Many people go out of their ways to find healthier foods that they enjoy. Maybe they’ve been enjoying fast food or microwave meals but want to change up their eating habits for healthier alternatives.
If there’s one category of food that benefits you and tastes delicious, it’s poultry. Poultry refers to birds raised for their feathers, meat, or eggs. This includes meat from chicken, turkey, goose, duck, game birds, and more. You can find poultry options at your local grocery store or farmer’s market for the perfect entrées. Let’s look at the various health benefits that poultry offers to your meal plan.
Vitamins & Minerals
One reason why chicken is so healthy is because of the vast number of vitamins and minerals it provides. It’s beneficial for healthy development, and it also aids in muscle development. Vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B, vitamin D, zinc, omega-3s, iron, and iodine help with heart, brain, immune system, and nervous system health.
Whether you’re genetically more prone to higher cholesterol or your cholesterol has increased through the years, finding foods that reduce or balance cholesterol matters. Higher cholesterol makes you more susceptible to heart diseases and issues. Therefore, other benefits of adding poultry to your meal plan include reducing your cholesterol levels and minimizing the chance of heart problems. Meats such as lamb, beef, and pork have higher cholesterol levels, so swap out a burger for a grilled chicken sandwich.
Many factors can increase the risk of cancer, but thankfully, poultry has anti-cancer properties that can reduce these risks. Red meat and pork have links to increased risk of colorectal cancer, in particular, but poultry offers a safer, healthier protein alternative.
Builds Muscle & Strength
Increasing protein intake in your diet can result in healthy muscle development and improved strength. Obtaining protein through other meats such as beef, pork, and fish is easy enough, but poultry makes a better choice for its additional health properties. One serving of chicken breast contains about 21 grams of protein. Poultry also contains amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, offering nourishment to worn-out muscles after a workout.
Adding poultry to your diet can provide numerous benefits that increase your quality of life, from stronger muscles to a healthier heart. Just remember that raw chicken has certain health risks, so always cook it to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius) and store it at temperatures lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). Avoid cross contamination with other foods while you’re cleaning your work surface before and after preparation. Still, there’s no denial that poultry can help your health.