3 Amazing Health Benefits of Slow Cooked Chicken
Choose Your Slow Cooker Carefully
I used the slow cooker you see in the photo above until I found out that it tested positive for lead. It turns out that red or orange glaze usually contains traces of this toxin. I threw it out, and now I use a regular stock pot for slow cooking. There are other slow cooker models that contain unglazed clay crocks.
Slow Cook a Whole Chicken for Good Taste and Health Benefits
When you slow cook a whole chicken, the meat is juicy and tender. It also holds more flavor than the boneless, skinless version.
Cooking meat with moisture at low temperatures not only enhances flavor, but also preserves nutrients and makes them more absorbable.
Whole slow cooked chicken allows the nutrients found in the bones, gizzards, and connective tissue to penetrate into the meat. Vitamins, minerals, and other elements promote cardiovascular health, strong bones and joints, and youthful skin.
Boneless and skinless chicken breast is a popular item in today's supermarket. Chicken that's been stripped of its bones and skin wastes the most protective, nutritious, and flavorful elements of the meat. Like eating egg whites without the yolks, it's a wasted opportunity to get a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
(#1) Slow Cook a Whole Chicken to Avoid Toxins
A reaction called glycation occurs between fats, proteins, and sugars when foods are cooked at high temperatures. Glycation is most visible in lines produced by the grates of a grill, or even in the browning that takes place when you toast bread.
This process transforms beneficial nutrients into harmful compounds that damage arteries and other vessels and organs.
Cooking all sorts of meats at high temperatures until they are well done causes this toxic reaction, but slow cooking reduces glycation.
Try to choose pasture-raised chickens. They are healthier than conventional varieties.
My Slow Cooker
I love this slow cooker! It has a locking lid with a seal and handles that fold down. You can cook and carry your meal to events and get-togethers. After cooking a chicken, I throw my bones in here and cover them with filtered water. Set it to low for 24 hours for a delicious and healthy stock.
(#2) Slow Cook a Whole Chicken for Improved Nutrients
Whether you're using a slow cooker, making a stew, or basting your bird, trapping in moisture at low temperatures preserves beneficial nutrients and makes them more bioavailable.
Cooking meat slowly allows flavors to develop, and natural flavor is a strong indicator of nutrient-rich food. At low temperatures, water molecules cut through strands of proteins and prevents them from fusing together.
This process, called hydrolytic cleavage, allows meat to develop flavor and tenderness--a stark contrast to tough, overcooked meat.
Water molecules take apart skin, cartilage, bone, and other components to create glycosaminoglycans, such as glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid (which are also created when you make chicken broth). These nutrients are popular in their synthetic dietary supplement forms, but your body can absorb and use them more efficiently in their natural state.
Minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, and phosphate are also released during slow cooking. They work together with glycosaminoglycans to maintain healthy bones, joints, and skin.
(#3) Slow Cook a Whole Chicken for Heart Health
Taurine is an amino acid that may support cardiovascular health. The dark meat of chicken, found in the legs and thighs, contains high concentrations of this nutrient.
Taurine's antioxidant effect reduces the oxidation of fats. In animal studies, levels of triglycerides and oxidized lipoprotein (VLDL) was cut almost in half after taurine supplementation.
A diet that is rich in taurine boosts levels of protective high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and heals aortic lesions that lead to heart disease.
Those who have normal taurine levels have been shown to have a significantly lower risk of blood clots. On the other hand, a lack of taurine in the blood increases the risk of developing blood clots.
Want a tasty way to keep your heart healthy? Slow cook a whole chicken for dinner tonight!
Chicken is a popular dinner favorite that is loaded with beneficial nutrients. Whether you use a crock pot or prepare it on a stove, slow cooked chicken provides a wide range of absorbable nutrients and flavors. Good nutrition and great flavor, all in one healthy meal!
Tasty Healthy Links
- Homemade Chicken Stock: Simple to Make and Packed with Nutrients
Homemade chicken bone stock is an easy and delicious way to get important nutrients. Use leftover chicken bones to create a rich stock that you can use for sauces, soups, or for cooking vegetables.
- How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut in 10 Minutes or Fewer
Making homemade sauerkraut is quick and simple. It's healthier than store-bought sauerkraut, containing more beneficial bacteria since it hasn't been processed. It also saves money, which is a bonus!
- 7 Ways to Save Money on Healthy Food
Here are some strategies that will help you to get the most out of your trip to the grocery store while still eating healthy.
© Liz Davis 2012 Slow Cook a Whole Chicken