There are so many reasons to love chicken and so many kinds of chicken to love! Chicken wings, fingers, nuggets, pie, dumplings, soup, sandwiches — chicken is arguably one of the most versatile meats and can be made into an almost limitless number of healthy dishes. Of course, not all chicken is created equally, but when it comes down to your choice of meats, chicken is generally considered a healthy option.
The Health Benefits of Chicken
- Protein: For meat-eaters, chicken is the best source of lean, low fat protein. This protein promotes muscle growth and development.
- Anti-depressant: Chicken is high in the amino acid tryptophan, which increases serotonin levels in your brain, giving you that comforting feeling you often experience after eating a big bowl of chicken soup. In other words, chicken is a mood-booster.
- Bone strength: For older people who may be concerned about osteoporosis or arthritis, eating chicken is a great way to promote bone health.
- Heart health: Chicken consumption suppresses and maintains homocysteine levels, which are the amino acids that cause cardiovascular disease.
- Phosphorus: Phosphorus is an essential mineral present in chicken that supports teeth, bones, kidney, liver, and nervous system functions.
- Selenium: Chicken is also rich in the essential mineral involved in metabolic performance. This includes thyroid, hormone, metabolism, and immune functions.
- Niacin: Chicken is also full of niacin, the B-vitamin that protects against cancer and other DNA damaging illnesses.
Due to its versatility, tasty flavor, and healthy nature, chicken in wildly popular among Americans all across the United States. In fact, Americans consume more chicken than anyone else in the world. In 2015, the U.S. alone consumed over 90 pounds of chicken per capita, and the National Chicken Council projects that in 2016, Americans will consume as much as 91.8 pounds of chicken per capita.
Chicken is a staple in a variety of ethnic cuisines. You can find tasty chicken wings and other poultry dishes at Italian, French, Chinese, Latin restaurants and more, as well as any respectable catering company. When you’re trying to decide where to eat and you’ve got chicken on the brain, you don’t have to look far to find a nutritious and delicious meal no matter where you are in the U.S.