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The Incredible Health Benefits of Eating Chicken

min read

By Emily Lockhart

Medically Reviewed by Julie Ching, MS, RDN, CDE

Chicken soup, chicken stew, chicken chili, chicken breast on salad…chicken in almost any form is great for your health—unless you’re the chicken of course!

All kidding aside, the health benefits of eating poultry are plenty. When this fowl comes in a lean breast, it’s low in fat and calories and high in protein, which makes it ideal for weight maintenance. Not to mention that this bird is jam-packed full of essential nutrients and vitamins.

Plus, with so many ways to prepare this plucky protein, your family won’t tire of chicken as a frequent weekly menu staple. Here are the top 10 healthy benefits of eating chicken:

High in Protein

If you’re looking for a great source of lean, low fat protein, this bird is the word. The protein in chicken lends itself to muscle growth and development, and help support a healthy body weight and aid weight loss.

Natural Anti-Depressant

Chicken, like its brother fowl the turkey, is high in an amino acid called tryptophan, which gives you that comforting feeling after consuming a big bowl of mom’s chicken soup. In fact, if you’re feeling depressed, eating some poultry will increase the serotonin levels in your brain, enhance your mood, blasting stress, and lulling you to sleep.

Prevents Bone Loss

If you’re entering your senior years and you’re concerned about Osteoporosis or arthritis, eating chicken will aid in your fight against bone loss thanks to the protein punch it packs!

Poultry for Heart Health

Homocysteine is an amino acid that can cause cardiovascular disease if levels are high in the body. Fortunately for us, eating chicken breast suppresses and controls homocysteine levels.

Plenty of Phosphorus

Chicken is also rich in phosphorus, an essential mineral that supports your teeth and bones, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system function.

Seeking Selenium?

Chicken is also abundant in selenium, an essential mineral involved in metabolic performance—in other words thyroid, hormone, metabolism, and immune function.

Metabolism Booster

Vitamin B6 (or B-complex vitamins) encourage enzymes and metabolic cellular reactions (or a process known as Methylation), which means eating this bird will keep blood vessels healthy, energy levels high, and metabolism burning calories so you can manage a healthy weight and activity level.

Rich in Niacin

Chicken also happens to be rich in niacin, one particular B-vitamin that guards against cancer and other forms of genetic (DNA) damage.

Promotes Eye Health

Chicken is high in retinol, alpha and beta-carotene, and lycopene, all derived from vitamin A, and all vital for healthy eyesight.

Essential for Healthy Tissue Growth

Many of us are plagued with chapped lips, cracked mouths, tongue sores, or dry skin in winter. However, a boost in riboflavin (or Vitamin B2), found in chicken livers, will drastically reduce your skin problems and repair dry or damaged skin.

MS, RDN, CDCES

Julie Ching is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator in Los Angeles. She decided to become a Dietitian after traveling through Europe, South America, and Asia and discovered a passion for food. She now works with people of all ages and varying disease states to improve their health. She is passionate about teaching people about nutrition so they can live their best life while still considering their cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.

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