Chicken bones with meat are simmered in water, sometimes with the addition of vegetables and herbs for flavor. The result is rich, savory chicken broth. You can purchase canned chicken broth in grocery stores, or you can make it at home with chicken parts, an option that is often more economical than buying ready-to-eat broth.
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Calories and Fat
A 1 cup serving of chicken broth contains 18 calories. Chicken broth may be eaten plain, and many people have a bowl of chicken broth when suffering from a cold, but it is more typical to incorporate it into a more complex dish. Count the total calories in a recipe when planning your diet, as an excess of calories can cause weight gain. The majority of the calories in a serving of chicken broth come from fat. The 1.3 g of fat do not account for much of the recommended daily limit of 44 to 78 grams, or 20 to 35 percent of the total amount in your meal plan each day.
Protein and Carbohydrates
The protein in a serving of chicken broth,1.4 g, does not significantly meet your needs for the day. The Institute of Medicine suggest eating 46 to 56 g of protein, a macronutrient that contributes to muscle development and enzyme production, as well as energy. Carbohydrates supply energy to keep your body moving, too; however, a cup of chicken broth contains only 0.9 g of the 130 g you require daily.
Vitamins and Minerals
One cup of chicken broth supplies 3 percent of the vitamin A and calcium you need in a day. In addition, you will get 2 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C and iron. The benefits from these vitamins and minerals mean chicken broth may contribute to your eye health, bone strength, oxygen levels and collagen production.
Eating chicken broth when you have the sniffles or a full-blown cold may help reduce your symptoms. Stephen Rennard, M.D., a researcher with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, says in a 2008 UNC press release that there is “evidence that chicken soup might have an anti-inflammatory activity,” which can benefit respiratory problems. The research, published in “Chest,” the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, could not identify a specific ingredient that makes chicken soup a must when you are sick; however, chicken broth has long been suspected to play a curative role.
Chicken broth can be high in sodium, with up to 730 mg per cup. This amount eats up nearly 31 percent of your recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams. Consider making chicken broth at home and control the amount of salt you use.