What Are The Health Benefits Of Chicken?

Chicken appears to be quite popular, perhaps because many consider it delicious. The light, flaxy texture seems to be pleasant to eat. In addition, individuals should be able to customize the taste in many ways. This may be why chicken can be good in dinners, lunches, breakfasts, or even snacks. It also seems that chicken has a few different health benefits.

Individuals may be able to choose from different cuts of chicken. This may include baked chicken breast, chicken wings, or a homemade chicken broth. All options seem to give individuals access to the health benefits of chicken. Some individuals may want chicken as a part of their weight loss regimen or to build muscle mass. Of course, individuals may wish to learn about the main health benefits first so they can get the most out of chicken.

May Build Muscle

Bodybuilders seem to commonly choose chicken for their meals if they are trying to increase their muscle mass. One of the reasons they do this appears to be that chicken is lean meat and shows some effectiveness at building lean muscle. It may also be a more affordable option for building muscle than others. If individuals do add chicken to their meal plan, they may want to understand that the part of the chicken they eat can matter. Chicken breasts, for instance, appear to have more protein than chicken thighs. Unfortunately, chicken thighs contain more fat, which can make it harder for individuals to build muscle when they eat them. Individuals may want to take the skin off any chicken they eat to make their portion leaner and healthier.

Broiling, baking, and grilling the chicken, usually without butter, seems to lower the fat content as well. Individuals may wish to try cooking chicken using coconut oil instead. It seems to be a good idea to choose grass-fed, free-range chicken too. These chickens appear to have high amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which offer more benefits. For example, omega-3s seem to help reduce sore muscles and swelling after a workout. They may help with range-of-motion-related damage too. The fatty acids may promote protein synthesis as well, which should help individuals grow stronger muscular tissue.

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May Boost Heart Health

Heart disease appears to be a leading cause of death in the US, with roughly twenty-five percent of deaths attributed to heart conditions. This may be why many individuals want to turn to a heart-healthy diet. These individuals may want to consider adding more chicken to their diet, as it may boost their heart health. Information appears to indicate that chicken can help reduce unhealthy cholesterol and perhaps total cholesterol as well. Chicken may reduce the overall risk of heart disease as well. If individuals cook the chicken properly, it seems that it can be one of the healthiest meats out there. However, this means avoiding frying, which may result in higher low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. This is the cholesterol that can clog an individual's arteries.

Oils, which some individuals may use to fry chicken, may also trigger a cholesterol increase. Unfortunately, oils appear to contain more calories and trans fat. Many see trans fat as the unhealthiest type of fat out there. In addition to increasing unhealthy cholesterol, it seems that this fat may also eliminate healthy cholesterol. Individuals should pay attention to the part of chicken they eat as well. This seems to matter for balancing both types of cholesterol. Chicken breasts appear to reduce unhealthy cholesterol the most, seemingly followed by the thighs, legs, and wings.

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May Improve Weight Loss

Some individuals may find it difficult to lose weight. When this happens, it may be, in part, related to their diet. The key should be for individuals to burn more calories than they consume. Thus, while exercising matters, it may not trigger weight loss if individuals are eating too much. Thankfully, it seems that chicken, particularly leaner cuts, can help. Individuals should be able to get full without consuming as many calories. As an example, a three-ounce chicken breast appears to have roughly 102 calories. Individuals may be able to reduce their calories further if they remove the chicken skin.

It seems that the average adult should consume between 1,200 and 1,600 calories a day. Eating chicken as part of this should allow individuals to eat enough protein, meet their other nutritional requirements, and still stay within this calorie range. Skinless chicken may have fewer calories, but it appears to have more protein. Individuals need more protein, as it seems to help them burn more calories while maintaining energy for exercising. Consuming more protein than fat should help individuals gain lean body mass rather than fat, which can improve weight loss.

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Reduces Stress

Higher stress levels seem to increase the risk of developing severe health issues. Evidence appears to show that higher cortisol can trigger various conditions, such as heart disease and obesity. Two other examples may be depression and gastrointestinal issues. However, individuals may be able to reduce their stress if they include chicken in their regular diet. One reason seems to be because chicken has tryptophan. This amino acid appears to improve an individual's mood, as the body can convert it into serotonin when it is consumed.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter. It should keep individuals in an overall happy mood and improve their feelings of well-being. Serotonin may improve insomnia related to stress as well. This may be connected to why individuals can feel tired after eating chicken. In addition, protein appears to help reduce stress as it can control the amount of sugar released into an individual's bloodstream.

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May Benefit Bone Health  

Aging seems to come with quite a few issues, such as bone conditions like osteoporosis. This condition appears to occur because an individual's body is losing bone mass or is not making as much bone. In both cases, individuals seem to experience weaker bones that are more likely to fracture. Part of preventing osteoporosis and bone injuries appears to be individuals increasing their intake of protein. Protein may improve an individual's muscle mass and strengthen their bones. Individuals may also increase their vitamin D, which can help with calcium absorption. Calcium appears to be quite important for bone health, as it helps with bone density.

Individuals may want to eat bone-in chicken. The reason appears to be that it can produce collagen, which helps hold the bones together. In addition, individuals may want to use chicken bones to make a bone broth. Bone broth seems to be very helpful for improving bone health. Farm-raised chicken appears to be the best for this. After getting the chicken bones prepared, individuals should soak them in water, seasoning, and some apple cider vinegar. Cooking the mixture on low heat may provide the best benefits for the bone broth.

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GoodHealthFix Staff