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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Poultry and Lean Meats >>  Chicken


Chicken or Gallus domesticus is one of the most preferred, nutritious and tasty part of a meal. Broiled, poached, grilled chicken and roasted chicken are the various varieties. It is a good source of protein and can be had in lieu with red meat. Around 68% of the daily value of protein is provided by chicken. Chicken fat is less saturated in comparison to beef fat.
Breast of the chicken is the leanest part. Consumption of chicken with the skin gives a two-fold increase in the fat, especially the saturated fat content.

Low dietary protein is associated with increased bone loss. Bone degeneration is reduced by protein in the diet. Niacin is a cancer protective vitamin. Deficiency of niacin results in damage of DNA. Around 72% of the daily value of niacin is provided by four servings of chicken. Selenium is a trace mineral seen in chicken. It is vital for most of the metabolic reactions, namely, antioxidant defense system, immune function and thyroid hormone metabolism. It is also beneficial in manufacture of damaged cells and induction of apoptosis. Apoptosis is the self induced destruction sequence, utilized for removal of ceased cells.  Glutathione peroxidase is required for detoxification in the liver. Toxic molecules are eliminated. They are antioxidants and reduced levels result in DNA damage, which in turn causes the proliferation of cancer cells. Forty per cent of the daily value of selenium is met by four ounces of chicken per day.

A diet with niacin-rich foods, such as chicken, proves beneficial against alzheimers disease. Cognitive decline, associated with age increase is overcome by niacin-rich diet. Chicken is also a good source of pyridoxine. Niacin and pyridoxine are helpful in a series of metabolic reactions, by acting as coenzymes.  They also aid in carbohydrate metabolism. A serving of four ounces of chicken per day provides 72% of the daily value for niacin and 32% for pyridoxine.

Pyridoxine acts as a methyl donor, in methylation process, thereby transferring the methyl molecules from one to the other. Deficiency of vitamin B6 causes a decrease in the methyl groups. This results in a decrease in the conversion of one molecule to another. Homocysteine is harmful to the heart and damages the blood vessels. Chicken is prepared in a variety of ways and is acceptable for all individuals of various ages. Chicken contains purine, which are substances resulting in the production of uric acid. Hence, it is avoided in diets for renal stones and gout.
Submitted on January 16, 2014