Did you know that one chicken leg contains 18% of a woman’s daily recommended intake of zinc?
That’s really good news because zinc is an essential nutrient that boosts our immunity and our mood. Zinc is a trace mineral that is found in every cell of our body and is necessary for growth and reproduction. It also supports wound healing and helps maintain our sense of taste and smell.
Researchers are investigating the role zinc plays in the prevention of osteoporosis, cancer, and heart disease. Oysters are the best source of dietary zinc. Other important food sources include wild game, crab, and poultry dark meat.
Are there health benefits in eating dark meat?
White meat is by far the most popular type of chicken sold in the country, but if you’ve been avoiding dark meat because of nutritional concerns, here are some nutrition facts:
- Dark meat does not contain as much fat as you might think. A 2.5 ounce serving of skinless chicken thigh, baked or grilled, has only 5 grams of fat compared to 2 grams in the same serving of skinless chicken breast.
- It is recommended that we have 2 servings of protein per day and that each serving be less than 10 grams of fat from meat. Eating one chicken thigh (even two) is well within the recommended range of fat we should consume for a meal.
- A 100g serving of chicken breast contains 33% of our recommended daily intake of Vitamin B6 and 86% of our recommended daily intake of niacin. As good as this seems, dark meat is richer in nutrients than white meat and contains more iron and zinc.
If you have a houseful of people who love dark meat, don’t hesitate to buy family-size value packs of chicken legs or thighs. Thighs can now be purchased boneless and/or skinless and are often more economical than chicken breasts. These cuts, as opposed to a whole bird, also reduce prep work and waste, freeze well and provide your family with essential nutrients.
If you love dark meat or have children who do, then you will surely appreciate this easy recipe called Chicken Legs with Scrumptious Spicy Sauce.
This recipe is low in saturated fat, and is high in potassium, iron, zinc and vitamins A, C, and B12. Visit www.chicken.ca for hundreds of dark meat recipes like this.
If you are curious to learn more about the dietary benefits of dark meat chicken or would like to compare its nutrients with other meats, visit Chicken Farmers of Canada’s new health portal at www.chicken.ca/health.