Chicken gizzards – what are they and are they good for you? While you might have recoiled at the thought of eating this organ meat, you might be surprised to learn that they are actually quite nutritious. In this article, we will explore the health benefits of chicken gizzards and how they can be incorporated into your diet.
What are chicken gizzards?
Chicken gizzards are a muscular part of the digestive tract that helps grind and digest food. They are often a byproduct of the poultry industry and are commonly consumed in many cultures around the world.
Are chicken gizzards good for you?
Yes, chicken gizzards are an excellent source of nutrients. They are packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for good health. Below are some of the most surprising health benefits of chicken gizzards.
1. High in protein
Chicken gizzards are an excellent source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. A 3.5-ounce serving of chicken gizzards contains approximately 20 grams of protein. This amount of protein is important for those who lead an active lifestyle, as it helps support muscle growth and recovery after exercise.
2. Rich in iron
Chicken gizzards are also a good source of iron, a mineral that helps transport oxygen throughout the body. A 3.5-ounce serving of chicken gizzards contains approximately 2.2 milligrams of iron. This amount of iron is important for maintaining healthy blood cells and preventing anemia.
3. High in vitamin B12
Chicken gizzards are a rich source of vitamin B12, which is important for maintaining healthy nerve cells and DNA. A 3.5-ounce serving of chicken gizzards contains approximately 6 micrograms of vitamin B12. This amount of vitamin B12 is important for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, as it is primarily found in animal products.
4. Good source of selenium
Chicken gizzards contain selenium, a mineral that acts as an antioxidant in the body. A 3.5-ounce serving of chicken gizzards contains approximately 20 micrograms of selenium. This amount of selenium can help protect the body from oxidative stress, which can lead to chronic diseases.
5. Low in calories and fat
One of the biggest misconceptions about chicken gizzards is that they are high in calories and fat. However, a 3.5-ounce serving of chicken gizzards contains just 94 calories and 1 gram of fat. This makes them an excellent choice for those who are looking to maintain a healthy weight.
How can you incorporate chicken gizzards into your diet?
If you are interested in adding chicken gizzards to your diet, there are many ways to prepare them. Here are some ideas:
- Grilled: Marinate the gizzards in your favorite spices and grill them until they are cooked through.
- Fried: Coat the gizzards in a mixture of flour and spices and fry them until they are golden brown.
- Stewed: Add the gizzards to a stew or soup to add flavor and nutrition.
Chicken gizzards are a surprisingly nutritious food that is often overlooked. They are an excellent source of protein, iron, vitamin B12, selenium, and are low in calories and fat. If you are looking to add more variety to your diet, consider incorporating chicken gizzards into your meal plan.
Common questions about chicken gizzards
1. Can I eat chicken gizzards if I have high cholesterol?
Yes, you can eat chicken gizzards if you have high cholesterol. However, it is important to limit your intake of saturated and trans fats, as these can raise cholesterol levels. Grilling or stewing chicken gizzards are healthier cooking methods than frying.
2. Are chicken gizzards safe to eat?
Yes, chicken gizzards are safe to eat when cooked properly. To avoid foodborne illness, make sure to cook chicken gizzards to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Do chicken gizzards have a strong taste?
Chicken gizzards have a mild taste that is similar to chicken liver. If you are new to eating organ meats, it may take some time to adjust to the taste.
4. How do I clean chicken gizzards?
To clean chicken gizzards, rinse them under cold water and remove any visible fat or membranes. Some people prefer to soak them in vinegar or lemon juice to help remove any impurities.
5. Can I freeze chicken gizzards?
Yes, you can freeze chicken gizzards for up to six months. It is best to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or freezer paper before freezing to prevent freezer burn.