Chicken meat is a popular food product all over the world. Perhaps only vegetarians do not like aromatic meat with a crispy crust, baked with spices and sauces. And the big plus of chicken is that it is not only tasty, but also extremely healthy. A cooked in a special way is suitable even for the smallest children and adults with various diseases.
What kind of bird is this?
Chicken is a poultry of the genus Gallus, of the Pheasant family. Almost does not fly. Raise it for eggs, meat, fluff and feather. After centuries of breeding, hundreds of breeds with different physical characteristics have appeared. There are separate hybrids of chickens that give a lot of tasty meat, other breeds are bred for the sake of eggs, and there are so-called meat-egg breeds. A separate group should be noted birds bred specifically for cockfights, dwarf, decorative birds. The weight of an average chicken ranges from one and a half to five kilograms, a rooster can weigh 1 kg more.
Modern chickens are descendants of birds found in the jungles of Southeast Asia, and which man domesticated more than 10 thousand years ago. There are different opinions about who first domesticated the chicken. Researchers initially suggested that this turn in the agricultural environment occurred in India, China, or Thailand. Now, scientists have slightly changed their minds and called the place of "birth" of domestic chickens Vietnam. Archaeologists found the bones of this bird in Egyptian tombs of the 18th dynasty, and this is approximately 1400 BC. e. Around 500 BC, hens appeared in Greece, then spread throughout Europe. And the bird reached the shores of North and South America only by 1350. Today, chickens are one of the most common pets.
It is said that about 24 billion domestic chickens are constantly living on the planet.
Nutrition Facts of Chicken Meat
No other lean protein is more respected by nutritionists than chicken breast. This type of meat is called the source of ideal proteins, which contain all the amino acids necessary for a person.
Protein is necessary for development, growth, as a source of energy.
In addition, this product contains large amounts of B vitamins - substances that are indispensable for the nervous system and blood vessels involved in metabolic processes. Chicken meat provides the body with selenium and many other important minerals, on which the health of people at any age depends.
|Calorie content||215 kcal|
|Vitamin A||130 IU|
|Vitamin C||0.85 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.51 mg|
|Vitamin K||1.9 mcg|
|Vitamin B1||51 mcg|
|Vitamin B2||0.1 mg|
|Vitamin B3||5.8 mg|
|Vitamin B5||0.73 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.29 mg|
|Vitamin B9||4.7 mcg|
|Vitamin B12||0.26 mcg|
Chicken meat is a traditional ingredient in almost all protein diets for weight loss.
This meat is ideal for those who follow the figure, since it practically does not contain fat, but provides the necessary energy and not only.
This is the first and most famous advantage of chicken. The fillet contains about 18-20 g of protein, which is a fairly high rate. Proteins are necessary for a person to build muscle tissue. Nutritionists advise daily to consume proteins in a ratio of 1 g per 1 kg of body weight. Athletes are recommended to double the daily norm.
Contains beneficial vitamins and minerals
But you should not focus only on proteins. Chicken meat has a huge amount of other beneficial substances, including vitamins and minerals. This “cocktail” of healthy substances prevents:
- skin diseases;
- weakened immunity;
- digestive disorders;
- malfunctions of the nervous system;
- heart disease
- increase in cholesterol;
- graying hair.
It is also important to remember the vitamin D in meat, which helps absorb calcium and strengthen bones. Vitamin A improves vision, and iron prevents anemia. Given that chicken contains potassium, phosphorus and sodium, it becomes clear why this type of meat is useful for bones, brain, proper metabolism and protection against dental diseases.
Weight Loss Help
Protein diets are considered one of the most effective for weight loss. And the benefits of chicken in the process of losing weight are proven laboratory. Experiments have confirmed: people who regularly use chicken, easier to part with extra pounds or do not gain them at all.
Stable blood pressure
Scientists over the years have observed a group of people who agreed to take part in the study. It turned out that persons in whose diet poultry meat is present are less likely to jump in blood pressure.
Minimal risk of cancer
Scientists, citing the results of many studies, suggest that lovers of red meat are more at risk for certain types of cancer. What is not observed among fans of chicken. But this is only the assumption of certain groups of scientists, which, however, is not the reason for the rest of my life to abandon pork or beef.
The daily diet of many people today is full of harmful fats that cause cholesterol growth in the body. Chicken, fish, vegetables belong to products that not only protect against further growth in cholesterol levels, but also contribute to the improvement of existing indicators.
