We enjoy the taste of the food while eating, but we don’t taste the values of the food. Chickens and chicken soup are delicious; that what we taste. Actually chickens offer more than the good taste!
Chicken meats contain high protein content and low carbohydrate and fats. It’s the ideal meal for dieters and healthy food seekers. It also contains large amounts of useful minerals and vitamins that is necessary for specific biochemical and metabolic pathways in addition to their protective roles against several health threateners.
Chicken breast is the most valuable and I think it’s the most delicious too! Chicken breasts contain higher nutritional value than other parts of the chicken. Also many people prefer the taste of breasts more than any other part.
Protein content of a chicken breast
Chicken breasts has the highest protein content. 100 grams of boneless and skinless chicken breasts contain almost 31 grams of protein. Those proteins offer a variety of amino acids that is necessary to build up muscles, produce enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and cell membranes.
Skinless chicken breasts provide you with high protein content with almost no fat and/or carbohydrate, so it’s considered an ideal protein source for dieters and bodybuilders. They differ from chicken thighs in that thighs contain high fat content that gives them the juicy texture while breasts have almost no fat content, so they provide you with their protein content and they don’t manipulate your caloric intake preserving your diet and maintaining your healthy life.
Amino acids: the building blocks
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They are needed in building tissues and they are also necessary for various biochemical processes in the human body.
Our bodies get amino acids via 2 routes. The first route is when our bodies produce amino acids and the second way is via protein digestion. When protein is digested, it becomes broken down into amino acids that become absorbed and the blood delivers them for various body tissues.
Amino acids are classified into 3 major types; essential, non-essential and conditional amino acids.
- Essential amino acids: are those amino acids that cannot be produced inside our bodies. We need to take them out of our daily diet.
Essential amino acids are the following nine amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
- Non-essential amino acids: are those amino acids that our body can synthesise. We don’t need to take them from diet, but they are necessary for building our bodies and maintaining normal body activities.
Non-essential amino acids include: alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid.
- Conditional amino acids: are simply non-essential amino acids that become essential in cases of disease or stress. Those amino acids are normally produces inside your body, but some diseases and stressful conditions can limit the ability of your body to produce them and so you will need to take them in your diet.
Conditional amino acids include: arginine, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, tyrosine, ornithine, proline and serine.
Chicken breasts are rich in essential amino acids. They can provide you with your daily requirements of essential amino acids. They can also provide you with conditional amino acids in cases of disease and stress.
Essential amino acids
As mentioned before, essential amino acids are those amino acids which your body cannot synthesis. They can be obtained from various sources of proteins. Chicken breasts are among the best sources of essential amino acids. They provide you with great amounts of essential amino acids with minimal effect on your caloric intake as chicken breasts contain the least amount of fat and carbohydrates.
It’s an essential amino acid which is present in chicken meats especially in their breasts. Histidine is involved in multiple processes in human body. The daily histidine requirements of your body are 10 mg per kilogram body weight. An amount of 100 g of chicken breasts can provide you with more than what you need.
Histidine is involved in synthesis of important substances. It’s essential for production of histamine, glutamate and haemoglobin. It’s also needed for production of myelin sheath that covers our nerve cells acting as an isolator which speeds up the velocity of nerve conduction and maintains our nerves working properly.
It’s also involved in production of iron-containing molecules such as ferritin. That’s great as it ensures energy delivery for various tissues in addition to detoxification ability as it’s capable of binding to heavy metals.
Histidine has been proved to have a protective role against radiation. It binds with the damaging molecules and prevents their damaging effects.
Histidine is proved to have anti-inflammatory role in human body. Its deficiency is noticed in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. It’s used as a medical treatment in management of rheumatoid arthritis and some other diseases.
If you’re a bodybuilder, I think you have heard about leucine. Leucine is an essential amino acid that our bodies cannot normally produce. Chicken breasts contain good amounts of leucine that will boost your muscle growth or prevent loss of muscular mass during diet.
Leucine is one of the three branched-chain essential amino acids (BCAA). The other two BCAAs are isoleucine and valine. BCAAs are important for muscle growth and muscle mass maintenance during diet.
Leucine is not only incorporated into the structure of the muscles. It was found that it stimulates protein synthesis, so it stimulates building muscles and it’s also a part of the muscles.
A study was carried out to understand the role of different amino acids in protein synthesis. The results revealed that non-essential amino acids don’t affect the rate of protein production. It was also found that leucine has the greatest role in promoting and boosting protein synthesis in human bodies.
Leucine also activates mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin); a critical compound in muscles that seems to have a role in turning the process of muscle building on! So, leucine can start the muscle building machinery and act as the building block together with isoleucine and valine.
It’s an important essential amino acid presenting in chicken breasts in high amounts. Phenylalanine is involved in production of L-dopa, dopamine, noradrenaline and adrenaline. It’s also involved in synthesis of thyroid hormones.
Your body uses tryptophan to produce niacin and serotonin. Serotonin is important for mood and quality sleeping. Niacin is important in multiple biochemical reactions and it’s involved in some metabolic pathways.
