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Black Chicken is a rare breed of chicken from Indonesia that’s scientifically dubbed Ayam Cemani. Black Chickens are bred with a rare gene causing hyperpigmentation of their flesh, feathers, beaks, and organs. The Black Chicken has many popular nicknames including “goth chicken” and “silky” among others. Although Black Chicken isn’t always readily available at your neighborhood grocery store, it can be purchased from exotic meat purveyors in the U.S. If you can get your hands on Black Chicken, it’s worth a try as it has some really great health benefits.
Although Black Chicken has been popular in China and other parts of Asia since as early as the 13th century, it’s only become popular in the U.S. recently. The primary reason for its recent domestic popularity is the purported health benefits of eating Black Chicken. Here are some of the purported health benefits of adding Black Chicken to your diet.
Important Note: As the science of food and nutrition is an ever-changing study, the information herein represents the most current information about the benefits of eating Black Chicken at the time of publication. At the time of publication, there were nearly two dozen studies concerning the benefits of eating Black Chicken. As a result, there’s much more research to be done, so stay tuned. Nevertheless, there are a handful of purported health benefits to regular consumption of Ayam Cemani or Black Chicken. However, although Black Chicken is higher in some nutrients than White Chicken, for the most part, the two chicken types are on par with one another concerning health benefits.
Promotes Heart Health and Natural Immunity
Black Chicken meat is rich in iron and other minerals required for optimal heart health. These nutrients work together to prevent blood clots thereby reducing the risk of heart problems. Iron, in general, also prevents anemia and promotes the healthy growth of hemoglobin; theses two functions of iron are linked to good heart health. Furthermore, Black Chicken is rich in vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12; these vitamins are connected to reducing blood clots and coroanry artery disorders. Together these B vitamins plays their own significant role in one’s overall health. The B vitamins improve metabolism, produce cellular energy, and more.
In many East Asian countries, Vietnam in particular, Black Chicken meat is consumed as an immunity-booster. Studies indicate that Black Chicken is rich in carnosine, anserine, and creatine, all of which are linked to bolstering one’s immunity. Although white chicken contains these same nutrients, studies indicate that Black Chicken simply has more of each.
General Consensus Benefit Rating: 4: Though studies on Black Chicken consumption are far more limited than those on White Chicken, it’s clear that Black Chicken contains many of the same nutrients and vitamins that have long been proven to promote heart health and immunity.
Moreover, Black Chicken meat is dense in nutrients such as collagen, proline, and lysine, each of which is linked to healing after surgery or injury. Together, these nutrients work to reduce scarring and promote tissue regeneration. Furthermore, Black Chicken in rich in vitamin E which is connected to improved circulation, promoting skin health, and cell nourishment; each of these benefits improve healing processes.
General Consensus Benefit Rating: 2.5: Although each of the noted nutrients and vitamins are inherently linked to healing, research is limited on the levels of these nutrients in Black Chicken; further studies are required.
Excellent Source of Protein
Just like its white meat counterpart, Black Chicken meat is an excellent source of protein. However, Black Chicken has an even greater amount of protein than any other bird meat. As with protein from any meat source, sufficient protein intake promotes muscle growth, controls blood sugar, curbs appetite, and improves overall energy. As a result, gourmet chefs, dieticians, and nutritionists all laud the benefits of Black Chicken for its high protein content.
General Consensus Benefit Rating: 5: Studies indicate that Black Chicken meat, especially leg meat, is packed with protein. As a lean meat, this fact is virtually inarguable.
Rich in Antioxidants
Black Chickens are rich in antioxidants, a substance important for reducing free radicals, minimizing inflammation, and inhibiting oxidation. Some of the health benefits loosely associated with good antioxidant intake include protected eyesight (specifically protecting against macular degeneration), reduced risk of cancer, and thwarting memory loss. However, some studies dispute the ability of antioxidants to prevent diseases at all.
General Consensus Benefit Rating: 2.5: Although it’s clear that Black Chicken is rich in antioxidants, there’s disagreement about the health benefits of antioxidants at all. Further research is necessary.
Rife With Fatty Acids
Fatty acids are credited with regulating genetic function, preventing heart disease, and protecting against cancer. Moreover, fatty acids help the body to control conditions such as lupus, eczema, and arthritis among other conditions. The good news is that Black Chicken is fraught with fatty acids. However, the same is true of the White Leghorn Chicken (the standard chicken you’re used to seeing at the supermarket); in fact, there’s not a significant difference in the levels of fatty acids in both breeds. Therefore, Black Chicken is just as good a source of fatty acid as White Leghorn Chicken.
General Consensus Benefit Rating: 4.5: There’s little to dispute concerning the fatty acid content of Black Chicken. Although it’s no better than White Leghorn Chicken in this regard, it’s a good source of fatty acids nonetheless.