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Are There Any Benefits in Eating Chicken Feet?

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Mazlan has a passion for health and fitness. He enjoys yoga, cycling, home workouts, and healthy food.

Chicken feet provide a surprising number of health benefits.

Chicken feet provide a surprising number of health benefits.

Do People Eat Chicken Feet?

Eating chicken feet may sound unappetizing to some people, but it is considered to be a delicacy in many Asian countries, including China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Korea.

People in other parts of the world eat chicken feet, too. Recipes featuring chicken feet are popular in Jamaica, South Africa, Trinidad, and a number of countries in South America.

What is so special about chicken feet? Some say it's good to avoid wasting any edible parts of the chicken. This could be true, as many ethnic groups that ate chicken feet were traditionally from the lower income groups. Others say chicken feet are healthy. Would you eat chicken feet if given the chance?

In This Article

  1. Health Benefits: Clear Complexion
  2. Collagen
  3. Drink Ingestible Collagens for Smoother and Firmer Skin?
  4. Beauty Products
  5. Arthritis
  6. Uses
  7. Cooking Tips
  8. Eating Tips
  9. Where to Purchase
  10. Chicken Feet for Dogs
  11. Will More People Eat Chicken Feet?
  12. Nutrition Facts
  13. Vitamin Content
  14. Mineral Content
  15. FAQs
  16. Video on Benefits
  17. References and Further Reading

Chicken Feet Health Benefits: Clear Complexion

One of the positive, health-related benefits of eating chicken feet is a good, clear complexion. Research by the Department of Animal Science of National Chung-Hsing University in Taiwan showed that chicken feet contained lots of collagen[1]. Collagen, as you know, is the ingredient for youthful-looking skin.

Did you know that cooked chicken feet will expand? A good example is chicken feet prepared in the Chinese dim sum style, above.

Did you know that cooked chicken feet will expand? A good example is chicken feet prepared in the Chinese dim sum style, above.

Chicken Feet and Collagen

The research at this Taiwanese University also confirmed chicken feet as a good alternative source for collagen. The usual source for collagen is from bovine, pig and marine fish. But the production cost from these sources is very expensive.

Chicken feet are not only rich in collagen but also a good source of hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin sulfate. Hyaluronic acid is touted as the fountain of youth—it can prevent the effects of aging. Chondroitin sulfate is good for osteoarthritis so it is good for people with joint problems.

What are Collagen and What Are Its Benefits?

Collagen can simply be described as a protein that acts as a glue that 'holds our body together'. The benefits are not only for the skin but also for the heart and can even improve athletic performance. Other benefits of taking collagen[2] are:

  • Healthier and younger-looking skin.
  • It is rich in calcium and protein, without the carbohydrates.
  • It improves blood supply by strengthening the blood vessels.
  • Assist the body in metabolizing fats, therefore good for weight loss.
  • Slows the effect of arthritis.
  • Reduce pain and swelling (inflammation).

Most collagen, or collagen supplements, are expensive. Why pay so much when you can have a cheap or almost free alternative? Use chicken feet instead.

To enjoy the benefits of collagen in the chicken feet, use it in your soups, broths or in any cooking.

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Read More From Delishably

Drink Ingestible Collagens for Smoother and Firmer Skin?

For centuries, Asian foods and drinks have been based on herbs, spices, and unprocessed foods and this includes chicken feet to keep their complexion glowing.

Now, beauty and pharmaceutical companies have started to market beauty-from-within products and this includes collagen drinks.

Do they work?

Dr. Stefanie Williams, a dermatologist & medical director of European Dermatology London, says that some collagen drinks actually live up to their claims of getting better-looking skin.

Do you want to try?

Beauty Product That Uses Chicken Feet

BioCell Collagen, an American product that promotes younger-looking skin and active joints, makes their collagen peptide complex from chicken feet cartilage.

I have not tried this product yet but based on reviews by users, 67% gave it a 5-star rating and 5% gave it a 1-star rating. This is from 392 reviewers.

Update: Jan 2018: I recently bought this product mainly for my knee joint problem and after one month of usage, I can feel some improvements and my face is also less dry. Will see how it goes.

Update: June 2018: Now that I had more than 4 bottles of BioCell over a continuous period of 5 months 'dosage' I can safely say that it has reduced my knee joint pain and I can easily walk or even run up staircases. The dry skin that is visible on my hand looks much better now. Not sure if it will go back to my old problem if I stop taking BioCell! Have yet to try.

