Chicken is widely available, easy to prepare, and a popular source of protein globally. Different cuts of chicken contain different nutrients, including iron.
Table of Contents
- Is Chicken High or Low in Iron?
- How Much Iron Is in Chicken?
- Can You Get Enough Iron From Chicken?
- Is Chicken Healthy?
- Can You Get Too Much Iron From Chicken?
- Which Cut of Chicken Contains the Most Iron?
- Is Dark Chicken Meat High in Iron?
- Are Chicken Drumsticks High in Iron?
- Is Light Chicken Meat High in Iron?
- Are Chicken Thighs High in Iron?
- Is Ground Chicken High in Iron?
- Is Chicken Soup High in Iron?
- Are Chicken Giblets High in Iron?
Is Chicken High or Low in Iron?
Chicken is high in iron, especially the dark meat and giblets. Chicken is also rich in other essential nutrients, such as protein, which contribute to good health.
Also, the iron in chicken is heme, so your body can absorb it more easily.
How Much Iron Is in Chicken?
Different cuts of chicken contain different amounts of iron. For example, one medium-sized chicken breast contains around 1.8 mg of iron, which is relatively high. However, although wings and drumsticks contain iron, they have less than the breast.
Darker chicken meat tends to be higher in iron and other nutrients, and eating the darker cuts could help you feel full for longer.
Can You Get Enough Iron From Chicken?
All animal proteins are high in iron, so adding chicken to your diet can prevent an iron deficiency.
Is Chicken Healthy?
Chicken is very nutritious. One medium-sized chicken breast provides you with half of your recommended daily intake of protein. Protein helps you feel full longer after eating and can enhance your exercise.
Many people's diets are high in carbohydrates and low in protein. If your diet is like this, adding some chicken could be beneficial.
Chicken is also rich in phosphorus and selenium, which support several bodily functions.
Phosphorus helps keep your bones and teeth strong and aids muscle contraction. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that helps flush harmful chemicals out of your body.
Chicken is also very high in niacin, or vitamin B3, which can improve blood fat levels and lower blood pressure, reducing your risk of cardiovascular conditions. It may also help treat the symptoms of type 1 diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels.
Vitamin B3 is often included in skin supplements, as it protects the skin from damage and may even prevent skin cancer.
As chicken is low in calories but high in protein, it may also help you lose weight. Studies show that a diet high in protein can aid weight loss and help you maintain lean body mass.
High-protein foods help you feel full longer after eating. Chicken is also low in fat, further reducing your calorie intake.
Preparing chicken by roasting it or using a dry frier is better. Avoid chicken that is heavily processed meats or fried in oil, as these methods increase the amount of sodium. Ensure that it is thoroughly cooked, as undercooked chicken is notorious for causing food poisoning.
If you add chicken to your diet, try to choose meat from a source that treats its animals ethically.
Can You Get Too Much Iron From Chicken?
Chicken is high in iron; however, it doesn't contain enough for you to be at risk of iron toxicity. In fact, you should include other foods rich in iron in your diet, as your body doesn't store it.
Which Cut of Chicken Contains the Most Iron?
White and dark chicken meat are both high in iron, but chicken giblets are even higher.
For example, a one-ounce serving of chicken liver contains 3.6mg of iron, and the same serving of chicken heart contains 2.5mg.
If you don’t like the taste or prefer not to eat giblets, stick to the darker cuts of chicken, such as thighs.
Roasted and dry fried chicken tend to be higher in iron and other nutrients and lower in dangerous chemicals, whereas chicken fried in oil is higher in calories, fat, and harmful substances that form during frying. Oil frying also strips the nutrients out of chicken.
Is Dark Chicken Meat High in Iron?
Dark meat is slightly higher in iron than light, with a one-cup serving containing 1.9mg, marginally higher than breast meat.
It's also richer in other nutrients like zinc, riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamins B6 and B12.
Are Chicken Drumsticks High in Iron?
A one-cup serving of cooked drumstick meat contains 1.8 mg of iron, 10% of your recommended daily intake. It also contains vitamin C, which helps with iron absorption.
Drumsticks also contain vitamin A, which some other chicken cuts are deficient in. This fat-soluble micronutrient helps protect your eyes from damage, boosts your immune system, and supports bone health.
Drumsticks also contain selenium, niacin, phosphorus, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, and zinc.
So, adding different chicken cuts to your diet can give you more of the nutrients you need.
Is Light Chicken Meat High in Iron?
Light chicken meat is lower in iron than dark. A one-cup serving of chopped light chicken meat contains 1.5 mg of iron, about 8% of your recommended daily intake.
However, light chicken meat contains more protein than dark. Light meat can contain as much as 5 grams more than dark in the same-sized serving. It also has more niacin and magnesium.
Are Chicken Thighs High in Iron?
One cup of cooked and chopped chicken thighs contains about 2mg of iron, higher than most other cuts and around 11% of your recommended daily intake.
Chicken thighs also contain high levels of zinc, which, along with iron, helps keep your immune system healthy.
Is Ground Chicken High in Iron?
As ground chicken meat is made from several parts of the chicken, it's much lower in iron than other cuts. It only contains about 0.8 mg, which is just 4% of your recommended daily intake.
However, ground chicken meat is an excellent addition to any diet, as it can be used for dishes like pasta and chili and still contains nutrients.
Is Chicken Soup High in Iron?
A one-cup serving of homemade chicken soup contains just 0.5 mg of iron. So, adding chicken soup to your diet will only increase your iron intake by a little.
However, homemade chicken soup contains electrolytes that help prevent dehydration.
It’s also loaded with nutrients and compounds that help boost your immune system, reducing your risk of developing several health issues.
If you make chicken soup with stock cubes, these can contain high levels of sodium, which can increase your blood pressure. So, use fewer stock cubes or replace them with low-sodium varieties.
Are Chicken Giblets High in Iron?
Giblets, including the heart, liver, and kidneys, are one of the best sources of iron. One cup of cooked and chopped giblets contains 8.8 mg of iron, 49% of your recommended daily intake. This makes giblets perfect for preventing anemia and iron deficiency.
They’re also richer in other nutrients like vitamins A, C, B12, riboflavin, folate, selenium, and zinc.
Chicken is an excellent protein source rich in nutrients, including iron. Different cuts of chicken contain differing amounts of iron, but they’re all incredibly nutritious.
All cuts of chicken can contribute to a healthy, balanced diet.