Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chicken Nutrition and Facts: Health Benefits of Chicken in Diet

Various studies have shown that non vegetarian diet is often associated with lower life expectancy compared to the vegetarian diet. The protein contained in non vegetarian diet is considered to be responsible for lowering the life expectancy. When compared with red meat, Chicken is often considered to be the healthier option. Chicken nutrition is beneficial in weight loss and also helps in regulating blood cholesterol levels.

Chicken is Nutritious
Chicken Nutrition Facts

According to Nutrition Data, an average serving of 140 grams of Chicken contains the following,
  • 5 grams of fat with one gram of saturated fat and about 119 mg of cholesterol.
  • The calories provided are approximately 231 calories with 45 calories coming from fats
  • Protein content is approximately 43 grams with 104 mg of Sodium
  • In addition one serving contains 29 IU of Vitamin A, 21 mg of Calcium, 1.5 mg of Iron., 319 mg of phosphorus and about 358 mg of Potassium.
  • One serving also includes magnesium and Zinc. One serving can provide upto 55% of the dietary requirement of selenium per day.

 Health Benefits of Chicken: Lowers Cholesterol and Enhances Immunity
Regular consumption of chicken is associated with several health benefits which include,
    Chicken helps reduce
    Cholesterol Levels
  • Regulates blood cholesterol levels. A serving of chicken can provide up to 96% of the daily dietary requirement for niacin or Vitamin B3 which aids in lowering the levels of LDL ( Low Density Lipoproteins) concurrently increasing the levels of HDL (High Density Lipoproteins) . The change in ratio between LDL Vs HDL is very beneficial.
  • Chicken is packed with trace minerals like selenium, phosphorous and Zinc which in turn plays a crucial role in preventing osteoporosis and also reduces the risk of developing arthritis
  • One serving of chicken fulfils approximately 42% of dietary requirement of Vitamin B6 and 8% of dietary requirement of Vitamin B12 along with 9% of Thiamine and 7% of Riboflavin. All these B complex Vitamins enhance immunity and energy levels
  • Chicken also contains pantothenic acid and one serving can fulfil about 14% of the daily dietary requirement of the same. Pantothenic acid is believed to be helpful in fighting stress
  • Chicken also plays a role in controlling blood pressure, due to the high levels of potassium. However high levels of sodium can result in fluid retention and can have a reverse effect on blood pressure
  • Chicken is also considered beneficial in the management of menstrual disturbances and irregularities namely Premenstrual Syndrome

 Chicken in Diet: Is it the Complete Food?
The most important beneficial component of chicken as a food is that it is a rich source of Proteins. It is complete and contains all the essential amino acids that are required as building blocks for the body.

Further protein contains several vitamins and minerals that are essential for different metabolic purposes. This however doesn’t mean the chicken is a complete food.

If rated on a scale of 0-100, chicken would score about 37. Chicken is completely devoid of dietary fiber, like other non vegetarian sources of food. In addition it is low in Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Vitamin K which are essential for different functions in the body. 

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