One of my favorite things about winter is that I get to really enjoy those bowls of hot chicken soup! Since about the 12th century healers began to extol the benefits of chicken soup as a healing remedy. The truth is that soup doesn’t really heal the common cold, but recent science shows that it does help relieve some of the symptoms. Dr. Stephen Rennard, from the University of Nebraska Medical Center states, "Although it isn't a cure for the common cold, the proof is in the pudding that it does indeed provide relief from the symptoms. All of the research agrees that soup helps to break up congestion and eases the flow of nasal secretions. Chicken soup also inhibits the inflammatory response causing sore throats."
Why chicken soup works
Chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine that thins out the mucous in the lungs. Plus the chicken broth vapors are better than hot water vapors in clearing the sinuses.
Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene which the body converts into vitamin A, which boosts your bacteria and virus-fighting immune system.
Don’t forget the onions! They contain quercetin, which is a powerful antioxidant and also an anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory.
Here is one of my favorite chicken soup recipes. It is easy to make and is chock full of good, healthy stuff.
4 baked chicken breasts, diced into small chunks
1 ½ cups cabbage, chopped
1 large carrot
1 cup okra, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
2 large celery sticks with leaves, chopped
1 can (15 ounce) crushed tomatoes
1 can (14 ounce) fat-free chicken broth
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
Place all ingredients, except chicken, in a large pot and simmer for 1 hour or until vegetables are soft. Add chicken and heat thoroughly. Enjoy this soup for lunch or dinner. Makes 4 servings.
A helpful tip: Make a double batch and freeze the extra in individual serving size containers. Then you will have them handy for a quick meal on a cold day or for when someone is feeling a bit under the weather and you don’t have time to prepare from scratch.
Over the next two weeks I will have more “winterizing” posts which will include more recipes and tips on preparing yourself for the cold months ahead.
Mark your calendars for the Touch For Life Open House on Wednesday, December 3rd.
To your health!