Chicken is an eatable domesticated fowl widely used by the people as a healthy food (meat and eggs). Any form of the like chicken soup, chicken chili, chicken stew, chicken breast as salad, chicken broth and etc. It is high in calories, low in fat, high in protein and high in nutrients and vitamins which makes it an ideal food for weight maintenance. It is very safe, healthy and light food if any vegetarian want to start eating non-vage food. Fried chicken has lees health benefits whereas boiled one has many more.
Benefits of Chicken
Chicken can be eaten in variety of dishes by the people to get proper nourishment and health benefits. It has lots of nutritional health benefits as it contains high protein, vitamins, minerals, calorie and low fat level. Some of the health benefits of eating chicken are mentioned below:
Benefits of Chicken for Weight Management
High Protein Food
- It is high protein and low fat diet which helps in nourishing the muscles and provide better growth and development to the body as well as supports in maintaining healthy body weight and aids weight loss.
Contains Polyunsaturated Fats
- It contains 2 to 3 times more polyunsaturated fats (good type of fat) than the red meat thus helps in managing weight.
Benefits of Chicken for Brain
- It acts as a good natural anti-depressant due to the presence of high level of tryptophan, which is an amino acid having mind relaxing property and provides comfort feeling if eaten a big bowl of mom’s chicken soup.
- It increases the serotonin level in the brain of person feeling depressed, enhances mood level and blasts out the stress by stimulating sleep.
- It contains vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) which has calming effect on the nerves thus reduces the stress level.
Prevents Dangerous Brain Diseases
- Niacin and selenium (antioxidant-rich nutrients) found in it prevents from the dangerous brain disease called Alzheimer’s disease.
Benefits of Chicken for Bone and Teeth
Prevents Bone Loss
- It helps in preventing bone loss among senior citizens people. It prevents from the old age bone problems like osteoporosis and arthritis. Adding chicken in the diet helps in fighting with bone loss as it is protein packed diet.
Contains Essential Minerals
- It contains high level of phosphorus and calcium which are essential minerals required for the normal growth and development of the teeth and bones.
Maintains Health of Major Organs
- It also helps in maintaining the health and functioning of major organs like liver, kidney and central nervous system.
Reduces Risk of Arthritis
- Selenium mineral found in it cuts the risk of arthritis in the later stages of life.
Benefits of Chicken for Heart Health/Benefits of Chicken Breast
Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
- It, chicken breast, is very beneficial for the heart health as it suppresses the high level of an amino acid called homocysteine (high level can cause cardiovascular diseases, cardiac arrest).
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
- It contains cholesterol however niacin found in it helps in lowering the bad blood cholesterol level.
- It contains good amount of dietary fibers which helps in lowering the blood cholesterol level (LDL) as well as improving the quality of triglycerides in the blood thus reduces the risk of heart problems.
Maintains Health of Heart Muscles
- Its high level protein contains sulfur-containing amino acids (cysteine and Methionine) and other type leucine, isoleucine and valine which are very important for maintaining the health of heart muscles like cardiac and skeletal muscles.
Contains Omega-3 Fatty Acid
- It contains omega-3 fatty acid (including EPA eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA docosahexaenoic acid) which has an anti-inflammatory effect to the cardiovascular system.
Rich Source of Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B6 found in it helps in the protein and red blood cells metabolism and prevents from the heart diseases.
Benefits of Chicken for Metabolic Performance
Rich Source of Selenium
- It enhances the metabolic performances as it contains abundant amount of selenium which is an essential mineral involved in maintaining the functioning of thyroid gland, hormone secretion, metabolism and immune functioning.
- It contains high level of vitamin B6 which acts as metabolism booster by encouraging enzymes and metabolic cellular reactions (methylation). It keeps blood vessels healthy, boosts energy level and burns calories so helps in managing healthy weight and stamina.
Benefits of Chicken for Cancer
Prevents DNA Damage
- It is rich in Niacin (vitamin B3) and selenium which guards the body against cancer and prevents from the genetic damage of DNA.
