Easy Turkey Meatloaf: A High-Protein Way to Beat Fatigue

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Justin Lam, ABAAHP, FMNM; Carrie Lam, MD


Eating a healthy turkey meatloafProtein is an essential part of your diet. It plays a significant role in building muscles, repairing damaged tissues, losing weight, and boosting energy levels. From growing children and athletes to seniors, everyone needs this vital nutrient for nourishment. However, in protein from animal sources, saturated fat can be a concern. Turkey meat is low in saturated fat, and it is a healthy source of protein, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B, and selenium. Turkey meatloaf is a healthy, easy and delicious way of including healthy protein in your diet.

Which Part of Turkey Is Best?

Especially enjoyed during the holidays, turkey is also popular as sandwich meat. It is a rich source of nutrition with several health benefits. Turkey has a low glycemic index, so it can help maintain healthy insulin and blood pressure levels.

Turkey meat comes in various forms – thighs, ground, minced, pre-packaged slices, tenderloins, and cutlets as well as the whole bird. Consider choosing organic turkey as they are not injected with antibiotics and growth hormones. If you are looking to cut down fat and calories, then consider going for skinless turkey.

Based on your taste you can choose which part of the turkey to eat. Some prefer the white meat found in the wings and breast portion. Others enjoy the rich flavor of the dark meat found in the thighs and legs. When compared to white meat, dark meat is slightly higher in nutrition and calories. It is always best to go for fresh turkey as it has fewer preservatives.

Turkey Benefits: Helping You Heal From Stress

What makes turkey meat stand out is that it is low in calories and fat, but rich in several essential nutrients. And, of course, it’s delicious. If you are looking for a good source of animal protein, then consider including turkey in your diet. Incorporating this delectable meat in your diet provides several health benefits. Rich in nutrients, turkey can help boost energy levels and provide relief from fatigue. Turkey meatloaf is one of the easiest ways of including this nutritious meat in your diet.

Feeling tired from an excessive workload is not unusual. However, if you frequently experience extreme fatigue along with symptoms of brain fog, insomnia, anxiety, difficulty in waking up, craving for salty and fatty foods, stubborn weight gain, and difficulty concentrating, you may have Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS). Other factors that can worsen AFS include exposure to environmental toxins, poor diet, trauma, food sensitivities, emotional or mental strain, or prolonged stress.

The NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response System is your body’s natural shield against stress. When your body confronts stressful situations, the NEM signals your adrenal glands to secrete the anti-stress hormone cortisol. However, constant stress can leave your adrenals overburdened. This causes a decrease in the level of cortisol secretions and reduces your body’s stress-fighting ability, thus leaving you feeling fatigued.

Food plays a significant role in adrenal fatigue recovery. Nutrient-dense turkey meatloaf can help recover from fatigue by nourishing and healing your adrenals.

Here are the benefits of turkey meat:

Packed with High-Quality Protein

Protein benefits of turkey meatloafWhen compared to red meat, turkey is a great source of high-quality protein as it has considerably less fat content and is low in calories. Eating turkey helps you maintain normal blood sugar levels and promotes heart and brain health. Most people with adrenal fatigue tend to suffer from stubborn weight gain as well as salty and fatty food cravings. Protein-rich foods like turkey aid effective weight loss and make you feel satiated thus reducing cravings.

Rich in Selenium

One three-ounce serving of turkey can help meet 27 percent of your daily recommended selenium requirement. Selenium works as a great antioxidant that helps boost immunity, supports the adrenal glands, and protects against heart disease. In fact, selenium deficiency can cause adrenal issues. The anticancer property of selenium helps to fight against free radicals and inflammation.

Better Sleep

If you have insomnia then eating turkey can be helpful. The meat is high in the amino acid tryptophan which helps regulate sleep. Several studies have linked eating turkey with better sleep and improved quality of sleep. Further, people who ate turkey reported falling asleep in less time. Adrenal fatigue sufferers with symptoms of insomnia should consider including turkey meat in their diet.

