Chicken is one of the better meats for your protein source, which is also the most consumed protein source after red meat.
Chicken up to twice or thrice a week is good for you. Chicken, along with fish and turkey, is white meat and often recommended for a healthy lifestyle. Your chicken intake in your daily meals can be in many different healthy ways such as baking or grilling chicken breast or serving it with a variety of sauces and vegetables. It is, however, important that this chicken be skinless and certainly not fried.
People even eat chicken up to 5 and 6 times a week. As long as the chicken is cooked healthily and eaten in limited portions, it will not be health hazard. For a 1600 calorie meal, about 2 portions of 2 ounce chicken servings are usually served in one day. Instead of consuming chicken as protein every day, you can eat fish, beans, legumes or tofu.
Eating chicken at every meal, especially processed chicken or fried chicken, defeats the purpose of having healthy meal. Often fried chicken is not only loaded with trans fats but is also fried with the skin on adding to the cholesterol and fat count of the meal. Eating too much of anything is bad and that applies to chicken as well.
Here are some of the health benefits chicken has to offer-
1. One of the best sources of proteins
Protein is made of amino acids that are building blocks of our muscles. Chicken is known to be one of the best sources of proteins that are also responsible for the building and maintenance of other structures in the body like cells and bones along with the breakdown of toxins.
2. May prove to be anti-depressant
Chicken is an excellent source of an amino acid called tryptophan that gives you a sense of relief and comfort. Eating some of this delight may increase the serotonin levels in your brain, further enhancing your mood. No wonder, chicken makes for a comfort food for many.
3. May have disease fighting compounds
Chicken is an excellent source of selenium, an antioxidant that is thought to have positive effects on degenerative diseases including inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular and neurological problems. It is also known to fight cell-damaging free radicals.
4. Regulates and maintains cholesterol levels
Chicken contains vitamin B3, also known as niacin, which is responsible for converting carbohydrates to energy and maintaining healthy body cells. It has also shown to reduce cholesterol levels and risk of heart diseases in those who have high cholesterol.
5. Stimulates your body’s metabolic activity
The presence of vitamin B6 or pyridoxine helps in the metabolic process of carbohydrates and proteins. Without this vitamin, your nervous system, metabolism and immune system cannot function properly.
While chicken may be healthy, it is recommended to be cautious in choosing the right piece from the right source. It may cause food poisoning due to the presence of salmonella, bacteria that generally cause food-borne illnesses. Enjoy chicken that is baked, roasted or boiled but definitely not fried as it may only reverse its health benefits.