Chicken is a rich source of dietary protein, required to perform a number of vital functions in the body. Protein is also found to be essential for maintaining bone density and preventing osteoporosis. The meat or chicken is quite cheap due to which, it is widely used for consumption all over the world. Besides being rich in protein, it also contains many essential vitamins and minerals.
Chicken is very rich in vitamin B6, which is required for carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism, production of red blood cells and also for strengthening the immune system. Chicken can provide you almost 36% of the total daily requirement of vitamin B6. Besides, chicken can also provide almost 72% of the total daily requirement of another important vitamin niacin or vitamin B3, required for the metabolism of food, i.e releasing energy from food and proper functioning of the digestive system, skin and nerves. Deficiency of this vital vitamin can cause pellagra, a disease characterized by diarrhea, dermatitis, hyper pigmentation, inflammation of mouth and tongue, dementia and even death.
Another important mineral required as a trace element in human body is selenium, and chicken can provide you with almost 40% of your daily requirement of this nutrient. Selenium is supposed to have antioxidant property, that can protect you from the damage caused by the harmful free radicals. It also boosts the immune system and ensures normal functioning of thyroid gland.
Chicken can also provide a sufficient amount of phosphorus, which is very essential for the formation as well as maintenance of teeth and bones, protein synthesis and growth as also, the repair and maintenance of muscle tissues. Phosphorus content of chicken is substantial and it can meet almost 36% of daily requirement. Phosphorus, along with vitamin B6, can facilitate the functions of kidney and nervous system.
Chicken provides you with vitamins, minerals and proteins. Another important nutritional fact about chicken is that it is low in fats. More than half of the fats it contains, are unsaturated fats, which in fact, help in lowering cholesterol. Usually, the skin of chicken contains the fats, therefore it is advisable to cook it after removing the skin and excess fats, in order to preserve its nutritional quality. Also, it is preferable to cook chicken in minimum fat or oil. Instead of cooking in oil, if it is prepared by baking, roasting, grilling or poaching, it would definitely provide you with more nutrition and health benefits, while also adding variety to your diet.
By Chandramita Bora