Benefits of Chicken for Eye
Promotes Eye Health
- Eating chicken on regular basis promotes the eye health as it contains high level of retinol, alpha carotene, beta carotene and lycopene (derivatives of vitamin A) which are required for the healthy eyesight.
Benefits of Chicken for Skin/Benefits of Chicken Liver
- It provides the healthy tissue growth in the body and prevents from the skin problems by nourishing the skin.
Prevents from Skin Problems
- It prevents from the chapped lips, tongue sores, cracked mouths, seasonal dry skin in winter and etc skin problems.
Repairs Dry and Damaged Skin
- It contains riboflavin (vitamin B2) found in chicken livers reduces the skin problems and enhances repairing of dry or damaged skin.
Source of B Group Vitamins
- It is an excellent source of other B group vitamins which are required for the skin health.
- Niacin found in it is the good source to the health of skin, nervous system and digestive tract. It helps in converting the food into energy and promoting the skin repair.
Other Health Benefits of Chicken
- Eating boiled chicken helps in building muscles as it is a lean meat having little fats and lots of proteins.
- 100 gm of the chicken breast provides half amount of the daily protein requirement.
- It increases appetite because of its zinc mineral availability which helps in maintaining the healthy appetite.
Reduces Risk of Heart Attack
- It is rich in vitamin B6 which reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke by lowering the homocysteine level.
- Eating organic chicken helps in reducing the risk of exposure to antibiotics and synthetic pesticides (harmful bacteria).
Benefits of Chicken for Women
Nourishes Weak Bones and Teeth
- It is very beneficial for the women having weak bones and teeth.
- It contains lots of trace minerals which help in boosting the immune system.
Reduces Pre-menstrual Stress
- It soothes the PMS symptoms among women as its good level of magnesium mineral helps in coping with the pre menstrual stress.
Maintains Hemoglobin Level
- It is the rich source of B12 thus helps women to maintain the blood hemoglobin level and prevents from the anaemia.
Benefits of Chicken for Men
Regulates Testosterone Level
- It spikes the testosterone levels among men as it contains zinc mineral which helps in regulating the testosterone level (male hormone).
Benefits of Chicken for Children
Provides Better Growth and Development to Kids
- It provides better growth and development to the growing children as it contains lots of amino acids helping the children to grow taller and stronger.
Benefits of Chicken Soup/Broth/Bone Broth
Fights with Cold and Cough
- Drinking chicken soup (prepared by boiling chicken in the pepper soup) is very good home remedy for fighting with cold and cough.
Relieves Nasal Congestion
- Chicken soup helps in relieving from the nasal congestion and eases the nasal secretions flow.
Relieves Sore Throat
- It also inhibits the inflammatory responses which lead to the sore throats.
Makes Cough Easy to Pass Out
- It contains an amino acid called cysteine which helps in thinning out the lungs mucous and make it easier to pass out.
Source of Essential Minerals
- It contains easily absorbable magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and other minerals.
Fights with Degenerative Joint Diseases
- It contains gelatin which is very beneficial for the cartilage health and helps in fighting with degenerative joint diseases. It is also beneficial for the connective tissue growth thus helps in the growth of fingernails and hair.
Improves Digestion and Prevents Gastrointestinal Illness
- Bone broth helps in the digestion and protects from the gastrointestinal illness as gelatin found in it acts as a neutralizer for the intestinal poisons and relieves from diarrhea.
Boosts Immunity System
- It boosts the immune system thus prevents from many infections and diseases.
Benefits of Chicken Egg
Regulates Blood Sugar Level
- Eating egg whites on regular basis helps in regulating the blood sugar level and lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Keeps Skin and Joints Healthy
- It contains an antioxidant called selenium which helps in maintaining the health of skin and joints.
Prevents from various Disorders
- Eating eggs on regular basis reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, mood disorders, cataracts, migraine, PMS symptoms and headache.
Improves Hair Growth
- It contains biotin which is very essential for hair growth.