Probably, many will now remember how they cooked delicious chicken broth every time they got them in bed when their mothers cooked them. And this is no coincidence. A decoction of chicken meat and bones contains many components that are important for a sick body. It may seem fantastic, but a regular chicken stock relieves colds, relieves sore throats and nasal congestion.
Chicken contains the amino acid tryptophan, which helps improve mood. Of course, delicious soup, baked wings or paws of a bird - this is already pleasing, but there is also a “hand” of chemistry in this process. Tryptophan affects brain cells, causing additional production of serotonin - a hormone that is responsible for improving mood, smooths out the effects of stress, and soothes.
Poultry is an excellent choice for the elderly. Chicken prevents bone loss and is also beneficial for people with osteoporosis or arthritis.
Bird for the heart
If the amino acid level of homocysteine rises in the body, this can cause cardiovascular diseases. And now the good news. Chicken breast contains substances that control the level of amino acids in the body.
Reduces PMS Symptoms
Poultry meat is good for women with pronounced PMS symptoms. The fact is that the magnesium contained in the product has a beneficial effect on the nervous system, calming it. This means that your favorite chicken dish will smooth out mood swings, irritability and other symptoms that are characteristic of premenstrual syndrome.
Boosts testosterone levels
A serving of bird fillet is useful not only for women but also for men. This product is important for the stronger sex, as a source of zinc. And this mineral is extremely important to maintain an adequate level of testosterone and sperm formation.
When it is better to refuse chicken
Proteins, being one of the main advantages of chicken, for some people can serve as a reason for refusing poultry meat. This applies to persons with intolerance to protein foods. Also, this product is not suitable for people with food allergies, because it contains histamine. Smoked and too fatty chicken is not the best choice, as it can cause an increase in cholesterol, and this leads to atherosclerosis.
Do not buy meat from unverified suppliers, so as not to get along with the carcass of a bird a set of antibiotics and other "chemicals" that are sometimes fed to hens in poultry farms.
Of particular danger is poorly prepared meat - it may contain life-threatening bacteria and viruses.
How to choose and store chicken meat
When buying a chicken as a whole, it is important to pay attention to its breast - it should be sufficiently strong and round, proportional in size (a sign that the bird was not fed with hormones). Fresh meat with a slight pressure is malleable, without an unpleasant odor and damage (hematomas, cuts, broken bones). Fat and skin should be light and tender (old carcasses have thick and yellow skin). Sticky skin is a sure sign of an expired product. There should be no icing on frozen chicken meat. An equally important rule is to buy meat at official points of sale.
If you are not going to immediately cook the bird, it can be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator, but not longer than 2-3 days. For a longer period, a freezer is suitable. You should not keep fresh meat in the refrigerator in a tightly closed plastic bag. It is better to transfer the fillet or carcass to a pan with ice.
What to cook with chicken
Almost everything seems to be made from chicken: from simple snacks to masterpieces worthy of major celebrations. Below are a couple of quick ideas for light but tasty chicken dishes.
To the fried chicken breast add cherries or cranberries, half-cut seedless grapes, an apple, chopped into cubes, green onions and boiled mushrooms. Mix all the ingredients gently, salt, pepper and season with your favorite sauce.
Slices of cucumber, onion, bell pepper and boiled chicken on a piece of toasted bread and butter. Add mayonnaise or ketchup on top and cover with a second piece of bread.
But no matter what dish the chicken turns into, it is better to give preference to lean meat, without skin. Natural spices such as turmeric, coriander, rosemary, and curry will help strengthen the taste of chicken. The most useful nutritionists call boiled or baked chicken. But do not advise anyone to fry the carcass in a large amount of fat.
Experienced chefs have their own little secrets that make chicken dishes even tastier. And the main one is to know from which part of the carcass it is better to cook this or that dish. Here are some tips:
- for broths, soups - the carcass of an older bird;
- for cutlets, meatballs - tender meat of young birds;
- for chops, cutlets, pies, salads, jellied meat, pilaf, sausages - fillet, parts of meat from the thigh and lower leg;
- on a hodgepodge, borsch, pickle - chicken back, offal.
Minced meat can be baked in cut skin, and chicken fat is perfect for making pastes.
Chicken regularly appears on our tables and, it would seem, everything is already known about this product. But scientists continue to study the chemical composition of meat and its effect on humans. And who knows, maybe this bird keeps many more secrets. But let the researchers think about it, and we will enjoy tasty and healthy chicken.