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Weight Loss & Nutrition

Black Chicken – Souper!


Energising Ebony
It’s appearance and gamey taste might take some getting used to – but if black (or Silkie) chicken soup has been looked on by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners as a folk invigorant for eons, it might be worth a second look. “Chicken in general provides a significant amount of niacin, protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals,” says Julina Halim, a nutritionist specialising in wellness planning, lifestyle and behaviour management. Research also suggests that black chicken may offer higher levels of iron and nutrients usually present in regular chicken in addition to a lower fat content, she adds.

Nifty Nutrient
But what exactly makes black chicken so good? The answer could lie in the naturally occurring antioxidant carnosine. Researchers from Nanchang University in China conducted a study comparing carnosine levels between black chicken and White Plymouth Rock chickens (a common variety farmed for eggs and meat). Turns out, black chicken had twice the amount of carnosine compared to the Rock.

Carnosine is also used as a supplement to “protect against ageing and to alleviate diseases such as autism and diabetes,” says Halim. Besides these benefits, carnosine can help prevent atherosclerosis, joint inflammation, protect against neurological disorders (like Alzhemier’s) and aid diabetic patients, she says.

Have a Crack
Not surprisingly, black chicken eggs are healthier. A study published in British Poultry Science discovered that using black chicken eggs in cakes could increase the level of antioxidants and improve the overall quality of the product. “Black chicken eggs were also found to possess higher levels of unsaturated fatty acids compared to regular chicken eggs,” says Halim. She offers some tips to make your dish totally healthy: Because chicken fat leaches into the broth, chill the mixture so that it’s easier to skim the oil off (though the more oil you remove, the less tasty the dish will be). Remove the chicken skin and you’ll consume 50 per cent less fat.


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