Chicken feet nutrition
Chicken feet are primarily made up of connective tissue - skin, cartilage, tendons and bones. However, they are still very nutritious and provide plenty of vitamins and minerals.
A serving of 2 chicken feet (70 g) provides:
- Calories: 150
- Protein: 14 grams
- Fat: 10 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0.14 grams
- Calcium: 5% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Phosphorus: 5% of daily value
- Vitamin A: 2% of daily value
- Folic acid (vitamin B9): 15% of daily value
About 70% of its total protein content is collagen, a structural protein that provides shape, strength and resistance to your skin, tendons, muscles, bones and ligaments.
Chicken feet are also a good source of folate (vitamin B9), which aids in DNA synthesis and helps prevent birth abnormalities.
Their fat content comes mainly from the skin, which is usually removed during cooking. However, chicken feet are often fried or served in sauces, which can significantly increase their carbohydrate, fat, and calorie content.
Are chicken feet good for health?
Chicken feet's potential health benefits are largely related to their high collagen content.
May improve skin health and appearance
There is evidence that consuming collagen can improve skin's hydration, roughness, elasticity, and density.
A 6-month study of 105 women with moderate cellulite found that regular collagen intake significantly reduced cellulite and skin waviness compared to a control group.
Additionally, a review of 11 studies involving 805 people showed that collagen ingestion has good short- and long-term effects on wound healing and skin aging.
Additionally, animal studies indicate that collagen can increase skin hydration and reduce wrinkle formation caused by ultraviolet B (UVB) exposure, a type of ultraviolet light that causes sunburn.
Collagen may work by increasing levels of hyaluronic acid, a water-retaining molecule thought to help prevent skin aging.
May help reduce joint pain
The collagen in chicken feet can relieve joint pain.
Studies show that collagen can stimulate tissue regeneration, thereby reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis wears away or destroys cartilage, causing bones to rub against each other, causing pain, swelling, and difficulty moving.
A 3-month study of 191 patients with knee osteoarthritis concluded that daily doses of chicken cartilage collagen significantly reduced pain, stiffness, and signs of physical dysfunction.
A 12-week study of 139 athletes with knee pain found similar results. People who took 5 grams of collagen daily experienced significant improvements in pain intensity during activity and a reduced need for additional treatments.
May help prevent bone loss
Collagen intake improves bone formation and density in postmenopausal women.
A one-year study of 102 women found that taking 5 grams of collagen peptide (a degraded form of collagen) daily increased bone mineral density and synthesis while reducing bone degradation compared with a control group .
Likewise, in a study of 39 women, those who took collagen supplements experienced significantly less bone mineral density loss than the control group.
Researchers believe that collagen may have these effects because it is a major component of bone mass.
Due to their high collagen content, chicken feet also offer the following benefits:
Helps with blood sugar control. An animal study determined that chicken claw protein may help improve blood sugar levels by stimulating glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a hormone that activates insulin production.
Promotes heart health. Collagen, like elastin, is an important component of arteries and veins. Research shows that a good elastin to collagen ratio is critical for preventing heart disease.
Potential Disadvantages of Chicken Feet
Disadvantages of chicken feet include common preparation methods, overall cleanliness, and choking risks.
Chicken feet are often fried, which may negate any potential benefits they have.
Fried foods are rich in trans fatty acids (TFA), a type of unhealthy unsaturated fat known to harm heart health.
Specifically, TFA may increase markers of inflammation, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL (bad) cholesterol, while lowering HDL (good) cholesterol. This, in turn, increases the risk of atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in the veins, and heart attack.
Additionally, TFAs are associated with an increased risk of prostate and breast cancer.
Cleanliness and choking hazards
When purchasing chicken feet, be sure to inspect them carefully. Those who appear dirty or have ammonia burns on their skin indicate poor hygiene.
You should discard or avoid those with ammonia burn, which look like overgrown calluses and are often caused by chickens standing on their own feces.
If the feet you purchased look unclean, wash them thoroughly to remove dirt.
Finally, chicken feet are made up of multiple small bones and can be a choking hazard to both children and adults.
Usage and preparation
Chicken feet are primarily used in soups and stews, but can also be eaten as a snack, main dish, or side dish. However, you can find countless recipes online, from classic soups to chicken foot salad, skewers or fried appetizers.
If you have never had chicken foot bone broth before, try preparing chicken foot bone broth as a healthy, nutritious and subtle way to absorb them easily.
Here's a simple multi-cooker recipe to get you started.
10 chicken feet
2 tablespoons (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon (15 g) sea salt filtered water vegetables and herbs to taste (optional)
If your chicken feet have skin on them, you will have to blanch them first to remove the skin. To do this, put them in boiling water for 10-30 seconds, then in cold water. Pull off and discard rinds.
Place the feet into the multicooker and add filtered water until the feet are completely covered. Add vinegar, salt, herbs and vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce the temperature to a simmer.
Use a spoon to skim off any foam or scum that forms on top. Cook overnight, then strain the feet, vegetables and herbs from the stock.
Enjoy the broth immediately or pour into a glass jar and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.
Or, try this dim sum-style recipe and eat them like chicken wings or wings—the middle part of the wing.
Uncooked chicken feet will keep for up to 2 days if refrigerated and up to 9 months if frozen.
Chicken feet are made up of skin, cartilage, tendons and bones. Even if they don't offer much meat, they are rich in collagen - the most abundant protein in the body.
This collagen content may help relieve joint pain, promote skin health, and prevent bone loss.
Although chicken feet are often fried, using them to make bone broth is a healthier way to make it. Watch out for their small bones, which can pose a choking hazard.