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Chicken nutrition is taken for granted because people eat poultry all the time. What many don’t realize is that this tasty bird is packed with essential nutrients. Whether you like it baked, roasted or boiled, enjoying chicken regularly holds many benefits for your health.
Chicken Nutrition Benefits
Chicken is one the top sources of healthy protein. It contains more than half the amount of protein the average person needs a day. This is one of the reasons it is so filling. Protein has a satiating effect and can therefore keep you satisfied for much longer than carbohydrates.
Chicken nutrition is also beneficial for developing new muscle. This is why people who exercise regularly increase their intake. In addition to muscle-building, protein also accelerates recovery from injuries by strengthening the immune system.
Before you can benefit from protein, the body needs to break it down to amino acids first. A lot of foods provide some amino acids but not others. Chicken, on the other hand, provides a range of amino acids and also contains vitamin B6 to produce the acids your body might be lacking.
Vitamin B6 is also a natural immune-booster. It strengthens the body’s barrier against disease and promotes the production of antibodies to fight against illness. This vitamin is also known for boosting mental health.
Another star nutrient in chicken’s nutritional profile is selenium. Selenium is a mineral that is sometimes used to treat thyroid problems. It also provides protection for your cells, boosting overall immunity to improve your wellbeing.
Do you have trouble getting rid of stubborn fat? Chicken contains a vitamin called niacin that can help your body burn and use fat more efficiently. It also does the same with sugars, helping to normalize blood sugar levels and energy.
Chicken Nutrition Tips
Some people prefer whole chickens and others like specific parts. How you eat chicken matters because different parts contain varying amounts of nutrients, fat and calories. The liver, for instance, has more vitamin A and zinc than other parts. Chicken breasts contain more protein and gizzards more iron.
Chicken is very easy to prepare. It can be boiled in water or broth, stuffed with herbs and roasted in the oven, steamed or cooked to a crisp on a grill. Frying chicken is not recommended because oil contains saturated and trans fats that contribute to heart disease.
When preparing the meat, try to avoid salty or sweet seasoning, stuffing and dressing. These extras add unnecessary sugars to your diet. Some contain a lot of sodium, which is not good for your blood pressure.
The best seasoning is the organic kind. Try to get hold of fresh herbs and spices like sage, parsley, basil, ground pepper and sea salt. If you are going to stuff a chicken, choose vegetable stuffing with plenty of greens. Lemon and oranges can be surprisingly tasty too.
The next time you shop for a bird at the grocery store, search for farm-raised varieties. This way, you can avoid meat that has been injected with steroids and other unhealthy hormones.