The Healthiest Type of Chicken and its Health Benefits
The healthiest type of chicken is the organic chicken raised by organic standards.The organic chicken comes with higher nutrient quality and lower risk of contaminated feed. Besides the organic standard, the healthiest type of chicken should be raised in a natural lifestyle. Popular breeds for chickens raised for meat include Hubbard, White Rock, Barred, Cornish Rock, Cornish Cross, and Cornish.
When looking to buy the best chicken meat for your health you have to go beyond organic and ask for a pasture-raised chicken. There are different ways to label this, including pastured, pasture-raised, cage-free or free-range. However, rather than in supermarkets, you’ll find the healthiest organic, pasture-raised chicken in local farms with a natural lifestyle and small flocks.
Studies on the nutrient composition of meat from chicken raised with and without access to the outdoors have proved the value of pasture-raising. Outdoor access gives chicken the possibility to peck in a vegetation area. Poultry raised in such a free-range style is higher in monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, and omega-3 fat. It is also lower in omega-6 fat. This translates to several health benefits from pasture-raised poultry, including cardiovascular benefits.
Chicken’s health benefits
Chicken is high in protein content, yet provides broad nutrient support. Around 35 grams of proteins are found in one ounce serving of pasture-raised chicken breast. This represents as much as 70 percent of the proteins Daily Value (DV). This protein content includes plentiful amounts of sulfur-containing amino acids such as methionine and cysteine, as well as branched chain amino acids such as valine, isoleucine, and leucine.
These amino acids have an important role in supporting skeletal and cardiac muscles. Chicken meat contains all B vitamins, including choline, biotin, folate, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.
Chicken is a particularly high in vitamin B3, providing around 98 percent of the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) in just one serving. Four ounces of the chicken breast also supplies more than 20 percent of the DRI for choline and 40 percent of the DRI for vitamin B6. When it comes to minerals, chicken provides about 57 percent of selenium DRI in a single four-ounce serving. It also provides iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc.
Poultry has an important role in supporting cardiovascular health. Intake of chicken meat can lower blood LDL cholesterol and overall blood cholesterol, according to medical research studies.
Chicken can also improve the quality of blood triglyceride (TG), lower their content of arachidonic acid (AA) and increase their omega-3 content. For these reasons, chicken consumption could provide to the cardiovascular system some anti-inflammatory benefits.
Unlike the beef meat, there is no evidence of increased colorectal cancer risk in case of chicken consumption. Chicken is also a natural anti-depressant, being high in an amino acid called tryptophan. After consuming chicken, this amino acid gives you that comforting feeling. Eating some poultry can increase your serotonin levels, fight stress, enhance your mood and help you sleep better. This is a great food to consume if you are feeling depressed.
For aging people, poultry can aid fight against bone loss and prevent arthritis and osteoporosis. Their Chicken rich content in phosphorus can also support your bones and teeth, as well as central nervous function, your liver, and kidney.
Poultry’s high content in selenium can improve metabolic performance and help hormone, thyroid and immune function. Vitamin B6 found in chicken meat encourages enzymes and metabolic cellular reactions, keeping your energy levels high, blood vessels healthy, and metabolism burning calories, helping you to manage an optimal weight.
The niacin in chicken has a role in guarding against DNA damage and cancer. The alpha and beta-carotene, retinol, and lycopene help achieving healthy eyesight. Riboflavin found in chicken livers can repair dry or damaged skin and reduce your skin problems.
In order to take maximum advantage of the health benefits of chicken, it is recommended to purchase chickens that have a rounded breast and a plump and solid shape when you look for a whole chicken. Whether purchasing a chicken parts or whole chicken, check if the chicken feels pliable when gently pressed. Do not purchase chicken with an “off” smell or if the label’s sell-by date has expired.
The color of the chicken’s skin could be yellow or white, but regardless of its color it should not be spotted and it should look opaque. Make sure that the chicken is frozen solid and with no freezer burn or ice deposits if you buy frozen chicken.