Chicken soup is considered to be a staple for anyone battling a cold or the flu, and it does certainly seem to make us feel a bit better. Have you ever wondered why? As it turns out, studies show that the ingredients in this popular soup do offer some relief, meaning a bowl of soothing chicken soup could be just what the doctor ordered.
Research suggests that a bowl of chicken and vegetable soup can slow the speed at which neutrophils move around your body. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell and part of the immune system, protecting your body from infection. When the neutrophils move slowly, there’s a greater chance of them becoming more concentrated in the areas of your body that need the most healing. Studies have shown this soup to be particularly helpful in reducing symptoms in upper respiratory system infections.
Chicken soup contains vitamins A and C, magnesium, phosphorus, gelatin and antioxidants, which are known to build a strong immune system and fight off viruses. The protein from chicken provides amino acids that are used to build antibodies to fight infection. The carbohydrates in noodles or rice provide easy-to-digest energy that keeps you feeling satisfied.
And since it is mostly liquid, it prevents dehydration, especially if you are sweating from a fever—although you still need to drink other fluids. The sodium and potassium in chicken soup can help maintain your electrolyte balance, especially when you’re sweating.
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It won’t cure or prevent an illness. But eating chicken soup when you feel a cold coming on or when you’re sick may help you get up and running faster than you would without it. Next time you feel that cold or flu coming on try some chicken soup. Homemade is best but there are some good packaged brands available.
Easy to make Chicken Soup Recipe
- 1 (3 pound) whole chicken
- 4 medium (blank)s carrots, halved
- 4 stalks celery, halved
- 1 large onion, halved
- water to cover
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
- Put the chicken, carrots, celery and onion in a large soup pot and cover with cold water. Heat and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken meat falls off of the bones (skim off foam every so often).
- Take everything out of the pot. Strain the broth. Pick the meat off of the bones and chop the carrots, celery and onion. Season the broth with salt, pepper and chicken bouillon to taste, if desired. Return the chicken, carrots, celery and onion to the pot, stir together, and serve.