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One Major Effect of Eating Chicken, Says Science

Looks like we're roasting chicken tonight!
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

As one of the most widely accessible and well-consumed protein sources globally, nearly every country and diet feature chicken. Whether it's grilled, boiled, broiled, fried, served warm or cold, this form of poultry is an easy—and delicious!—way to meet your nutritional requirements for the day. And while there are some drawbacks to eating chicken (like high cholesterol and high sodium levels), there are some significant health benefits.

A major effect of eating chicken is its impact on your overall health and wellness goals. Specifically: how it impacts our bones, our muscles, our weight, our heart—and, believe it or not, our mood. (Related: The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now)

Unlike beef or pork products that are super-high in fat, chicken is considered a lean source of protein. And while it does have more fat than, say, a serving of salmon, it's still low compared to other options. Plus, it's high in something all bodies need: amino acids. How come? We can't build muscle without amino acids since they make up muscle tissues.

When we consume more protein, we also build bone mineral density. This is always important, but mainly as we do more laps around the sun and naturally lose muscle tissue and bone strength. So if you're goal is to keep active all the years of your life, make sure chicken is part of your diet.

Or, say a goal of yours is to drop weight. To keep yourself satisfied—and thus, not eating chips or treats—you need to consume a good amount of protein. Generally speaking, that's about 25 to 30 grams per meal—a four-ounce serving of chicken has around 30 grams alone. By preparing yummy dishes that are full of protein, you will reach your weight aspirations easier.

Last but potentially most important: we all want to be happy, right? A side effect of eating chicken is how it's a natural mood booster. In the same way that being outdoors under the sunshine can make us feel calmer, eating chicken gives our body a higher level of serotonin, thanks to the addition of the amino acid tryptophan. It won't have an immediate impact, but you could see a benefit when you also focus on overall healthy habits and exercise.

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