For those who haven’t gone vegan or vegetarian, organic, free-range antibiotic-free chicken is a nutritious and versatile choice. Check out these health benefits of incorporating chicken in your diet – a few may surprise you!
Protein Packed. Chicken is a great source of lean, low-fat protein that contributes to muscle growth and development.
Heart Healthy. Eating chicken breast (white meat), compared to beef, reduces your intake of unhealthy saturated fats, which are linked with heart disease.
Phosphorus a-Plenty. Chicken is rich in phosphorus, an essential mineral that supports the health of teeth and bones, as well as the kidney, liver, and central nervous system.
Abundant in the B’s. Chicken contains several B-vitamins, in particular Vitamin B6 which is important to the health of blood vessels, energy production, and metabolism. A typical serving of chicken also contains a good amount of niacin, which helps guard against cancer. Riboflavin (or Vitamin B2), found in chicken livers, is important for healthy skin.
Three Categories of Chicken:
- Conventional chicken is kept caged and does not move about freely; these conditions are often unhygienic. Conventional chicken is injected with hormones to quicken growth and make supposedly resistant to certain diseases.
- Free-range chicken is allowed to roam freely in the pastures.
- Organic chicken is the most expensive because it is bred freely and is allowed to eat only organically prepared grain (as per the USDA standards). It is kept in clean, hygienic conditions and is not injected with any medications to disturb its natural growth and hormone cycle. The flavor and nutrient density of organic chicken is also more robust.
Whenever possible, choose organic. It makes a difference. Shop smart and keep chicken on your menu; there’s a lot of good nutrition in that bird.
- OrganicFacts.org “7 Impressive Benefits of Eating Chicken.” (posted 19 Feb 2019) https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/animal-product/health-benefits-of-chicken.html
- AHA.org “Picking Healthy Proteins.” https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/meat-poultry-and-fish-picking-healthy-proteins
- MayoClinic.org “How meat and poultry fit in your healthy diet.” https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/food-and-nutrition/art-20048095