10 chicken breast recipes to try
Chicken, specifically chicken breast, is ubiquitous in health and fitness circles. It’s a lean protein and it’s versatile, what more could you want, right?
It’s also a low-SmartPoints food, a ZeroPointTM food on both Blue and Purple (for skinless chicken breast, that is) and just 2 SmartPoints for 3 oz on Green.
But believe it or not, chicken is more than just a source of protein.
“Chicken is a great source of protein, providing around 50 grams of protein in one chicken breast,” says Megan Wong, a registered dietitian with AlgaeCal. “But protein isn’t its only nutritional benefit!”
She adds, “Chicken is rich in vitamin B6, providing 25 per cent of the daily recommended amount per one chicken breast. B6 helps digest proteins, carbs and fat, supports the immune system and the brain, and helps regulate levels of an amino acid called homocysteine (when levels of homocysteine get too high, your risk of heart disease increases).”
“Chicken shouldn’t be viewed as just a protein source,” adds registered dietitian Lauren Manaker. “It is a healthy addition to meals and fuels the body with iron, selenium, vitamin B12, niacin and a slew of other nutrients.”
Wong says that chicken is also a good source of potassium, with more than 200 milligrams per chicken breast, “around half of what you’d find in a large banana.”
“Potassium,” she says, “helps keep blood pressure under control and is needed for healthy muscles, bones, nerves, and kidneys.”
People gravitate toward chicken breast because it’s lean, but the other parts of a chicken don’t need to be written off – you just need to know what you’re getting when you eat them. Wings, for example, typically have a lot of skin on them, which contains more fat.
“Chicken breast with the skin removed is relatively low in saturated fat, with one gram or 5 per cent of the daily value per 100 grams,” Wong says. “This doubles if you’re eating a chicken thigh, wing, or drumstick, even if the skin is removed.”
Dark meat, Manaker explains, can also have more fat than white meat.
“Dark meat chicken can be a touch higher in fat as well as certain minerals like iron and zinc. It also offers a more rich taste that some people prefer. Your best bet is to skip the skin.”
And for a roundup of some of our favourite recipes, like a romantic roast chicken dinner, ginger-lime chicken or sweet and spicy drumsticks, click here. And for a rundown of how to buy and prep chicken, click here.