The classic creamy American-style meal that dates back to the mid-1800s may come to mind when you hear “chicken salad.”
This chicken salad variation frequently includes components such as boiled eggs, celery, apples, grapes, and almonds or nuts. These essentials are blended with cooked chicken and are often held together with mayonnaise.
Many different flavor profiles and components can be blended into chicken salad. It’s typically served cold and made with cooked chicken, a dressing, and sometimes added veggies, nuts, seeds, or fruit for taste and crunch.
The benefits of chicken salad
Aside from tasting delicious, chicken salad has a lot of other advantages, such as being reasonably inexpensive and simple to prepare at home. However, the health benefits of chicken salad do not end there.
Chicken salad is high in protein
Protein is one of the essential nutrients your body requires to develop and maintain bone, muscle, cartilage, and other tissues. Most humans need 45-65 grams of protein per day, while factors such as age, gender, physical activity, and overall health may increase or decrease those requirements. Thus, just one serving of chicken salad might meet nearly one-third of your daily protein requirements.
Protein is necessary for bone health and muscle strength, but it also:
- controls appetite
- aids in the healing of your body
- may reduce food cravings
Chicken salad is high in nutrients
It also contains a variety of valuable micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. Chicken salad is high in nutrients, as well as vitamins and minerals.
One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of roasted chicken contains a high concentration of:
- 51% of the DV for niacin
- phosphorus: 17% of the DV
- vitamin B6: 16% of the DV
- selenium: 36% of the DV
As a result, eating chicken salad may help you reach your daily nutrient requirements.
How to make a healthier chicken salad
Chicken salad can be part of a satisfying meal that includes lean protein, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Here are some tips to ensure that the benefits of your chicken salad exceed the drawbacks.
Keep your protein lean
Chicken and other fowl species, such as turkey, are naturally lean or low in fat. Using chicken that has been poached, broiled, roasted, grilled, microwaved, or steamed helps keep calories down because these cooking methods do not require much extra fat. Fried, breaded, canned, and processed chicken, on the other hand, has a higher fat, salt, and calorie content per serving.
Select healthier dressing ingredients
If you want a lower-calorie chicken salad, skip the mayonnaise. Instead, try Greek yogurt, avocado, sour cream, Dijon mustard, or a vinaigrette dressing. Though some of these alternatives contain fat, they have fewer calories and saturated fat than mayo.
Include fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients
Veggies, nuts, and seeds add flavor, crunch, and color to chicken salad and contribute significantly to its nutritional value. Nuts, seeds, and fruits certainly include calories. Still, they also contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them a healthy supplement when consumed in moderation. Plus, this is where you can get creative with your chicken salad recipe.
Other items to try include fennel, radishes, chickpeas, cucumber, shredded cabbage, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and more.
Combine it with a high-fiber source
Chicken salad is commonly served with bread or crackers. While they are undoubtedly tasty vehicles for the dish, bread or crackers prepared from processed grains, provide little nourishment to your meal. Choosing a high-fiber whole-grain bread may fill you up faster than crackers or croissants and also deliver additional vitamins and minerals.
Alternatively, chicken salad served with lettuce or other salad greens has fewer calories than chicken salad served on bread while still being high in fiber and micronutrients.
The chicken salad contains a lot of lean protein and iron. Depending on the other ingredients, it may also contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Using mayonnaise or serving the salad on a croissant, on the other hand, adds calories and fat. As a result, it’s better to eat chicken salad in moderation as part of a well-rounded diet.
Also Read: 5 Different Types of Healthy Salad