In today’s episode I’m going to share the many fitness and nutrition benefits of eating chicken, in particular the chicken breast.
This is day 7 in our 12 day series showcasing the top 12 superfoods to help you with your fitness and nutrition goals.
The stereotypical bodybuilder meal plan always includes a lot of chicken breasts.
The chicken breast contains one of the highest protein content per gram of food.
But one less known fact is a chicken breast actually contains less of the muscle building branch chain amino acids (including the powerhouse leucine), than grass fed beef, salmon, and whey protein powder.
However, a chicken breast still contains a wide variety of amino acids and healthy fats.
It’s also packed full of nutrients such as B vitamins and the minerals, selenium and phosphorus.
In fact, from a weight loss perspective, studies show people tend to lose more body fat when chicken is the primary protein source.
In other words, people who ate more chicken breasts in their diet, tended to feel more full, thus eating less calories later in the day.
This meant less overall calories, which created a bigger calorie deficit for losing weight.
This is just another example of chicken being an excellent fat loss food.
Just like the added nutrition benefits of eating grass fed beef vs. conventional beef, the same applies for chicken.
Even though the nutrition labels can be deceiving, here are a few pointers to ensure you’re choosing the healthiest chicken breasts.
If the label on the chicken breast says “Free-Range” it simply means the chicken has the ability to go outside, but doesn’t guarantee that it does.
In a perfect world, the chicken would be outside, eating forage.
Just like with grass fed beef, look for “pasture raised” chicken.
Also, if you have access, there’s a better chance the meat will be healthier if it is purchased from a small, local farm versus a big industrial farm.
Although cows can be given hormones, it is not legal for farmers to feed chickens hormones.
So ensure your beef says hormone free, but when it comes to chicken, it should all be hormone free.
When it comes to antibiotics, you should be aware.
For some reason, farmers are allowed to feed their chicken antibiotics to fatten them up.
Therefore, look for antibiotic free on the chicken breast label.
Another great thing about chicken is how versatile it is.
You can add chicken to so many different meals and you can prepare it in many different ways.
I like to bake it in the oven as a full chicken breast and season it with spices like oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper to really give it some nice flavor.
You can also cut it into strips or nuggets and make your own healthy chicken nuggets recipes.
Come back tomorrow for fitness superfood #8.