VincoNutrition Week 2 – Turkey

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VincoNutrition is a new concept formulated by VincoSport’s Emma Cluley and Michelle Sammet. Just as important as the right training in an athlete’s life is a healthy diet. It doesn’t matter if you are an Olympian or just like to go for a run occasionally, fact is, your body is like an engine and requires fuel to keep going.

Often enough people stick to what they know when it comes to food and are afraid to try out something new. We will introduce you to one healthy ingredient each week, provide you with delicious recipe ideas and give you the chance to share your favourite healthy meals with the world.

Week 2: Triple-jump to new distances with TURKEY

It may well be that turkey is seen typically as the festive delicacy; only ever becoming a feature on your plate between a hazy delirium of mince-pies and brandy butter.

In fact, you may completely disregard the naturally low-fat protein form; preferring essentially, to substitute for chicken.

But by taking such a negative stance, you could be depriving your body of a treasure-chest of nutrients that could stand you in good stead for that personal best performance.

A 5-ounce serving provides almost half of the recommended daily allowance of folic acid and is a excellent source of vitamins B, B1,B6, potassium and zinc; the latter promoting a healthy immune system. The meat has also made the grade to join an exclusive group of foods that help to maintain desirable post-meal insulin levels. This control will prevent the characteristic ‘slump’ in energy; rendering us helpless when it comes to reaching for a sugary snack soon after.

The heart-healthy white-meat is a very good source of niacin and immune-supportive selenium. In addition, it is widely accepted as a generous harbour of energy-enhancing phosphorus.

Those involved in the more explosive events may find it useful to know there’s also a compound in Turkey meat known as beta alanine which new research suggests helps with anaerobic exercise and may help reduce the build-up of lactic acid; allowing athletes to continue at a high intensity for longer.

So sprinters take note, simply switching from chicken to a lean turkey steak not only saves unnecessary calories, but could buy you the extra 1/100th of a second needed to pip your rivals to the post.

Whether hot or cold, grilled or roasted in rosemary, turkey is a delicate yet versatile addition to the dinner table.

Here is just one way you can incorporate turkey untraditionally into your summer menu…

 Tikka Turkey Kebabs

Ingredients (serves 4):

450g/1lb fresh diced turkey thigh
300ml/½pt virtually fat free natural yoghurt
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon paprika pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Fresh herbs to garnish
Kebab skewers to serve
Lemon wedges and parsley sprigs to garnish

Cooking guidelines:

1. Mix the yoghurt with the garlic, paprika, cumin and lemon juice.

2. Place the diced turkey into a shallow dish and pour over the yoghurt mixture. Cover lightly and leave to marinate in the fridge for as long as possible, (overnight is ideal). Stir occasionally during marinating.

3. When ready to cook, preheat grill to high setting and line the grill rack a suitable cover (tin foil)

4. Thread the diced turkey onto the skewers and place under the grill.

5. Cook on both sides for 2 minutes before reducing the heat and continuing to grill for 10-12 minutes (or until thoroughly cooked).

6. Garnish with lemon wedges and…enjoy.

Energy (Kcals) 160
Carbohydrates (g) 6.5
Protein (g) 27.3
Sugars (g) 6
Total fat (g) 3.1
Salt (g) 0.4
Saturated fat (g) 1
Fibre(g) 0

EXTRA: For a tasty carbohydrate-containing accompaniment, serve with warm baguette slices and garnish with a fresh salad of iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes a spoonful of vibrant sweet corn and a handful of chopped red pepper.