imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

In My Eyes: Chicken feet

People fondly call it “adidas.”

Some call it “tsinelas.”

It’s a favorite among the masses in the sidewalks. It’s also a favorite among beer drinkers.

Personally, it’s my favorite, too, fellas.

I like it cooked adobo style, cooked thoroughly until the foot sole becomes tender. It’s double purpose for me. Aside from being a delicacy, the bone leftovers are also a favorite of my dogs and cats.

People from all walks of life, at one time in their lives, have come across sidewalk vendors roasting chicken feet. The bandwagon is so in trend that even professionals flock to the sidewalk for the “adidas.”

In public markets, the first to be sold, aside from the liver and gizzards, are the chicken feet and the clotted chicken blood which is also roasted, barbecue style.

But chicken feet as part of the Pinoy diet is not only popular in the country.

My researches gave me this knowledge that we are not alone when it comes to consuming chicken feet as one of our favorite food.

Eating chicken feet may sound gross to you, but it is a delicacy with the Chinese, Vietnamese and Koreans, too. But they are not the only ones. Even non-Asians are eating chicken feet. The Jamaicans, South Africans, Trinidadians and South Americans have their own versions of chicken feet recipes.

The reason?

It doesn’t only taste good but it also provides a lot of health benefits for the body, as well.

Health and Wellness says chicken feet has a lot of health benefits to the human body.

First, it helps in making you look younger.

One of the positive, health-related benefits of eating chicken feet is helps you have a clear complexion. Research by the Department of Animal Science of National Chung-Hsing University in Taiwan showed that chicken feet contain a lot of collagen.

What is collagen, fellas?

Collagen, which makes up bone, skin, tendons, and cartilage, is the most abundant protein found in vertebrates. The molecule usually contains three very long polypeptide chains, each with about 1000 amino acids that twist into a regularly repeating triple helix and give tendons and skin their great tensile strength. When long collagen fibrils are denatured by boiling, their chains are shortened to form gelatin.

A study conducted by the Faculty of Veterinary Science Chung-Hsing University in Taiwan reveals that chicken feet contain a high amount of collagen. The levels of collagen that can be found in chicken feet are just the same that can be seen in green, leafy vegetables and fruits.

Collagen is one of certain substances that are needed in order to maintain the elasticity of the skin. Collagen is beneficial to maintain a healthy skin and supports a faster transformation of dead skin into a new one.

Collagen also assists the body in absorbing calcium and proteins which make the body healthier. It has the ability to elevate the production of red blood cells due to its ability in making the structure of blood vessels stronger.

Second, chicken cartilage can help fight and prevent arthritis.

Eating chicken feet will not only make you look young, but also feel young. That’s because the collagen they supply your body helps in repairing joints, thus keeping them from rubbing against one another and ending up painful and swollen. If you don’t want to experience joint pain while on your feet, then include chicken feet in your diet.

Chicken feet consists of bones, skin, and tendons but no muscles. These are packed with protein, calcium, collagen, and cartilage that are easily absorbed by the body. Joint disease and brittle bones usually occur in the elderly. It is because the body can not get the calcium that it needs. Chicken feet are composed of skin, tendons and bones which are rich in protein, calcium, cartilage and collagen that are easily absorbed by the body.

Third, it quickens the healing of the wounds, makes the immune system stronger, strengthens joints and fragile bones and aids in maintaining the balance of the hormone because it contains protein and calcium. These nutrients are extremely important to help regenerate nerves, muscles and bones. Researches reveal that such nutrients can help heal injuries faster. Even the condition of spinal cord injury is believed to be quickly cured by taking foods containing chicken feet.

Fourth, it aids in digestion. Collagen in chicken feet also helps in facilitating digestion, thus allowing you to fully take advantage of the nutrients in the food you eat. Scientists say that those connective tissues in chicken feet are also important for healthy intestines, which can be easily harmed by today’s unhealthy diet and lifestyle.

Fifth, it maintains healthy nails. Your skin is not the only thing that could benefit from your intake of chicken feet, but also your nails. Collagen found abundantly in chicken feet is actually important for making your nails really tough as well as beautiful. So if it seems like your nails are brittle and thus prone to breaking, get your hands on some chicken feet regularly.Chicken feet broth can produce amino acids, collagen, glycine, hidroksipolin and proline that can help maintain healthy nails. Cooked chicken feet produce gel that contains gelatin which helps the body process calcium that is absorbed by the nails.

And sixth, it helps reduce body weight.

If you will carefully inspect chicken feet, you will find no fat in them. It’s exactly for this reason why they are actually very low in calories, and consuming them can help make it easier for you to achieve your desired weight. Protein in chicken feet also helps in speeding up the metabolism so you get to burn more calories.

What else, fellas?

Mang Maing says whenever he buys chicken feet at Aling Orang’s meat shop at the public market, he selects the meatier ones. In preparation, he cuts off all the chicken nails and scrapes off the yellowish sole coating with a knife one by one. Next, he disinfects the feet with boiling water. Aftre that he prepares all the adobo ingredients and spices like vinegar, soy sauce, paminta, garlic and seasoning. For faster cooking, he uses the pressure cooker. Fifteen minutes is what he needs and lo, the chicken feet is ready for serving!

Chicken feet is also a favorite among beer drinkers.

Unlike plain chicken meat where it is consumed rapidly by gluttony drinkers, chicken feet are bony, hence, one has to nib it little by little to enjoy the taste.

A bowl of adobo chicken feet may last until the 3rd beer bottle, and after that, you are already solved! A bottle of beer and a bowl of “adidas” are already a nutritious diet for the evening.

So, next time you buy chicken meat, don’t ignore the chicken feet. Think of its benefits to your health and let it become a part of your daily diet.

And “pulutan,” too, when there are ordinary or special occasions.

Get it, fellas?