Myths and facts about chicken

Chicken is one of the most versatile forms of protein in the market, as one of the most consumed meats in Sri Lanka, it outranking its standard competitors when it comes to protein intake. One reason for chicken’s popularity is that it acts as the ideal protein for rice and curry, or it could be a centrepiece for a meal like a roast or a grill.

Personal preferences on how chicken should be cooked have often been shaped by the generation before or by television programs and the internet. The humble chicken is full of nutrients, here are some facts and myths that you may or may not know.

Protein is only for muscle development – on the contrary protein is an essential nutrient which is key to building immunity and for growth. Chicken protein is good for your body as it not only develops muscle but also strengthens your bone. It provides nutrition for your ligaments, joint and tendons too. While rebuilding your hair follicles and gives your immune system a boost by providing antibodies and enzymes.

Does Chicken give you strong bones and muscles – Lean proteins such as chicken are an excellent source of amino acids. Amino acids, are known as the building blocks of proteins in the body and play many important roles in building muscle tissue, this is something that is particularly important as we age. It is proven that diets that are higher in protein also help in maintaining bone health and density. Eating chicken can help to build stronger muscles and promote healthier bones, decreasing the risk of injuries and may mitigate osteoporosis.

Is chicken nutritious – If you are health conscious, then this is something that you should definitely know. The average cooked dish of chicken meat, which weighs about 113 grams, contains about 337 calories, this could change depending on the fats and other additives you include in the dish. Even more interesting is that you can derive about 30 different nutritional substances from just 100 grams of chicken.

Excessive protein intake can lead to kidney damage – It is believed that protein rich diet may add pressure on your kidney and damages it that would be false as protein is an essential macronutrient and is needed for survival. Another myth is that with age one should reduce protein intake as it can damage the kidneys. Muscle loss is a natural part of aging, and if you don’t consume enough proteins it leads to reduce energy levels and low muscle strength. The Recommended Dietary Allowance is 0.8 to 1 g /kg body weight, for a healthy adult which is around 60 to 113 grams daily, the deficiency in protein intake can lead to impaired physical development, edema, low immunity, and low muscle mass. Eating chicken, fish and eggs which are rich sources of protein can easily meet the daily needs of protein.

Chicken contains iron – Chicken is often thought of as high protein meat, with less fat than other meats protein sources, but chicken also consists of high content of iron, zinc, selenium, and B vitamins and are full of flavour.

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