Chicken gizzards are a popular food in many Asian and Western countries. Their unique taste and chewy texture make them a favorite chicken part to turn into savory dishes. However, the question remains: are chicken gizzards healthy?
The chicken gizzard is rich in protein, potassium, cobalamin, and selenium, making it one of the healthiest chicken meat portions. The chicken gizzard has a lower fat content than other chicken parts.
Of course, the chicken gizzard is healthy, but you should still observe moderation and add fiber portions to your dish. Read on to learn what benefits you can get from chicken gizzards and easy-to-follow gizzard recipes.
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What Are Chicken Gizzards?
The chicken gizzard is a part of a chicken's digestive tract. The chicken gizzard contains gravel that the chicken swallowed, which initially grinds the food before passing them to the stomach.
Since chicken gizzard is generally chicken muscle, it has a chewier consistency when cooked and has a darker appearance. You often see this sold barbecued in Asian countries, but you can also boil and fry it.
Are Chicken Gizzards Healthy?
Chicken gizzards are rich in protein and contain high amounts of essential minerals like selenium, cobalamin, and potassium, making them one of the healthiest portions of chicken meat.
Every 100 grams of chicken gizzard provides the following nutrition facts:
- 18 grams of protein
- 96 Calories
- 237 milligrams of Potassium
- 20% of Cobalamin needs
- 13% of Iron needs
- 25.5 micrograms of Selenium
- 148 milligrams of Phosphorus
- 3.68 milligrams of Niacin
- 0.12 milligrams of vitamin B6
- 0.23 milligrams of Riboflavin
Compared to other chicken parts like chicken breast, chicken gizzard has a lower fat content and more iron, making it a healthy option if you want to up your protein while managing your fat intake.
Chicken Gizzards Benefits
Suitable for Staying Lean
Chicken gizzards help you stay lean and build mass. A serving of cooked gizzards offers 61% of your daily protein needs, making it easier for you to achieve your daily protein consumption.
The great thing about having enough protein intake is that you don't have to be an athlete or be physically active to stay lean.
Since chicken gizzards contain low levels of carbohydrates, you don't have to worry about gaining extra pounds for them.
In fact, a 2017 study found that doubling your protein intake while in a caloric deficit results in more significant fat loss, which helps in losing weight.
Eating chicken gizzards helps boost your iron levels, preventing the occurrence of iron deficiency anemia. The chicken gizzard is a good source of iron; a serving provides 13% of your daily iron needs.
When there is insufficient iron in the body, the red blood cells can't carry enough oxygen to the tissues, leading to general weakness.
You can increase the iron content of your recipes by adding organ meat such as chicken hearts, chicken liver, and chicken giblets, as well as iron-rich vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.
Improves Brain Function
Chicken gizzard contains iron, selenium, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, potassium, niacin, and riboflavin, improving brain function.
B vitamins are essential for brain function and cellular development. Iron also helps deliver oxygen to the brain, assisting in DNA and neurotransmitter synthesis.
What Does Chicken Gizzard Taste Like?
Chicken gizzard has an interesting taste and texture. Since chicken gizzard is essentially a muscle and connective tissue, it has a more intense taste since it's considered dark chicken meat due to its higher iron content.
You can also expect chicken gizzards to be chewier. The texture makes the chicken gizzard a favorite chicken part.
How Much Chicken Gizzards Should You Eat?
Two pieces of chicken gizzard weigh about 60 grams and should be enough for one person.
Although chicken gizzard is healthy and offers a handful of health benefits, it's important to note that it is high in cholesterol.
Each 100 grams of chicken gizzard has 240 milligrams of cholesterol, which is 80% of the amount of cholesterol you are allowed to eat in a day.
How Much Is Too Much Chicken Gizzard?
As long as you don't overeat, eating chicken gizzards on a daily basis poses no health risks.
Every 130 grams of chicken gizzard already provides 100% of the daily allowed cholesterol intake, which means anything more than that is too much if you like to keep your cholesterol regular.
What Happens if You Eat Too Many Chicken Gizzards?
Eating too many chicken gizzards leads to high cholesterol levels. When you have high cholesterol levels, they get deposited in your blood vessels.
The deposited cholesterol causes blockage and increases your risk for high blood pressure and heart disease.
How To Cook Chicken Gizzards
Grilled Chicken Gizzards
Grilled chicken gizzards are a popular street food in Asian countries. Before grilling, you must marinate the gizzard meat with vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.
Fried Chicken Gizzards
Making fried chicken gizzards is very straightforward. You can use any spice you like for the marinade, skip the batter part, or go with it, depending on your liking.
Fried chicken gizzards tend to have a tougher texture than grilled ones, so be sure not to over-fry them.
Chicken Gizzard Soup
The chicken gizzard is a savory addition to your soup. You can use any chicken broth as a soup base and add other dark meat, including the chicken heart.
While eating chicken gizzards daily doesn't pose any public health threat, you must ensure the meat's quality. Do not eat raw chicken gizzards.
Chicken gizzards sold in grocery stores are already clean, but you must rewash fresh gizzards before cooking to ensure safety.
While others recommend eating raw chicken gizzards, it's important to note that they are a possible carrier of salmonella. A cooked chicken gizzard is always safer than a raw one.
Yes, you can feed your dog chicken gizzards. They are a good source of protein and iron and are safe to include in your dog's diet.