Chicken is a popular and delicious food. Its light, flaky texture is pleasant, and the taste can be customized. Thus, chicken is a good choice for dinners, lunches, and snacks as well. In addition to being delicious, chicken comes with a number of health benefits. Eating a certain amount of chicken every day makes a difference in overall mental and physical wellness.
Individuals have many options when it comes to how they want to eat chicken, including chicken wings, baked chicken breast, and even a homemade chicken broth. In all cases, individuals have access to health benefits from chicken. Some say they can eat chicken to build muscle mass, as part of their weight loss regimen, and more. Individuals should examine the health benefits of chicken in detail so they get the most out of it.
In many cases, when bodybuilders want to increase muscle mass, chicken is one of their popular meal choices. One of the reasons for this is that chicken is lean meat that builds muscle. It is also one of the most affordable foods for building muscles. When athletes choose to incorporate chicken into their meal plan, they must understand that the part of the chicken they eat plays a role in how much muscle they will build. For instance, chicken breasts have a higher protein content than chicken thighs. Thighs and other body parts have a larger amount of fat, so it is harder to build muscle. Also, it is best to take the skin off the chicken for a leaner, healthier portion.
Baking, broiling, and grilling the chicken without butter are recommended for lower fat consumption. Instead, individuals should try cooking the chicken in coconut oil for the best benefits. Grass-fed, free-range chickens are high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Thus, they have the most healing properties. After a workout, consuming omega-3 fatty acids helps reduce muscle soreness, swelling, and range-of-motion-related damage. These fatty acids also encourage protein synthesis, which is responsible for growing stronger muscular tissue.
Boosts Heart Health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. With around twenty-five percent of American deaths caused by heart-related conditions, individuals must learn the importance of eating a healthy diet. While most individuals are familiar with the benefits of lean red meats, they are unaware that lean chicken also boosts heart health. Studies show that chicken reduces both bad and total cholesterol. Chicken also reduces the risk of developing heart disease. When cooked properly, chicken is one of the healthiest cuts of meat available. However, cooking methods like frying causes higher low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which is the cholesterol responsible for clogging the arteries.
Frying oils are also responsible for a spike in cholesterol. Oils have more calories and trans fat. It is vital to note that trans fat is believed to be the unhealthiest type that someone can eat. However, not only does trans fat increase low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, but it also eliminates good cholesterol. Choosing the right piece of the chicken also plays a part in balancing good and bad cholesterol. Consuming breast meat reduces low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels the most, followed by thighs, wings, and legs.
Improves Weight Loss
In many instances, if someone has trouble losing weight, their diet is a significant contributing factor. Ultimately, an individual's key to losing weight is to burn more calories than they consume. When individuals eat leaner cuts of chicken, they get full without taking in many calories. For example, a regular portion of chicken breast, which is around three ounces, has approximately 102 calories. Individuals should be sure to remove the chicken skin for fewer calories.
On average, adults need to eat between 1,200 and 1,600 calories per day. Depending on how often they eat chicken, adults will still be able to consume enough protein and meet their other daily nutritional requirements. Although it has fewer calories, skinless chicken has a high protein content. Protein helps individuals burn calories while providing them with energy for activities like working out. When individuals consume more protein than fat, they gain lean body mass instead of fat. A good example of chicken for improving weight loss is cooking chicken in olive oil and adding a side of vegetables.
Higher stress and anxiety make individuals vulnerable to developing serious health conditions. Studies show that patients with higher cortisol levels have a higher risk of being diagnosed with various diseases. Examples include obesity, heart disease, depression, and gastrointestinal problems. When left unchecked, high stress can even lead to death. Luckily, eating chicken has been shown to help reduce stress. One of the reasons is that chicken contains tryptophan, an amino acid that improves mood. When consumed, the body converts tryptophan into serotonin.
Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for a happy mood and feelings of well-being. It also improves stress-related insomnia, which is why many individuals feel tired after eating chicken and turkey. When the body experiences high anxiety, protein helps reduce stress by controlling the amount of sugar released into the bloodstream. Thus, individuals can expect to reduce their stress and improve their mood if they consume a warm bowl of chicken soup or a grilled chicken breast salad.
Benefits Bone Health
Aging comes with several problems, including osteoporosis. This is a bone disorder that occurs when the body either loses bone mass or produces less bone. The result of both scenarios is that the bones weaken and become more susceptible to fractures. Patients have to increase their protein intake in order to avoid osteoporosis and other bone-related injuries. When they consume adequate amounts of protein, they can improve their muscle mass and strengthen their bones. They also increase vitamin D, which regulates calcium absorption. Calcium is vital to overall bone health because it contributes to bone density.
When the bones are dense enough, the skeletal system has an easier time supporting the weight. Consuming bone-in chicken produces collagen, which is the glue that holds the bones together. Incorporating bone broth into a meal plan benefits bone health in a major way. Individuals can either buy pre-made bone broth or make it themselves. If they make it themselves, they must roast chicken bones, soak them in apple cider vinegar and water, add some seasoning, and cook on low heat. If possible, individuals should use locally sourced or farm-raised chicken to create the healthiest bone broth.