Chicken is one of the most popular meats, all around the world. It can be boiled, baked or grilled and is used in various recipes to make mouth-watering meals. It is popular in many cuisines including Chinese and Indian dishes. Not only is chicken one of the most versatile meats you can find, but it also has many health benefits you don’t get from any other meat.
Maintain Healthy Weight
Chicken provides the perfect amount of nutritional value. It is high in protein which means you will feel full longer. Protein is also essential for building muscle. Chicken is low in calories, too. Therefore, if you’re trying to lose weight and stay in shape, chicken is a great food to add to your meal plan.
Control Blood Pressure
Eating chicken can help manage blood pressure. No matter which part of the chicken you prefer, whether it be the breast or legs, consumption can lower high blood pressure. A protein found in chicken breast and legs is broken up in the stomach into peptides, or smaller proteins. These peptides have the same effect as blood pressure medications when it comes to reducing blood pressure. Research has found these positive effects on blood pressure last four hours after eating chicken breast and as much as 24 hours after consuming chicken legs.
Lower Risk of Cancer
Studies have shown that people who regularly consume red meat, pork and ham have a higher risk of colorectal cancer than individuals who consume only chicken and fish. These healthier options are also thought to reduce the risk of colon and breast cancers.
Treatment for the Common Cold
Perhaps you have fond childhood memories of your mother giving you chicken soup when you were sick. You probably didn’t know why, but chances are you felt better after you finished the bowl. It turns out chicken is a great remedy for a stuffy or runny nose and sore throat because it contains anti-inflammatory properties that counteract the miserable side effects of a cold.
Chicken Can Control Cholesterol
People who regularly consume red meat and pork are at a greater risk of developing high cholesterol than those who eat chicken and fish. The amount of saturated fat and cholesterol is higher in beef, pork, and lamb. If you’re concerned about your cholesterol levels and about developing heart disease, consider following the American Heart Association’s advice: consume moderate amounts of meats such as chicken and fish and cut back on red meats.
Healthy Source of Niacin
Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, aids in the metabolic process of carbohydrates and proteins. Chicken contains abundant niacin. This essential vitamin is responsible for converting carbohydrates to energy and maintaining healthy cells. Niacin is also thought to lower cholesterol levels, reducing the chances of developing heart disease.
Not only is chicken good for your physical health, but it is also great for mental health. White meat has been found to increase serotonin levels. In addition to positively affecting your mood, this neurotransmitter improves stress levels and sleep patterns. As serotonin levels in your brain increase, mental health improves.
Healthy Source of Selenium
Selenium is a mineral that naturally occurs in many foods, including chicken. Eating this food regularly ensures you consume the amount of selenium needed for a stronger immune system, sharper mind, and more youthful appearance. Selenium acts as an antioxidant and can fight free radicals, reducing the risk of cancer. It also aids in reproductive health, rids the body of toxins, boosts the body’s immune system, promotes cardiovascular health, and contributes to thyroid health. Selenium can even reduce your risk of arthritis.
Poultry contains the amino acid tryptophan. When your body can combine tryptophan with vitamin B5, also present in chicken, it can help alleviate stress. Tryptophan is responsible for that sleepy feeling you get after a turkey dinner. After eating poultry, you’ll find it easier to relax and let go of all the stress you’ve been hanging on to for the day. Incorporating chicken into your diet can have a positive impact on your stress levels in the short- and long-term.
Protect Your Bones
You might not think you’re doing much for your bone health when you eat chicken, but it contains phosphorus and is rich in calcium, both of which contribute to good bone health. When you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, the body extracts it from your bones, resulting in weak bones. If you eat a healthy helping of chicken regularly, you can ensure you are getting the proper amount of calcium and phosphorus to keep your bones healthy.