Whether you’re looking for a quick bite of information or want to drop some knowledge on your dinnertime companions, here’s our Featured 5 of the Week!
March 19th is National Poultry Day! And, what better way to celebrate than to talk about one of the healthiest proteins we eat – chicken!
5. It’s a lean protein
We seek to add various lean proteins to our regular balanced diet because they contain less fat and are great sources of nutrients. Chicken is an excellent example of a lean protein because 3 ounces of skinless chicken contains about 17-24 grams of protein with only about 3.5 grams of fat. Chicken with the skin on is around 40 more calories than skinless and has 8 grams of fat.
4. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals
We want to eat food with vitamins and minerals because it’s the vitamins and minerals that fuel our bodies. Chicken contains vitamin B3 and B12, niacin, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and of course, protein. All are essential in our bodies!
3. It’s essential for our brain and nervous system
Chicken contains one B vitamin called choline. Choline accelerates the body’s creation of acetylcholine, which is crucial for brain cell functioning. Eating chicken can also improve memory and help with other brain and nervous system functions.
It’s essential to eat chicken or turkey at least twice per week to obtain these brain benefits.
2. It’s good for our bones and muscles
Due to its high protein quality, chicken is vital in maintaining good bone density and building muscle. We’ve all had trainers tell us to eat protein after a workout. That’s because it helps build muscle. When the protein is lean with less fat, like chicken, it’s even better because it builds muscle with less fat.
1. It can help protect us from diet-related illnesses
We know that chicken is a nutrient-dense food and contains a lot of essential vitamins and minerals. This makes chicken valuable in our diets and also crucial in protecting ourselves from diseases, such as obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. One study found that consuming chicken as part of a vegetable-rich diet led to a decreased risk of developing these diet-related illnesses. And, since chicken is less expensive, it’s helpful in developing countries and our own.
Looking for chicken recipes that are both healthy and delicious? Check out our favorites below:
- Healthier General Tso’s Chicken
- Chicken Caprese Spaghetti
- Lemon Pappardelle with Chicken and Spinach
The Bottom Line
Chicken is essential in our diets. It gives us proteins, aids in brain functioning, and prevents diet-related illnesses.