chicken healthy? This question often pops in my mind majorly because it is one of my favourite foods and I tend to enjoy it almost on a daily basis and in forms more than one- be it fried, grilled or roasted. While for most it may be a staple in their diet, some may just like to savour occasionally. It has surely made its way to being one of the most favourite foods. Not only does it taste heavenly, but has plenty of health benefits to offer. It is known to be full of essential nutrients that your body requires, some of which may include proteins, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
According to Dr. Zamurrud Patel, Consultant Dietician at Global Hospitals Mumbai, "Chicken is a great source of protein, B vitamins, vitamin A and D and minerals like phosphorus and iron. One can eat chicken on a daily basis; however, it is good to use cooking methods like boiling, grilling, roasting or baking rather than frying as it can lead to various health problems. People with kidney problems, chronic heart disease and dyslipidemia should avoid its intake."'(Also read: 10 Simple Ways To Keep Your Chicken Moist And Flavourful)
Chicken is a great source of protein, B vitamins, vitamin A and D and minerals
Here's the nutritional value of chicken as suggested by Dr. Patel,
Per 100 gram edible portion - Chicken breast skinless
- Calories - 168 Kcal
- Protein - 21.8 gm
- Fats - 9 gm
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.
(Also Read : 6 Foods That May Cause Depression And Related Symptoms! )
Chicken is an excellent source of an amino acid called tryptophan
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.
(Also Read : A Novel Antibody That Can Help in Lowering 'Bad' Cholesterol )
Chicken contains vitamin B3, also known as niacin
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.