Latin name: Gallus domesticus
What is Chicken?
A worldwide popular food, chicken is the delicious main ingredient in many regional dishes, including tandoori chicken, roasted chicken, chicken noodle soup, barbequed chicken, and the list goes on. Not only is chicken a versatile food, but it is also incredibly nutritious, and its white meat is a healthy alternative to red meat. Small wonder, then, that chicken is the world’s primary source of animal protein.
The practice of raising domesticated chickens for food is believed to have occurred more than 4,000 years ago in southern Asia. Recent evidence suggests that domestication of the chicken may have actually begun in Vietnam over 10,000 years ago. From southern Asia the domesticated fowl made its way to western Asia Minor, finally showing up in Greece by the fifth century BC.
What are the health benefits of Chicken?
Considered warming in nature, traditional Chinese medicine uses chicken to nourish the blood, treat weakness in postpartum women and the elderly, treat certain types of arthritis, and to bolster strength after illness.
Containing less fat than other meat products, chicken is a great source of protein. Just four ounces provide almost 70% of the recommended daily value for protein. The structure of humans is built from protein; protein supplies the body with essential amino acids. Keep in mind that when eating the chicken with the skin, you are doubling the amount of fat and saturated fat; for your health, it is best to skin the chicken before cooking.
A 4-ounce serving of chicken will give you 72% of the daily value for niacin, the cancer-protective B vitamin. Niacin may defend against Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline. Chicken is also a good source of B6; combined with niacin, these vitamins support healthy energy metabolism in the body.
When possible, purchase organic or free-range chicken; not only are chickens raised in this way more delicious, it is also more humane for the animals and far better for your health. Chickens that are not labeled organic may contain hormones or antibiotics, both of which have been implicated in a number of adverse health issues in humans.
Are there any precautions for eating Chicken?
Like all meat products, caution should be used in preparation methods. Chicken, in particular, should be well cooked.
Where can I find Chicken?
Chicken can be found in grocery stores, meat markets, and some farm outdoor markets.
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