Did you know the average American eats 55 pounds of chicken per year? That’s about 27 chickens each.
According to Whole Foods Market, chicken is rated as a very good source of protein, providing 67.6% of the daily value for protein in 4 ounces. Protein can be important in reducing bone loss in older people.
One scientific study on the subject showed that men and women from 70 to 90 years old who had the highest protein intake lost significantly less bone over a four-year period than those who consumed less protein.
Animal protein, as well as overall protein intake, was shown to be associated with preserving bone mass in our bodies. Chicken is also an excellent source of niacin, the cancer-protective B-vitamin, and is also a very good source of the trace mineral, selenium. Selenium helps with the function of the thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, and immune function.
Protein is also needed for our bodies to build and repair muscle.
Chicken, if prepared right can ensure a healthy meal that is good for heart health and weight management.
Marinating chicken is one of those ways to prepare it. Marinating can add flavor, and makes the meat more moist and tender without adding a lot of fat.
Chicken that is marinated for a longer period of time is tenderer as the juices of the marinade have become fully absorbed into the chicken. Always remember to throw away the left over marinade that has soaked the chicken to avoid salmonella poisoning.
Use skinless chicken breasts, as these are the lowest in fat and calories. The skin increases fat by about 20%. You can cook with the skin, but, removing it before eating is recommended.
Healthy Cooking Methods for Chicken
Grilling is the best method of cooking chicken; this includes, a BBQ grill or indoors in the oven broiler. A squeeze of lemon, a sprinkling of black pepper and paprika will make your chicken a delicious meal you will enjoy.
Most people think that boiling chicken will make it tasteless; on the contrary it will be tender and fall off the bone on your plate. The secret is in the amount of the water used to cook the chicken.
For that reason measure adequate amount of water that will cook the chicken and allow boiling until it is almost absorbed. Add chopped red onions and stir, do the same with tomatoes, bell peppers and some garlic. Sprinkle a bit of turmeric powder and a bit of salt and cover for a minute. Remove and plate with a serving of vegetables and a small portion of whole grain pasta.
Make time to marinade the chicken overnight so that you can enjoy the baked outcome.
- Place rosemary, juice of half a lime, a tablespoonful of honey, a tablespoonful of olive oil and a dash of vinegar into a bowl and mix thoroughly
- Add into your chicken in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate
- Spray your baking pan with Pam cooking spray and arrange the chicken
- Bake at minimum of 375F
Add some baby potatoes around the chicken so that they absorb the juices for a complete meal and serve with a salad of steamed vegetables.
Only a minimum amount of oil is needed in a wok or a cast iron skillet on the pan to prevent the chicken from sticking.
It is necessary to slice it into small pieces so that it cooks through faster.
Diced carrots, bell peppers, garlic, cabbage, sprouts, zucchini, broccoli and many other nutritious vegetables can be added to the stir fry.
Sprinkle some powdered red pepper on the chicken if you like it hot.
Steaming food allows it to retain all its nutrients; therefore steaming your chicken with your veggies will provide a nourishing meal.
When choosing chicken for steaming, make sure that it is young so that it is not tough and rubbery when done.
Great Marinade Ideas
- Ground mustard, minced garlic, ½ lemon juice, pinch of salt, a sprinkle of black pepper, fresh coriander, a tablespoonful of olive oil and ¼ cup cider vinegar
- Diced red onions, rosemary, cinnamon, turmeric, one teaspoonful of sunflower oil, 2 teaspoons of honey and juice of one small lime
- Natural Greek yogurt, low sodium soy sauce, cayenne pepper and fresh thyme
- Low sodium soy sauce, fresh garlic and onion powder
Don’t hesitate to experiment with some ideas of your own. There are many great flavorful combinations that can yield a delicious and healthy chicken dish.
Also, there are many fine bottled marinades, or dry packaged seasonings that you add oil, juice, vinegar, or water that are available in stores. Just be sure to buy all natural and no preservatives add. These can be great time saving methods to cook chicken.
But we personally feel it’s a lot more fun to make your own.
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