Ever wondered why despite of so many varieties of meat, does chicken rule the chart? Why is it the most sought-after meat around the globe? You might think because it is economical. However, what matters the most is its nutrition content. Be it an ardent food lover or a health enthusiast, to indulge in a succulent chicken leg does not involve much afterthoughts about health. So, without fretting much, eat a piece of chicken which is rich in various nutrients that our body requires to stay fit and healthy. What nutrients does chicken contain? Read on to know more about your favorite meat.
Chicken Nutrition Facts
Chicken is a rich source of protein. Our body requires the intake of certain amount of protein on a daily basis and since it cannot be stored, protein needs to be replenished each day. It has been found that a three-ounce piece of chicken daily serves right to fulfill our daily protein requirement of the body. Besides performing several vital functions in the body, protein also helps in maintaining bone density and preventing osteoporosis.
Chicken is also said to be low in saturated fat content. However, fat is required by the body to absorb vitamins which are fat soluble as well as a rich source of energy. The best part about chicken is that the little amount of fat that it contains is unsaturated. This category of fat is beneficial in lowering down the bad cholesterol level in the body. The white meat is lower in fat content than the dark meat of the chicken. Since usually the skin of chicken contains most of the fat content, it is advisable to remove the skin before cooking so that the nutritional quality of the food remains intact. Also, baking, roasting or grilling chicken instead of frying it is a healthier approach.
Chicken is a rich source of Vitamin B6. This particular vitamin aids in carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism in the body. It is also required for the production of red blood cells. Even the body’s immune system turns stronger by regular consumption of Vitamin B6. And you would be elated to know that chicken itself accounts for 36 percent of your Vitamin B6 requirement in the body. Vitamin B3 is another major requirement of the body, deficiency of which can cause pellagra, a disease characterized by symptoms such as diarrhea, hyper-pigmentation, inflammation of tongue and mouth, dementia and even death. This vital vitamin is required by the body for the proper functioning of the digestive system, skin and nerves. A whopping 76 percent of its requirement by the body is fulfilled by the consumption of chicken and nothing else.
Minerals are usually required in trace amounts by the body. Selenium is one such mineral which is said to possess antioxidant property guarding one from free radicals. It also strengthens the immune system of the body and ensures proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Chicken provides the body with 40 percent of its daily requirement. Phosphorus is another essential mineral required by the body to keep the teeth and bones in proper form and shape. Phosphorus also prevents wear and tear of the muscle tissues, besides aiding in protein synthesis and growth. Moreover, coupled with Vitamin B6, it facilitates smooth functioning of both the kidney and nervous system. Chicken contains almost 36 percent of daily phosphorus requirement of the body.