When it comes to animal protein, we recommend you opt for white poultry meat, such as chicken. A boneless, skinless chicken breast is an excellent source of low-fat protein. Clean protein contains many essential amino acids and is a good source of selenium (an antioxidant). Chicken also contains significant amounts of vitamin B6 or pyridoxine, which helps the body metabolize proteins and carbohydrates. Vitamin B3 (niacin) is also found in chicken and is responsible for converting carbohydrates into energy for your body.
Here are more health benefits of chicken:
Improves Immune System Function:
Chicken soup has long been used as a home remedy to relieve colds and other common respiratory infections. Chicken has plenty of trace minerals, which give a boost to the immune system. A study evaluating this effect suggested that chicken soup inhibits the migration of neutrophils, a type of immune cell, thereby preventing inflammation.
Helps Relieves Stress:
Chicken has two prominent nutrients that reduce stress: tryptophan and vitamin B5. These nutrients have a calming effect on the body, thus making chicken a wonderful option for dinner after a stressful day. Here is an easy baked chicken breast recipe that has 7 ingredients and takes 10 minutes to prepare - enjoy!
Reduces PMS Symptoms:
There is a lot of magnesium in chicken, which helps ease symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and assists in coping with mood changes during PMS. So, even if you don’t feel like eating, or alternatively eating everything in sight, we recommend you get some chicken into your system during that uncomfortable week every month.
Helps Build Muscles:
Chicken without skin (lean meat) has very little fat and is power packed with proteins. If you want to bulk up or develop lean muscles, have boiled, skinless chicken. A 100g serving of roasted chicken can offer up to 31g of proteins, making it a great post-gym meal option.
Chicken is full of zinc which helps maintain a healthy appetite. A study published in "Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin” in 2013 found that obese people who consumed zinc supplements for 30 days, experienced decreases in both body weight and body mass index. The study notes that this reduction in weight could be due to zinc acting in similar ways to insulin affecting the production of leptin, a hormone that plays a role in regulating hunger.
Boosts Testosterone Levels:
In addition to helping regulate hunger, the zinc levels in chicken also help regulate testosterone (male hormone) levels.
Enhances Bone Health:
Chicken also contains phosphorus, which along with calcium helps keep bones healthy. Selenium found in chicken is known to reduce the risk of arthritis, further supporting bone and joint health.
Reduces Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk:
As mentioned, chicken supports joint health because it is a rich source of selenium. Selenium is involved in the production of prostaglandins, which regulates inflammation in the body, thus reducing inflammation in joints related to rheumatoid arthritis.
Helps Maintain A Healthy Heart:
Chicken does contain cholesterol but it also has niacin, which supports the body’s metabolization of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to help lower cholesterol. It is also rich in vitamin B6, which plays an important role in preventing heart disease. Vitamin B6, helps lower levels of homocysteine, one of the key components linked to an increased risk of a heart attack. Finally, chicken is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that exhibit cardiovascular benefits.
Now that you know a few of the main benefits of chicken, here are a few recipes to try to boost your chicken intake: