Chicken provides a great boost of protein and other nutrients. So, why not make the most of this food by eating the right amount, cooked in a healthy way?

When it comes to healthy eating, protein is ranked the best among essential nutrients. Getting the best kind is easier for non-vegetarians, since animal sources have nutritional elements that the vegetarian kind lack.

Take the case of chicken. This packs a punch of protein, plus selenium and vitamin B6, which boosts the immunity, fertility, and heart health. In addition, this food helps stall age-related muscle and bone loss. Since it has a good amount of the amino acid tryptophan, your mood is also likely to improve after eating it.

Some studies show that chicken raises the serotonin levels in your brain, thereby reducing depressed feelings and promoting relaxation.

How to reap the maximum benefits

#1 Skin, grill and bake

Include chicken in your daily meals, in a variety of ways. You can eat it as soup, stew, stir fry, bake, roast or grill it. The less oil you use in preparation, the healthier the outcome. So avoid eating deep fried kind.

Also, make sure your bird is skinned before you cook it, since skin contains high percentage of saturated fats. Hence, this will raise cholesterol levels. To learn the precise nutritional value of chicken, check here. 

#2 Base your consumption on your weight

Rather than eating a random amount of this food, figure out how much will do you good. Generally, adults require 1 to 2 g of protein per kg of body weight per day, to build a good muscle mass. If you’re an athlete or work out hard, you may eat upto 2.2 g of protein per kg of body weight per day, to build extra muscle mass.

On this basis, a man who weighs 76 kg needs at least 200 g of chicken, but if he wants to build muscle, he can go upto about 500 g daily.

Avoid eating too much

Just because a certain food is good for you, doesn’t mean you eat too much of it. If you reach for chicken at every meal, the chances are that you are over-doing it. Your consumption may total upto more than 600 g per day. In the end, you may deprive yourself of other macro- and micro-nutrients, essential to your health.

Instead of relying on a single food source for protein, reach out for others. You can go for fish, eggs, lean meat, beans, legumes, and soy, to increase your intake of iron, B12, and other vitamins.