Promotes Weight Loss

AFS suffers often face stubborn weight gain. Being high in protein and low in calories, turkey can help shed pounds. Your body requires more calories for digesting protein. Thus when you eat high protein foods such as turkey meatloaf you burn more calories. Protein-rich foods can curb appetite by lowering the level of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. Further, research has linked a high protein diet with enhanced metabolism and a decrease in overall calorie intake.

Fights Depression

Turkey meat is rich in tryptophan which can boost the secretion of the neurotransmitter serotonin present in the brain, blood platelets, and digestive tract. Serotonin controls mood balance and helps fight depression. Studies have linked serotonin deficiency with increased risk of developing depression. Research shows tryptophan to be more effective in providing relief from depression than placebo. In another study from Quebec, it was found that tryptophan depletion caused a depressed mood in healthy women. Enjoying turkey meatloaf is a great way to keep depression at bay.

Incorporating Turkey Meat Into Your Diet

Thanksgiving is not complete without a delicious turkey on your plate. And turkey meat can be enjoyed all year as well. You can add chunks of turkey in your soup, curry, salad, rolls, sandwiches, and casseroles.

Turkey meatloaf dietTurkey meatloaf is one of the easiest ways to include this nutritious meat in your diet. The best part about this meatloaf recipe is that it is super healthy and super easy to prepare. You can always prepare the meatloaves in advance and store them in the refrigerator for about 2 – 3 days.

When compared to other meatloaf recipes, turkey meatloaf is always moist and loaded with flavor. Instead of making one large loaf, the recipe suggests smaller loaves. This cuts down on cooking time and ensures each meatloaf is properly cooked from inside. Serve with steamed vegetables or fresh veggies to make a complete healthy meal. Or simply wrap the meatloaves in whole grain tortillas along with some sliced vegetables and topped with ketchup for a yummy meal on the go.

Healthy Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

Ingredients A:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped

Ingredients B:

  • 1 lb 99% lean organic ground turkey
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 1 large organic egg
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs of your choice
  • ¼ cup low-sodium tomato ketchup
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients C:

  • 2 tbsp low-sodium tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Method:

  1. Set your oven to 350°.
  2. In a pan, sauté Ingredients A until translucent, then transfer into a mixing bowl.
  3. Add Ingredients B into the bowl and mix well. Divide the mixture into 3-4 equal portions and shape into loaves. Place the loaves on a non-stick baking pan.
  4. In a small bowl combine 2 tbsp ketchup and Worcestershire sauce and brush the mixture on the loaves to give them a nice glaze.
  5. Place the tray into the preheated oven. Bake uncovered for about 35-40 minutes until the meatloaves are browned and done from inside. After baking, allow five minutes standing time.

How Much Protein Should You Get?

The nutrients of turkey meatloafWhile protein is an essential nutrient for your body, too much of it can stress your hormones. The daily recommended calorie intake is 1500 to 1800 calories out of which 15 – 20 percent should be comprised of protein. When the calorie intake increases above the recommended level, then the related percentage of protein gets converted to fat. Protein overload can damage the pancreas, kidneys, and increase blood sugar levels. Having this turkey meatloaf as part of a balanced diet is a good way to get the amount of protein you need.

Conclusion

Protein is an essential nutrient that your body needs to keep going. Selecting high-quality protein is important for good health. When going for animal sources of protein, high saturated fat content is always an issue. However, turkey meat is a healthy source of protein loaded with several valuable nutrients including selenium and tryptophan. Eating turkey can help reduce fatigue, promote weight loss, enhance sleep, boost immunity, and fight depression. Turkey meatloaf is a delicious way to incorporating healthy protein into your diet.

 
© Copyright 2018 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.


Dr. Lam’s Key Question

Turkey meatloaf provides your body with good quality protein and other essential nutrients. Animal sources of protein should be restricted to three days per week. Further, protein intake should comprise of 15 – 20 percent of total recommended 1500 calorie per day. Consider combining protein with high glycemic index foods to reduce the overall glycemic index.


Turkey Meatloaf