By Sean Zucker –
Think of chicken wings and it’s easy to imagine a couple larger gentlemen chowing down on these delicacies with sauce-smudged faces. Maybe they’re at a bar watching football. They both probably have mustaches. Essentially, it’s a vision of Bill Swerski’s Superfans. These guys are happy, but no one thinks their chicken-wing plus diet is particularly healthy. However, this is a common misconception. Chicken wings are surprisingly healthy and experts agree they rank near the top of any nutritionist’s bar food recommendations, which is great news as Covid-related restrictions start to lift and tavern patronage returns.
Packed With Protein
First off, chicken wings are mostly chicken and therefor absolutely loaded in protein. Healthline notes one chicken wing is roughly 21 grams, 6.4 grams of which is protein. This is equal about 31 grams of protein per 100 grams. Given that the daily recommended amount is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, amounting to 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man and 46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman, one order may be enough to get you there. More exciting still, there’s only 42 calories per wing or 203 calories per 100 grams.
In short, unadorned chicken wings are a relatively low calorie, high protein option.
In a more unexpected turn, the barstool favorite additionally provides pretty significant amounts of crucial vitamins. Mashed highlights the meat itself has high amounts of Vitamins A, E, D and K, as well as a wide range of important minerals like iron and calcium.
Iron is a mineral the body needs for growth and development, using it to make hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body as well as myoglobin, a protein that provides oxygen to muscles. Calcium is also necessary for healthy muscles as the body needs an ample amount of it to move them. It also supports health bones and teeth, while being integral for the nerves to carry out messages between the brain and every other body part.
Unrecognized Health Balm
Due to its high protein and various vitamin contents, chicken wings also can be useful in nutritional therapy. Poultry EU outlined the concept. “The properties and useful benefits of wings cannot be underestimated,” it reported. “Properly cooked chicken wings have a therapeutic effect on metabolic disorders, such as gout, arthritis, and diabetes.”
The site even goes on to recommend chicken wings as a therapeutic boon for atherosclerosis, hypertension, stroke and heart disease, adding the advice that elderly people in particular should enrich their diet with the nutrients from chicken wings. Poultry EU claims all these properties may help treat depression and other neurological disorders, the body recover from injuries, fractures and surgical procedures, regulate blood glucose levels, improve reproductive function and even possibly prevent the development of certain cancers.
Grab Em Grilled
One expert does, however, warn its less about what’s ordered at the bar and more about how the food is prepared. In speaking on chicken wings, Jennifer McDaniel, R.D.N., owner of McDaniel Nutrition Therapy, told Women’s Health to get the most out of the sports fan favorite order them grilled instead of beer-battered and fried. Additionally, the skin can often be ultra-fat and greasy, giving more credence to the counsel of getting them grilled.
What does all this chicken wing love tell us? Well, unbeknownst to them, those celebrities on Hot Ones might be the health gurus of tomorrow—Who would of thought?