Nutrition Behind Chicken Soup: Why Chicken Soup Strengthens Your Immune System
Contrary to popular belief, chicken soup has been scientifically proven to improve immunity. Research has revealed that this classic “food as medicine” recipe can boost your immunity and help speed up recovery from a cold or flu. Chicken soup can combat illness by lowering fevers, keeping you hydrated, and reducing mucus congestion. These benefits make it a valuable addition to your diet when fighting a cold or flu.
What’s the science behind chicken soup?
Studies have shown that chicken soup has the potential to dampen an overactive inflammatory response that causes cold and flu symptoms. A test tube study analyzed the effect of chicken soup on the body’s response to infection and found that it could inhibit neutrophil migration, which could account for its potential benefits in mitigating symptomatic upper respiratory tract infections and associated symptoms.
The researchers caution that more research is needed to determine if these results translate to real life. In addition to inhibiting neutrophil migration, the ingredients in chicken soup can also support the immune system and overall health in other ways, according to dieticians.
What makes the chicken soup so comforting and soothing?
It’s the combination of its ingredients. The broth, the base of the soup, helps maintain hydration while the warm steam from the bowl eases breathing and clears congestion.
Ingredients such as chicken, garlic, onions, and carrots in a bowl of chicken soup make it an effective home remedy for respiratory health.
The chicken provides an amino acid called cysteine which helps reduce mucus congestion. Garlic acts as a natural antibiotic and antibacterial agent to help fight infection. Onions have compounds that reduce mucus congestion and provide the powerful anti-inflammatory nutrient quercetin. Carrots are high in vitamins A and C, which help boost immunity and maintain healthy mucous membranes in the respiratory tract.
Celery, sage, thyme, chili, Himalayan or Celtic sea salt, and pepper are all ingredients in chicken soup that contribute to its immunity-boosting properties. Celery provides a range of immune-supporting vitamins, including A, C, E, and the mineral zinc. Sage and thyme bring potent antibacterial and antimicrobial activity to the soup. Chilli helps to thin mucus and clear sinuses while acting as a diaphoretic to help reduce fever.
Salt provides essential electrolytes to keep you hydrated during an illness. And pepper is a circulatory stimulant and diaphoretic to clear blocked sinuses and induce sweating. With these ingredients, chicken soup becomes not only delicious but also a healing meal.
Quick Tips for Winter Immune Support
- Test Vitamin D level, incorporate vitamin D-rich foods or supplements if necessary
- Wash hands for at least 20 secs to prevent infection
- Get enough sleep, and measure your body’s sleep/wake hormones for a better understanding
- Stay hydrated, and maintain optimal hydration in the dry winter air
- Test for stress and manage levels, and cut back on sugar to avoid strengthening winter bugs
- Maintain healthy habits like exercise and eating a balanced diet.
The Bottom Line
Chicken soup is warm comfort food and a great way to support your immune system. The key ingredients, like chicken, garlic, onions, and carrots, contain essential vitamins and minerals that help to boost your immunity, reduce mucous congestion and fight infections. So, next time you feel a cold coming on, reach for a bowl of chicken soup. If you need more cooking time, consider ordering from Gourmet Pureed.
We offer delicious, nutritious, and convenient home-delivery meals to meet your dietary requirements and health conditions. With our nutritionally tailored meals, you can be sure you’re giving your body the support it needs to stay healthy and strong.
Discover why chicken soup is a comforting, immune-boosting food. Learn about the key ingredients and their benefits for respiratory health!