Benefits of Chicken Breast
Good Source of Lean Protein
- Skinless chicken breast is the good source of lean protein which is best for weight management, heart diseases prevention and protection from type 2 diabetes.
Best Food for Muscle, Skin, Joints and Hair
- Chicken breast contains selenium (antioxidant) which maintains the health of skin and joints, niacin prevents from cataracts, zinc prevents from macular degeneration and hair loss.
- Bone broth prevents from the infections like cold and flu.
Reduces Pain and Inflammation
- It helps in reducing the joint pain and inflammations.
- Glycine found in it has calming effects and induces better sleep.
Benefits of Chicken Salami
Chicken salami is special dish prepared using chicken meat. It is very high calorie diet rich in the vitamins (B group vitamins including B12), minerals and protein however it contains less carbohydrate. It is full of fat, cholesterol and sodium, so it needs to take care while eaten by the people with problems like diabetes and heart disease. You may gain weight very fast.
Benefits of Chicken Sausage
Chicken Sausage (prepared using ground chicken meat, salt and spices in the roll like structure) is very high calorie food having unhealthy fat and sodium which is harmful to the people already suffering from the heart and diabetic problems however it contains high protein and iron. It is also helps in weight gain very fast. It increases the risk of bowel cancer by 20% to 25%, hypertension and etc as it is highly processed food.
Benefits of Chicken Feet
Chicken feet has lots of another health benefits as it high amount of collagen which helps in preventing from the early aging and maintaining the younger look. It is also very effective in controlling the high blood pressure. It is very beneficial for the skin looking healthy and younger. It is rich in calcium and protein as well as strengthens blood vessels by enhancing blood supply. It slows down the effects of arthritis and helps the body to metabolize fat more quickly thus manages weight. It also contains cartilage which easily gets absorbed by the body and reduces arthritis effects and joints pain.
Benefits of Chicken Essence during Pregnancy
Chicken essence is a chicken juice prepared by boiling the bones of chicken at high to medium temperature for at least 2 hours in order to pull out the chicken essence. It contains lots of nutritional supplements having no cholesterol and fat. It is beneficial to the pregnant women and her baby. It comes in readymade packets however it can be easily prepared at home. It is very healthy drink to women getting pregnant or already pregnant as it removes tiredness and other pregnancy problems.
Benefits of Chicken Liver in Pregnancy and Babies
Chicken liver is good source of protein, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B12, folates and iron which are very essential nutrients for both pregnant women and children. It prevents from pernicious anemia, maintains good eyesight, increases fertility level, prevent infant from neural tube defects, provide better growth of body tissues, prevents mouth soreness, maintains functioning of thyroid gland, prevents from stress, boost body immune system, prevents from pellagra, maintain health of skin, hair, nails, gums, teeth and bones. However, eating lots of chicken liver should be avoided by the pregnant women and heart patients as it contains lots of cholesterol (100 mg of chicken liver contains 535 milligrams of cholesterol whereas daily recommended amount of cholesterol is only 200 to 300 mg).
Benefits of Chicken Skin
Chicken contains lots of saturated fat which may add weight to the body so if you are dieting avoid eating chicken with its skin. If you are not dieting then you can consume chicken with its skin without any problem. It is always avoided by the person having heart problems as it increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, stroke and cancer. It also contains lots of sodium which causes abdominal bloating and heart problems.
