If you are looking for one of the best sources of protein, chicken is definitely an option to consider! Not only is it tasty, but as you’ll see by the table below, it’s a pretty well-balanced source of protein:
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Not bad, right? Chicken breast is, of course, the best, as it contains the least amount of calories and fat of any part of the chicken. It’s also the highest in protein, making it the part that you want to eat as much of as possible.
But every part of the chicken is fairly healthy (except the skin!). You can eat legs, wings, and thighs and get a whole lot of nourishment. All parts of the chicken contain a good deal of protein, though some contain more fat than others.
The truth is that chicken is one of the best sources of protein on the planet. It is lower in saturated fat than red meat, it contains a better balance of amino acids than plant proteins, and it’s much more versatile than fish. The only protein that could be “better” than chicken would be eggs.
Here are some of the benefits of eating chicken more often:
- You get high quality protein — All the amino acids needed to produce muscle, plus a few more!
- It’s a natural anti-depressant — Did you know that chicken, like turkey, contains tryptophan, a natural anti-depressant? Tryptophan helps your body to produce the “feel good” neurochemicals, which is why you feel so happy and comforted after a bowl of chicken soup.
- It’s a sleep aid –– Tryptophan won’t just make you feel good, but it will also help you to get to sleep more easily. Ever noticed that you get drowsy after a meal with a lot of turkey or chicken? That’s because the tryptophan is a sleep aid that will increase levels of serotonin in your brain, helping you to feel good, relax, and drift off to sleep.
- It packs an antioxidant punch –– Chicken is rich in selenium, an antioxidant that plays a huge role in preventing free radical damage in your body. Selenium also helps to keep your metabolism working properly, so getting more of this antioxidant is the key to staying healthy and fit.
- It’s great for your heart –– Chicken helps to suppress homocysteine, an amino acid that can contribute to cardiovascular disease. The nutrients in chicken breast will help to get this amino acid under control, reducing your risk of heart problems as you age.
- It’s a muscle-builder — For those who are trying to pack on the pounds of muscle, chicken is the way to go. It is one of the best sources of amino acids, and it will provide everything your body needs to build new muscle. If you are getting a bit older in years, eating more chicken will help to reduce muscle tone loss and stave off osteoporosis.
- It’s good for your teeth and bones –– Chicken contains phosphorus, a mineral that your body needs in order to produce healthy bone tissue and enamel to protect your teeth. The mineral will also play a big role in keeping your liver, kidneys, and nervous system functioning properly.
- It’s a metabolism booster –– Yes, eating chicken can help your metabolism run faster. Chicken contains a lot of Vitamin B6, which promotes enzyme and cellular reactions that will speed up your metabolism. Chicken helps to improve circulation, keeps up your energy levels, and promotes fasting calorie burning. This is one of the things that makes it an excellent protein for weight loss and muscle gain!