An essential amino acid which participate in the synthesis of important proteins such as carnitine and melatonin. It’s also a sulphur-containing amino acid, so it provides your body with the sulphur essential for cartilage material formation.
It’s an essential amino acid found in large amounts in chicken breasts. Lysine is involved in growth and muscle building. It’s also necessary for synthesis of some enzymes and hormones essential for metabolism and different biochemical reactions.
Lysine is necessary for the synthesis of carnitine; an important compound responsible for converting fatty acids into energy and it helps lowering cholesterol levels.
Lysine seems to help body absorption of calcium. It’s also involved in synthesis of collagen; an important compound for bones, skin, tendons and cartilages.
Vitamins and minerals
Chicken meat is rich in vitamins and minerals. It contains high amounts of vitamins B; B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12. It’s also rich in niacin, folate and choline. Chicken breasts have a large proportion of the vitamin content of the chicken and they are carbohydrate and fat free.
Regarding minerals, chicken breasts contain high amounts of selenium besides zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
- Vitamin B1: It’s known as “Thiamine”. It’s involved in nervous and muscular functions. It’s necessary for electrolyte flow across cell membrane in nerves and muscles. It’s also important for carbohydrate metabolism in order to produce energy.
Vitamin B1 Deficiency or thiamine deficiency leads to beriberi disease which is characterized by polyneuropathy and heart problems.
- Vitamin B2: It’s also called riboflavin. It’s necessary for carbohydrate metabolism and energy production. Riboflavin has also protective effects against free radicals as it protects blood cells maintaining them healthy and safe.
Riboflavin deficiency is associated with anemia, nerve damage and visual disturbances. It’s also associated with mucous membranes defects leading to oral ulcers and sore throat.
- Vitamin B3: It’s the well-known compound; niacin. It’s important for food conversion into glucose. It also facilitates conversion of fats into free fatty acids that can be burned to produce energy. Niacin is also important for normal nervous functions and intact skins and mucous membranes. It’s also involved in maintenance of normal psychological state.
Niacin deficiency results in a disease called pellagra. Pellagra is characterized by dermatitis (skin inflammation), dementia, diarrhea and if untreated it leads to death.
- Vitamin B5: It’s also known as pantothenic acid. As other types of vitamin B, it’s involved in carbohydrates metabolism. It’s also necessary for sex hormones synthesis besides the production of stress hormones secreted from adrenal glands.
Pantothenic acid is necessary for keeping your digestive tract intact. It’s also involved in cholesterol synthesis.
- Vitamin B6: Also known as pyridoxine. Vitamin B6 is necessary for production of neurotransmitters; the chemicals that transport nerve signals from nerve ending to another and from nerves to muscles. It’s also needed in synthesis of serotonin and noradrenaline which are involved influence mood. Noradrenaline is also involved in nervous reactions and acts as a neurotransmitter.
Vitamin B6 is also necessary for absorption of vitamin B12 which is necessary in reb cells production and its deficiency results in anemia.
- Vitamin B12: It’s important for maintaining healthy nerves. It’s also involved in production of DNA and RNA. Vitamin B12 in association with folic acid are necessary for production of red blood cells. Their deficiency results in a characteristic anemia; macrocytic anemia.
Vitamin B12 and folic acid are involved in controlling blood levels of homocysteine. High homocysteine levels are associated with heart diseases, so vitamin B12 and folic acid can lower the risk of heart diseases via controlling the blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine.
- Selenium: It’s a trace mineral found in good amounts in chicken breasts. Selenium participates in production of antioxidant enzymes that protects our boy tissues from free radicals. It also plays an important role in eliciting immunity after vaccination.
Selenium also has a great chelation effects. It detoxifies tissues from heavy metals protecting our bodies from the effects of the overload of heavy metals. It’s also thought to have a role in protection against some cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
Selenium deficiency is rare, but when it happens it leads to a disease called Keshan’s disease. Keshan’s disease is characterized by abnormality in the heart muscle.
Chicken breasts are rich in all types of vitamin B. Vitamin B is water soluble, so our bodies cannot store them. Regular intake of different types of vitamin B ensures avoidance of diseases resulting from their deficiency. Also all vitamin B types are involved in carbohydrate metabolism. They are necessary for glucose extraction from food and its conversion into energy via catabolic biochemical reactions inside our cells.
Chicken breasts also provide you with other important minerals such as iron which is necessary for synthesis of hemoglobin. They also provide you with calcium that is involved in bone mineralization; a process that increase the strength of your bone.
Do you want to lose weight? Well chicken breasts can help you!
For many dieters, a daily meal chicken breasts is a good choice. Chicken breasts provide you with proteins necessary to keep your muscle weight while losing weight. Its fat content is very low, so it will not increase your caloric intake and provide you with your needs without affecting you weight losing program.
Not only weight losing, chicken breasts are good in bodybuilding. To build up your muscles, you need to increase the protein content in your daily diet. An amount of 100 grams of chicken breasts provide you with almost 31 grams of protein. Chicken breasts doesn’t only provide the amino acids as building blocks for your growing muscles, they also provide you with high amount of leucine, isoleucine and valine which stimulates the process of muscles building.
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