Update: April 2019: After more than a year of using this product, I can now confirm it has more benefits to my skin dryness and fine lines. Although I saw improvement to my knee problem, it was not enough for my jogging or brisk walking. I have to use other products to help me with these exercises. So, if you want to improve your joint pain, you can forget this BioCell Collagen. But if you want to improve your complexion, this is a great product.

Chicken Cartilage for Arthritis

Chicken feet consist of bones, skin, and tendons, but no muscles. These are packed with protein, calcium, trace minerals, collagen, and cartilage that are easily absorbed by the body. These are the essential nutrients required for good joint movement to minimize arthritis and joint pain[3].

Bone and Joint Health

A serving of two boiled chicken feet has about 88 mg of calcium. For Asians that don't drink milk with breakfast, this is a good way to boost their calcium levels in order to reduce the risk of brittle bones.

Likewise, instead of buying supplements with glucosamine and chondroitin, use chicken feet in your soup or broth and enjoy a cheaper option for joint health.

This is why Chinese martial art experts use chicken feet as part of their diet regimen.

Despite the goodness of chicken feet, many people are not eating it as it reminds them of the human hand!

Despite the goodness of chicken feet, many people are not eating it as it reminds them of the human hand!

Research on Uses of Chicken Feet

Powdered Chicken Feet to Regenerate Neutrons

Many years ago Dr. Harry Robertson did research on the potential of chicken feet to regenerate nerves, bones, muscles, and its healing effect on spinal cord injury. The research and discoveries showed promising results.

However, it was subsequently stopped by the FDA and it was never continued. Issues with sanitation and testing methods were some of the reasons the FDA gave on why it had to stop.

According to Dr. Robertson, chicken feet were the greatest medical advancement since the introduction of penicillin, and it was a shame that the FDA had to stop this research.

How to Cook Chicken Feet

Are you now ready to enjoy the goodness of chicken feet? Let's get working then.

Cleaning chicken feet is quite easy but if this is your first time, it can be a bit awkward. Follow the following steps and you will soon be an expert!

  1. Wash chicken feet thoroughly.
  2. Rub them with salt to remove any stubborn stains.
  3. Scald the chicken feet in boiling water for about 3 minutes.
  4. Let it cool before you peel the yellow membranes on the feet.
  5. Using either a sharp knife or a kitchen scissor, chop off the tip of the claws/nails.

The chicken feet are now ready for cooking.

For another simple chicken feet recipe, check John Lethlean article on The Australian that uses fresh coriander, chili and lime juice as garnishes. It is a nice and simple recipe but time-consuming!

Boy enjoying chicken feet in Mexico City

Boy enjoying chicken feet in Mexico City

How to Eat Chicken Feet

It depends on the dish.

For the Chinese dim sum chicken feet recipe, the feet are marinated in soy sauce, black beans, and several spices. The fun is in sucking at the bone and enjoying the juice/sauce. You bite a piece of the foot, suck, and pull off the skin. It is scrumptious if it is properly cooked and marinated, and you should eat it. Remove the small bone from your mouth and continue with the other portion of your chicken foot.

For the Mexican chicken feet recipe that is breaded and fried, the soft outer skin is chewed, but the rest of the feet are left uneaten.

If chicken feet are used in soup, then eat all the parts except the bone. Alternatively, you can bite at one of the toes and suck in the juice.

If it was grilled, as in Filipinos dish "adidas," then bite off the skin and eat it just like a drumstick. The bone? Toss it away.

Where to Buy Chicken Feet

If you live in Asia or another country where chicken feet are a delicacy, you will have no problem. Otherwise, you can get them in most Asian butcheries. Alternatively, you can always ask your local butchers to keep them for you.

Frozen Chicken Feet

Still having problems buying chicken feet? Do not worry as frozen chicken feet are now sold online! Just search and you will find many companies offering them for sale and are graded according to size. Grade A and A+ chickens will have feet between 4.7 to 6 inches (12-15 cm) in length.

These frozen chicken feet must be washed and cleaned before you cook them.

Chicken Feet for Dogs

It seems the benefits of chicken feet are also enjoyed by our canine friends.

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Feet?

Some families fed their pet dogs with cooked as well as uncooked chicken feet (less the nails) and claimed to be good for the dog's joint health. Since it is mostly cartilage, it is suitable for dogs that have problems chewing harder bones.

