Turkey is always the main course on everybody’s mind over the holidays, but did you know that in 2017, the National Turkey Federation (yes, it’s a real organization) estimated that 44 million turkeys were consumed on Thanksgiving?

The consumption of turkey—a bird that Benjamin Franklin once referred to as “respectable” and a “Bird of Courage”—has actually doubled in the United States over the past 25 years. So if you indulge (or overindulge) this year, know that you’re not alone. 

But while the holiday season may feel like one giant cheat day, it doesn’t have to. Here are the surprising health benefits of the big bird at the table, so you and your family can gobble up guilt free.

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