In America, chicken is one of the most popular types of meat. It’s not only available in a variety of preparations, but it’s also easy to find and easy to prepare.

Though it’s often seen as a mainstay of the American diet, you may not be sure just how healthy it is.

Chicken is a great source of many key nutrients, including protein, niacin, selenium, and phosphorus.




Chicken is rich in an array of important nutrients and can be an excellent addition to a healthy, well-rounded diet.

With so many healthy choices when it comes to chicken, choosing how to prepare it can make a difference in your diet.

Studies show that eating more protein can increase feelings of fullness and help to maintain lean body mass. It can also help with losing weight.

Protein is great for muscle growth, and when paired with resistance training it also helps improve your body’s metabolism, increase endurance and promote overall wellness.

A large percentage of your daily calories should come from protein-rich foods. Protein is an important part of a healthy diet that helps keep bones strong.



Not all types of chicken are created equal. Some chickens have thicker flesh, while others have less fat and more muscle.

Fried and breaded foods like chicken nuggets, popcorn chicken, and chicken tenders are typically high in unhealthy fats, carbs, and calories.

Many types of chicken are also heavily processed, including lunch meats. Processed meat intake has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. When buying processed meats, you need to be careful to avoid high sodium and preservatives.


Healthy preparations

Some common chicken preparation methods are healthier than others.

Here are a few of the best choices:

  • Grilled chicken. Grilled chicken can be a quick and healthy way to boost your protein intake. Consider adding some vegetables to the grill to help round out your meal.
  • Baked and Slow Cooker chicken. Baking or slow cooking your chicken is a great weeknight dinner option, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. In addition to being low in fat and calories, baked and slow-cooked chicken is rich in important nutrients.
  • Stir-fried chicken. Try stir-frying chicken with a bit of olive oil and your favorite veggies for a high-fiber, protein-packed meal.


The bottom line

Chicken is rich in a variety of important nutrients that can benefit your health.

However, it’s important to choose healthy types of chicken and opt for cooking methods like baking, slow-cooking, grilling, steaming or stir-frying rather than deep-frying.

Finally, be sure to enjoy chicken as part of a balanced diet alongside a variety of other healthy protein-rich foods.


Try this delicious anti-inflammatory Orange Chicken recipe made in the air fryer to see just how good a healthy preparation can taste.


Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken

Traditionally orange chicken is small, bite-sized pieces of chicken that have been breaded, fried and coated in a tangy, orange sauce. Well, that doesn't really fit an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. See how we've taken a traditional recipe, adapted it to our lifestyle and prepared it in the air fryer! Delicious!
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Servings 6


  • Air Fryer


  • Orange zest grated
  • ½ Tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 5 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 5 Tbsp coconut palm sugar optional
  • 1 cup arrowroot
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 ½ tsp white pepper or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil divided
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger root
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper or to taste
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts


  • In a medium bowl, combine the orange zest, liquid aminos, white vinegar and sugar until mixed well.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the arrowroot and water until mixture is well combined. Add the flour to the bowl and mix well.
  • In another bowl, add the egg, salt, pepper and 1 Tbsp oil. Whisk until well combined.
  • Slice the chicken into bite-size pieces. Dip each piece into the egg mixture, then the flour mixture until fully coated.
  • Line the air fryer basket with perforated parchment paper (optional) and place the chicken pieces in the air fryer. Cook at 380°F for 4 minutes.
  • In a saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp oil. Add in the ginger root, garlic, green onion and red pepper. Stir in the orange sauce, bringing to a boil and mix well.
  • Add in the cooked chicken and then stir in the remaining cornstarch mixture. Add in the sesame oil, stirring well. Serve hot!


This recipe can be made as an entree, an appetizer (serve with toothpicks) or a complete meal.
To make this into a complete meal, add steamed or air-fried broccoli and prepared cauliflower rice.
Keyword Air Fryer, Anti-Inflammatory, Appetizer, Complete Meal, Entree, Ginger, Poultry

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