Dehydrated Chicken Feet

On, you can even buy the dehydrated, crunchy chicken feet for your dog. This 'Made in America' product advertised it as 'good natural source of chondroitin and is good for dogs with a joint problem'. It went on to say that these crispy pieces are perfect for anytime snacks.

Can you feed cats with chicken feet?

It should not be a problem, but will your cat eat them?

Will More People Eat Chicken Feet?

Some say that it is difficult for the uninitiated to eat chicken feet as they look like a human hand. The idea of chewing on this "creepy stuff" already puts them off. It is hard for them to imagine chicken feet as food.

That was the case with chicken wings years ago. They used to be thrown away but now demand has increased. In the USA, it was reported that sales of chicken wings peaked during Super Bowl, NFL Playoffs, and March Madness games.

Will this be the case with chicken feet? Will more people eat chicken feet?

What about you? Can you eat chicken feet?

Boiled Chicken Feet Vitamins Content



13.3 mg



0.4 mg



0.2 mg



0.06 mg


Vitamin A

100.00 IU


Vitamin B12

0.47 mcg


Vitamin B6

0.010 mg


Vitamin C


Vitamin D

0.0 IU


Vitamin E

0.27 mg


Vitamin K

0.2 mcg


Boiled Chicken Feet Mineral Content



Calcium, Ca

88.0 mg


Copper, Cu

0.102 mg


Iron, Fe

0.91 mg


Magnesium, Mg

5.0 mg


Phosphorus, P

83.0 mg


Potassium, K

31.0 mg


Selenium, Se

3.6 mcg


Sodium, Na

67.0 mg


Zinc, Zn

0.69 mg


FAQs on Chicken Feet

Here are a few frequently asked questions on chicken feet for your reference:

Are they high in cholesterol?

A serving of two boiled chicken feet has 84 mg of cholesterol. This is the LDL cholesterol i.e. the bad cholesterol that can lead to heart disease. It also has a high content of saturated fat. Hence, limit your consumption of chicken feet to reduce this risk.

Are they good for high blood pressure?

Chicken feet are high in collagen content and based on the study by the researchers at Hiroshima University, collagen can reduce high blood pressure.

Are they high in uric acid?

No. Food with a high purine content gives you a higher risk of uric acid that leads to gout problem, which is low in chicken feet.

In fact, based on the study by researchers at Brawijaya University, Indonesia, and published in the Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate in chicken feet cartilage powder was able to improve gout and gouty arthritis by decreasing the urate level.

How many chicken feet in 100 grams?

A serving of two medium-sized chicken feet is about 70 grams. So, two and a half chicken feet is about 100 grams.

Video on the Benefits of Eating Chicken Feet

I did a video to summarize the key highlights of this article. You can watch it here, or share it with your friends.

References and Further Reading

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: Are chicken feet allowed for people with high blood pressure?

Answer: You must check with your doctor on your specific blood pressure problem but generally, eating chicken feet in moderation is OK.

Question: How many chicken feet does an arthritis patient need to eat?

Answer: It varies from person to person and the severity of the problem. Chicken feet are not meant to be a cure for arthritis and it is advisable that you also seek medical help.

Question: Is eating chicken feet healthier than eating chicken drumsticks?

Answer: Chicken drumsticks have protein and provide different nutritional values. Chicken feet are good if you are looking for an alternative and cheaper form of collagen and to reduce any joint pain.

Question: What amount of chicken feet can we consume each day to promote weight loss?

Answer: There are no scientific studies on this, and I will not be able to give you the answer. However, weight loss is a combination of many things and not just one item. Do exercises as well and limit your food intake. It is best to eat very small portions at regular intervals - breakfast, lunch, tea-time, and dinner.

Question: Is consuming chicken feet good for pregnancy?

Answer: Chicken feet are natural food and I have not heard of any problems for pregnant women to consume them, It does have collagen which should be good for both mother and the fetus. But as with anything relating to pregnancy, please seek your doctors advise first.

Question: How long will it take to cook chicken feet soup at 200 degrees Fahrenheit?

Answer: If you want to hasten the cooking time use a pressure cooker instead; it will take only 30 minutes.

Question: Are there any health benefits to eating chicken intestines?

Answer: In some countries, the chicken intestine is a delicacy. It doesn't have the collagen benefits like chicken feet. But it does not some protein, carbohydrates and fat.

© 2013 Mazlan A

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