A lot of health buffs are trying to incorporate more protein into their diets – especially if their aim is to build more muscle.
Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein and your body uses protein to build and repair tissues.
Not only is it good for building muscle mass, it also helps you lose weight because it makes you feel fuller for longer.
Healthy sources of protein include eggs, seafood and poultry. However, there are also high-protein vegan alternatives like tofu, beans and soy.
Chicken is a great source of protein for meat-eaters and it’s easy to incorporate into lunches and dinners.
How much protein is there in a chicken breast?
A skinless, cooked chicken breast (172 grams) contains around 54g of protein, according to heathline.com.
This means chicken has about 31g of protein per 100g.
A standard chicken breast has about 284 calories, 80% of which is protein and the rest is fat.
Chicken breasts are an excellent source of protein, but they also provide essential vitamins and minerals like phosphorus and selenium.
Phosphorus helps build and maintain healthy bones and teeth, while selenium is an antioxidant mineral that protects the body from free radicals – molecules that can damage your healthy cells.
Chicken is also a rich source of B vitamins including B2, B3 and B6.
How much chicken should you eat a day?
Chicken is a healthy lean meat and a great source of protein, but everything should be eaten in moderation.
The NHS recommends limiting your red meat intake and opting for leaner meats like chicken and turkey instead.
But how much should you eat in a day? The average 12st man should eat between 450-550g a day, according to menshealth.com.
However, it is important to mix up your protein sources so try incorporating tuna, nuts, beans and tofu into your diet too.
What’s the healthiest way to cook chicken?
The NHS warns that chicken must be cooked thoroughly to avoid food poisoning. Cooking meat properly ensures that harmful bacteria on the meat is killed.
The healthiest way to cook chicken is to poach it, according to a top nutritionist.
Rebecca Lewis, R.D. at Hello Fresh said: “The healthiest way to cook chicken is to poach it because you aren’t introducing any other ingredient to the chicken other than the water it is boiled in.”
“Typically, poaching chicken requires bringing water to a boil in a saucepan, then reducing the heat to low and carefully dropping your chicken into the pan and simmering until cooked through.”
Baking chicken in the oven or grilling it are also healthy options. Frying it is the worst thing you can do – especially if you’re deep frying it in batter.
Alexandra Miller, a corporate dietician, says protein keeps you feeling fuller for longer, repairs muscle tissue and ups your energy levels.
And while everyone’s body is different, there is a “perfect” amount of protein, that could help you beat the bulge.
“Protein needs are based on body weight or, in some instances, a percentage of calories but as a rule the minimum recommended dietary allowance for protein is about 0.4 grams of protein per pound for women.” Alexandra told Pop Sugar.
If you’re planning on slimming down, the health expert recommends increasing your protein intake by about 50%.
To aid weight loss you should be eating 0.54 to 0.68 grams of protein for every pound you weigh, every day.
The average egg contains about 6-7g of protein, according to heathline.com.
However it depends on the size of the egg. Some large eggs can contains up to 13g of protein.