help Normalize Blood Sugar and Reduce Weight Gain
Turkey is packed with protein and helps to boost metabolism, which can promote weight loss. The combination of lean protein plus healthy fats found in turkey can help to regulate blood sugar levels, which can help reduce cravings and prevent overeating. Stable blood sugar can also reduce mood swings and other symptoms associated with perimenopause.
D. May Improve Sleep Quality
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in regulating your body’s sleep-wake cycle. Low levels of serotonin can result in insomnia and other sleep disturbances. Eating turkey, which is rich in tryptophan, helps to boost serotonin production. This will help to regulate your internal clock and promote better quality sleep during perimenopause. Additionally, the high levels of B vitamins found in turkey help to increase energy during the day and promote better rest at night. Ultimately, this will lead to improved sleep quality and a decrease in insomnia symptoms associated with perimenopause.
E. May Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer
The zinc, selenium, and other vitamins and minerals found in turkey have antioxidant properties that help to reduce inflammation, which can decrease the risk of developing breast cancer. Additionally, the lean protein helps to regulate insulin levels, which is important for overall health as well as reducing the risk of certain types of cancers. Finally, tryptophan helps to boost serotonin levels, which can help reduce stress and promote better quality sleep. Both of these factors may also help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
F. Improve Bone Health
Turkey is a great source of zinc, which helps to promote the production of collagen and elastin in bones. Turkey meat contains high amounts of calcium and phosphorus, both of which are vital for maintaining bone health. This can help women during perimenopause by preventing osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions.
G. Reduce heavy bleeding and iron deficiency anemia
Turkey is a great source of iron and other key nutrients, which can help to reduce heavy bleeding due to menstrual cycles during perimenopause. Iron helps the body produce healthy red blood cells, which can help reduce symptoms of anemia such as fatigue and dizziness. Additionally, the vitamin B6 found in turkey helps regulate hormones like estrogen and progesterone, which can help reduce heavy bleeding associated with perimenopause. Finally, the tryptophan found in turkey helps to boost serotonin levels and improve mood–which can help reduce the physical and emotional toll that heavy bleeding can have on women during perimenopause.
So there you have it.
Turkey is an excellent food choice for women during perimenopause or post-menopause. Eating turkey can be a great way to boost your mood, reduce hot flashes and night sweats, normalize blood sugar levels, improve sleep quality, reduce the risk of breast cancer and iron deficiency anemia, as well as promote better bone health. Take advantage of this delicious holiday staple to help support your health journey through stages of perimenopause and beyond.
I share my Crispy Roasted Turkey recipe in my Holiday Cookbook – if you like a delicious crispy outside and tender and juicy inside, you are going to LOVE this recipe!
Not making a big turkey this thanksgiving? I have alternative recipes for you as well.
Happy Eating! 🙂