Nutritional Benefits of Cooked Chicken Meat with Skin per 100 g
(Source: USDA Nutrient database)
Energy: 219 kcal
Total Fat: 12.56 g
Saturated Fat: 3.500 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 4.930 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.740 g
Protein: 24.68 g
Water: 63.92 g
Cholesterol: 78 mg
Tryptophan: 0.276 g
Threonine: 1.020 g
Isoleucine: 1.233 g
Leucine: 1.797 g
Lysine: 2.011 g
Methionine: 0.657 g
Cystine: 0.329 g
Phenylalanine: 0.959 g
Tyrosine: 0.796 g
Valine: 1.199 g
Arginine: 1.545 g
Histidine: 0.726 g
Alanine: 1.436 g
Aspartic acid: 2.200 g
Glutamic acid: 3.610 g
Glycine: 1.583 g
Proline: 1.190 g
Serine: 0.870 g
Vitamin A: 44 μg
Pantothenic acid: 0.667 mg
Vitamin B-6: 10%
Vitamin B12: 3%
Niacin: 7.07 mg
Folic acid: 10 μg
Iron: 1.16 mg
Phosphorus: 176 mg
Zinc: 2.24 mg
Selenium: 23.6 mcg
Sodium: 67 mg
Potassium: 166 mg
How to Select and Store Chicken
Always buy solid and plump shapes chicken having rounded breast if purchasing whole chicken. It buying the chicken parts, it should be pliable on gentle press. Avoid buying bad smelled chicken or expired date chicken. Avoid buying spotted skinned chicken. Buy white or yellowish colored chicken looking opaque.
If buying frozen chicken, it should be solid without any ice deposits on it. Avoid buying frozen chicken containing frozen liquid in its packet which indicates that it has been defrosted and the refrozen. Always buy organic chicken to avoid the bad effects of inorganic chemicals and pesticides.
Chicken can be frozen for many days or weeks in the refrigerator. Wash well the chicken under running water, let it dry and wrap it in the aluminum foil or freezer paper very carefully to make the packet airtight freeze the chicken even for months. Try to buy light meat (chicken breast) instead of dark meat (chicken leg) to get prevented from the bad effects of more fat.
How to Enjoy Chicken
Chicken can be enjoyed in many ways such as fried, roasted, grilled, chicken roll, chicken salami, chicken soup, sauce, broth, bone broth, kema, tanduri, chicken curry, chicken salad and etc. Chicken salad is very famous dish eaten by the people in their lunch and dinner. Pieces of the chicken breast are added to the white bean chili to enhance its nutritional contents. Chicken tanduri can be enjoyed with lemon water juice, onion salad and green spicy chatni.
Disadvantages, Side Effects and Precautions of Chicken
Eating chicken irregularly or over limit may lead to the some serious health hazards, so it is very necessary to be well aware of its disadvantages, side effects and precautions as well. Some of the disadvantages, side effects and precautions are mentioned below:
- Raw chicken (whether it is organic or pasture-raised) increases the risk of bacterial contamination of Campylobacter, Listeria, Enterococcus and Salmonella that’s why it should be well washed (before cooking) under the running water as well as wash hands with soap very well after washing chicken.
- Chicken eggs also create the risk of bacterial contaminations. So it should be well cooked under high temperature.
- Chicken liver is nutrients loaded food but it contains high cholesterol and sodium level so should be avoided eating much by the person with kidney, heart problems or pregnant women. Healthy people too eat within limit very carefully.
- Chicken meat contains purines (naturally found in the animals, plants and humans) which may cause purine-related health problems in the person susceptible to it. , excessive intake of these substances can cause health problems. It makes uric acid which accumulated in the body especially at joints and cause gout and kidney stones.
- Excess chicken meat consumption enhances the risk of acute coronary syndrome which causes plaque and blood clot formation even heart attack and failure.
- It is better to discard the chicken skin before consumption as it is so fatty and cause heavy weight gain.
- Avoid eating inorganic chicken to be prevented from the harmful insecticides or pesticides.
- Commercially raised chickens are grown up using drugs and additives like injected salt (monosodium glutamate) which enhances the risk of hypertension, atherosclerosis and other circulatory problems.
How Much Chicken per Day
Eating how much chicken on daily basis depends on the age, weight, sex and heath condition of the person. Eating anything within limit is good for health and weight whereas overeating may lead to the serious health conditions and food poisoning. It can be eaten 300 mg to 500 mg on daily basis by the healthy person to get the required amount of protein and other nutrients.
Find the Benefits of other Similar Non-Vegetarian Foods