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Health Benefits of Chicken

By Paul Rothbart

One of the most common sources of protein the world over is chicken. These birds were domesticated thousands of years ago and have been raised for food. There are so many ways to cook and enjoy chicken and its mild flavor pairs well with many spices, condiments and side dishes. Amazingly, every unknown meat tastes like chicken! On a more serious note, chicken is one of the healthiest meats there is. In addition to protein, it has other health benefits. Here are some of the ways chicken is good for you.

High in Protein

Let's start with the obvious. Protein is important for its amino acids which the body uses to build muscle. Chicken is loaded with protein. Every 100 grams contains 14.73 grams of protein. With its lower fat content, especially if eaten skinless, chicken is one of the best ways to get the protein the body needs. Having a meal that includes chicken just twice a week will pay big health dividends.

Vitamins and Minerals

Chicken is rich in essential minerals. It contains B vitamins which aid in the formation of red blood cells and in burning fuel for energy. It also has Vitamin D which helps the absorption of calcium to build strong bones. The Vitamin A in chicken is good for eyesight and the immune system. A lesser known benefit is the collagen in chicken, which research has shown can lower blood pressure. Chicken contains the electrolytes potassium and sodium. These balance the fluid levels in the cells. Phosphorous is another nutrient found in chicken. This mineral is good for the bones, teeth and brain.

Less Cholesterol

Chicken has far less saturated fat than red meats. Saturated fat raises bad cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends chicken as one of the better substitutes for red meat for the purpose of lowering cholesterol and preventing heart disease. 

Chicken Soup

The old standby. Didn't everyone's mother or grandmother whip up a batch during cold and flu season? Although there is no evidence that it cures the common cold, chicken soup is soothing. It warms you up on cold days and because it's easy on the stomach it's a good way to get some nutrition those times when illness curbs the appetite. 

Chicken is ubiquitous in world cuisine. Baked, fried, boiled, sauteed. It's good in stews and soups, and wings make a great snack for game day. My favorite way to eat it, is a chicken salad sandwich. Choose your favorite recipe and get some solid nutrition.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Peachtree Corners, Ga.

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