How to Make a Tasty and Healthy Stuffed Chicken
Stuffed chicken is the ultimate in comfort foods. It evokes images of home and family, of special occasions and chilly nights. Unfortunately, it also brings up memories of overeating and weight gain. Most of the time, this recipe is full of fats and oils, and is served with a variety of side dishes that just add to the problem. But that doesn’t have to be the case. You can have your chicken and eat it too with this stuffed chicken recipe. It’s delicious, will remind you of all those good times, and yet is also filled with lots of healthy foods that will support your lifestyle and weight goals.
The Danger of Modern Diets
There was a time when people ate whatever was available. This often led to deficiencies and even periods of malnutrition and starvation. In most Western countries, this danger is long past. There is a staggering amount of food available now, but that doesn’t mean that people are any healthier.
The normal Western diet is calorie rich but nutrient poor, with an excess of refined sugars and unhealthy fats and a reduced amount of healthy fruits and vegetables. This type of diet does long term cumulative damage to your body, and increases your risk of a number of diseases. So if you want to stay healthy, you need to make some adjustments to your eating regimen.
You can start by eliminating unhealthy choices and trying recipes (such as this one for stuffed chicken) which are designed to satisfy your taste buds while still providing you with the health benefits of the foods you eat.
The following foods are staples of the Western diet, but they should be some of the first foods you stop buying or eating. They’re extremely bad for your health and so processed that they no longer contain the nutrients you need for optimum bodily function.
- White bread
- Frozen pizza
- Soft drinks
- Box meals
The Benefits and Dangers of Chicken
Every type of meat available for human consumption today carries health threats. For a long time, chicken was thought of as a good alternative to beef and other meats. However, there are indications that this meat can have a number of negative effects on your health and well-being.
Along with the demand for more food, farming has become a business where the stock are confined in horrendous conditions. This causes them to suffer from a variety of diseases including cancer, organ damage, and deformities. Finally, they’re killed, and people consume them in vast numbers. In addition, to keep the chickens alive and healthy, they’re fed antibiotics and hormones. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the use of over 2,000 chemicals and drugs in chicken feed. This might be good for the food industry’s bottom line, but it can have devastating effects on your health and well-being.
Avoiding meat entirely is probably the best response to these horrifying health threats. However, if you must eat meat, make sure you buy organic, free-range chicken. These birds are given feed that is free of dangerous drugs. They also have more space to move around in, and grow in a healthier, more natural way. The healthier lifestyle also changes the nutritional content of the meat, making it better for your system and your overall health. So when you make your stuffed chicken recipe, make sure the meat is organic and free-range for the best results and more ethical eating.
The Health Effects of Eating Incorrectly
Eating the wrong foods or eating foods that are produced in an unhealthy way can have a number of consequences for your health and for the health of your family. This includes the following:
- Increased inflammation, which has been linked to heart disease and cancer, as well as a depressed immune response.
- Heart Disease
- Stomach and intestinal problems
- An increased risk of different types of cancers
- General ill health, which causes increased stress for the body and can result in diseases such as Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS)
What is Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome?
If you experience stress for a prolonged period of time, whether that stress is because of a busy life or because of general ill health, you may develop AFS. This is a frustrating and elusive disorder that can result in a number of symptoms, including weight gain, intestinal problems, lethargy, anxiety, and brain fog. Unfortunately, many doctors don’t recognize this disorder, so it can go on for months or even years. Meanwhile, you grow increasingly frustrated and continue to feel unwell despite the fact that your doctor insists that nothing is wrong.
When you have AFS, your adrenal glands no longer function correctly because of fatigue. Your adrenal glands are a vital part of your NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response, which is a system that activates circuits and structures in the body to help you deal with stress. Your adrenal glands are an important part of the NEM stress response because they secrete vital hormones that keep you awake and active. But they aren’t designed to function for long periods of times. They’re meant to help you cope with short-term stress, such as running from a predator. However, because prolonged stress is a big part of the modern lifestyle, the adrenal glands are constantly in demand and can become fatigued, which can result in AFS.
How Is AFS Treated?
Your diet can be a source of support and nutrition for your system, but it can also be a source of stress and illness. The modern diet, with its high levels of sugar and unhealthy fats and low nutrient levels, can cause a general state of ill health that can exacerbate or even cause AFS. This is why treating AFS through your diet is so important. This means eating foods that nourish your body without putting extra stress on any of your systems or depriving your body of any of the vitamins or minerals it needs to function at its best.
The best diet for this is a plant-based diet, with lots of fruits and vegetables, and less protein that you’re probably used to consuming. The normal Western diet has a heavy emphasis on proteins, which are necessary for health, but aren’t required in the quantities that most people eat today. Protein can also be found in other foods such as certain vegetables, dairy products, beans, and eggs, so you can satisfy your need for protein without constantly eating meat. You should also be eating healthy fats and whole grains to round out your diet, while avoiding processed foods.
The quality of the foods you eat matters almost as much as what you actually eat. There’s no point in trying to improve your health by cutting down on meat if you’re still eating meat that’s full of hormones, antibiotics and diseases. That’s why it’s so important that you choose organic, free-range meat for your stuffed chicken recipe and for general consumption. This also applies to everything else you eat. Make sure your food is organic and free of chemicals whenever possible to avoid putting further stress on your adrenal glands.
Healthy Stuffed Chicken
- 2 pounds organic, free-range chicken breasts, flattened.
Ingredients B (stuffing):
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 3/4 pound crumbled, low-fat feta cheese
- 1/2 cup baby spinach, chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Ingredients C (sauce):
- 1/4 teaspoon seeded and diced jalapeno peppers
- 1 mango, peeled, seeded and diced
- 14 ounce can of your favorite tomato sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°F or 190 C.
- Combine all of the Ingredients B (stuffing) in a large bowl.
- Put the flattened chicken breasts onto a clean surface.
- Divide Ingredients B stuffing mixture equally to the number of chicken breasts. Spoon the stuffing onto each chicken breast and wrap the chicken around it.
- Brush a small baking pan with oil, and put the chicken rolls into it.
- Bake for 35 min.
- While the chicken is baking, combine the Ingredients C (sauce) in a pot over medium heat.
- Bring the pot to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce thickens. Stir frequently.
- To serve, spoon the sauce over the stuffed chicken.
Improving your health and your lifestyle choices doesn’t mean completely eliminating all of your favorite foods from your life. Instead, you need to adjust your old favorites so they contain more nutrient rich foods and less fat, salt, and sugar. This will help you to avoid many of the health problems that come with unhealthy dietary choices, as well as chronic diseases such as AFS. This stuffed chicken recipe is a great example of how to adjust an old favorite so it doesn’t negatively impact your health. This version is extremely good for you, but also delicious, and will quickly become a new staple in your household.
© Copyright 2018 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Lam’s Key Question
Can stuffed chicken be good for you?
Deciding to eat healthy doesn’t mean eliminating or avoiding all of your favorite foods. This stuffed chicken recipe is the ultimate comfort food, but it’s also filled nutrients and ingredients that are good for you and will support your healthy lifestyle.