Versatile for a variety of dishes and super easy to find at supermarkets, chicken is always welcome at the table. In fact, did you know that with its high nutritional value and relatively low saturated fat, chicken might be one of the best meat choices?
Whether you prefer chicken thighs, chicken breasts or the whole bird as it is, you can easily enjoy the abundance of vitamins and minerals and reap the health benefits. In fact, here are 8 unmissable benefits of chicken for everyone, along with some suggested recipes for you to try at home.
1. Good for your heart health
You may know that chicken is filled with protein, but a lesser-known fact is that it is also a good source of Vitamin B6. This vitamin lowers levels of a chemical known as homocysteine, which is vital in preventing cardiac arrest. Chicken breast is also plentiful in niacin, phosphorous, and selenium, as well as vitamins A, E, and K, which help to produce red blood cells and lower cholesterol.
Our Shredded Chicken Hor Fun uses chicken breast meat, one of the leanest parts of the bird and the best way to get the most white meat. As it is literally a 1-wok dish, this fuss-free and healthy meal is easy to prep.
The key element is getting the flavourful stock right. Simply blanch the chicken breasts in chicken broth to extract the best flavour for the broth, which is then combined with earthy mushrooms, soy sauce and oyster sauce. The hor fun noodles and fresh bean sprouts, served with the juiciest shredded chicken and a handful of crunchy chye sim, is the perfect wholesome meal.
Preparation Time: 1 hour. Serves 4.
2. Clears a congested nose or throat
If you’re feeling a little under the weather, chances are that you’ve been advised to have a good chicken soup to curb these ailments. But before you quickly dismiss your mum’s advice as an old wives tale, research has shown that there is some truth to it.
According to traditional medicine, the chicken, combined with all the herbs and condiments, helps to nourish the yin energy in the lung and stomach. Modern medicine also indicates that chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine, which clears up congestion in the lungs.
So, don’t fret when you’re feeling blue. Instead, try our Emperor Herbal Chicken recipe which is both invigorating and nourishing. In fact, since prevention is better than cure, why not have yourself a nourishing Emperor Chicken to keep the bug away today?
Preparation Time: 2 hours. Serves 4.
3. Protects hair health
Maintaining luscious locks and hair shine is a top priority for many of us, and surprisingly, chicken has been attributed to curbing hair loss. Not only does it pack protein which helps with hair growth, but it also delivers an essential amino acid called L-lysine which plays a part in iron and zinc uptake, protecting against hair and nails loss.
If protecting hair health is a goal for you, try this Chicken in Sesame Oil recipe. Not only does it give you the benefits of chicken, but also sesame oil that is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, that also prevents hair loss. In fact, sesame oil is one of the oldest remedies for skin, hair and health. It has a plethora of benefits such as working against hair and scalp infections, getting rid of toxic elements and protection from UV rays.
It’s a simple comfort food that has earned a place in our hearts, but who knew it might be good for your hair, too?
Preparation Time: 30 minutes. Serves 2.
4. Helps to keep bones strong
For strong bones, calcium and phosphorus are essential to build muscle tissue, which is particularly important as we age. As chicken contains these minerals, helping to prevent osteoporosis, regular consumption of chicken is essential in our diet.
This recipe for Salted Egg Yolk Chicken combines the tastiness of chicken with salted egg and their nutritional values for improving bone health. You’ll get deep-fried battered chicken thigh coated with a salted egg yolk sauce, which contains selenium, related to bone health. In fact, the colour of the yolk indicates that duck eggs hold more antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, 50% more than in chicken eggs!
Preparation Time: 30 minutes. Serves 4.
5. Keeps you feeling full for longer
Do you often get hungry and resort to unhealthy snacking? Well, the good news is that protein, as found in chicken, can keep you feeling full longer. It is more slowly digested, keeping blood glucose levels relatively constant, and reducing those food cravings that can often pop up unexpectedly after we’ve already eaten a meal.
Our timeless Curry Chicken recipe is one hearty meal to keep you full through the day. Scrumptious and spicy, it packs a punch and is best served with a bowl of steamed rice. Of course, feel free to leave it out if you’re cutting down on carbs — with a good portion of chicken in this dish, there’s a chance you’ll be filled anyway.
Preparation Time: 1 hour 20 mins. Serves 4.
6. Reduces PMS Symptoms
Fatigue, mood swings and cramps are common PMS symptoms, which are undoubtedly the bane during or before the time of the month. Chicken is rich in both iron and protein which can help alleviate these symptoms.
That said, it is advised to avoid greasy or processed food to control symptoms like bloating and depression. Instead, go for healthy and nutritious chicken dishes, such as our Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup. Have a bowl of this goodness and you’ll be revitalised!
Preparation Time: 1 hour 30 mins. Serves 2
7. Helps to build muscle
Gym rats are known for the shocking amounts of chicken they include, and for good reason too. Chicken is packed with protein, which is crucial to building muscle. Of course, it’s best to maximise your efforts at the gym by cooking chicken in a healthy way — such as with an oil-free air fryer recipe.
If you enjoy flavour-filled chicken wings, this is a mouth-watering BBQ chicken wings recipe. The wings are best marinated in a delicious made-from-scratch sauce using simple ingredients like chillies, shallots, calamansi juice, garlic, ginger, pepper, sesame oil, oyster sauce and fish sauce for the umami flavour! To reap the most out of the chicken’s nutritious value, skip deep-frying them and substitute for the air fryer.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes. Serves 4.
8. Improves mood and relieves stress
The advantages of chicken extend beyond physical benefits, to positive effects on mental health. It has Vitamin B5, regulating the hormones responsible for managing moods and stress. It has also been shown to have effects combating depression and producing serotonin, also known as the “happy chemical”.
If relaxing in the kitchen is your jam, try making our Thai dish, Pad Kapraw Gai (Chicken in Thai Basil). This quick stir fry is easy to prep, full of flavour with garlic, shallots and fragrant chilli. Not to be forgotten, add a good handful of sweet basil leaves for the aromatic finish. All you need is a bowl of rice and top with the mandatory crispy fried egg and tuck in!
Preparation Time: 20 minutes. Serves 2.
Benefits of Chicken
By far, chicken is a popular protein for its rich nutrients, effortlessness to prepare and affordability. It is so versatile and can be integrated into so many dishes to suit your palate and bolster your health, such as with these 8 benefits. Whether you need a quick boost after a tough workout at the gym or a big Sunday roast to impress your dinner guests, it’s a sure winner I’d say!
If you try any of these recipes or have any more benefits of chicken to share, do post on the Meatmen FB Group! For more inspiration, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow our Instagram page.
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