Home Remedy of the Week: How to Treat Cold and Flu with Chicken Soup (Recipe Inside)
Chicken soup for cold (Photo Credits: File Image)

Down with cold and flu? Wouldn’t it be great if you had something delicious, warm and soothing to caress your sore throat? For many flu sufferers, chicken soup offers that kind of relief. This everyday food is not just great tasting but also effective at treating a nasty episode of flu. Chicken soup is, in fact, the mainstay of most cold and flu home remedies. The ingredients may differ but a steaming bowl of chicken soup could do wonders for your health and help you bounce back faster. And it’s also delicious!

So how does chicken soup help? There’s more to the broth than just being an old wives’ tale. Chicken soup has been around for a long time, with the earliest mentions in the Babylonian Talmud. The Egyptian Jewish physician Moshe ben Maimonides also recommended chicken soup as a remedy for respiratory tract illnesses back in the 12th century. Although many patients feel much better after having chicken soup during an episode of flu, doctors and experts have been pooh-poohing its effects, calling it nothing more than a mere placebo. Read all about the health benefits of chicken soup.

But science has revealed that there may be more to chicken soup. Research now says that there could be a number of ingredients in the soup, which could have anti-inflammatory properties. This, scientists say, could help in lessening upper respiratory tract infections.

A study published in the journal CHEST of the American College of Chest Physicians said that chicken soup could indeed be used to treat colds and flu. They used a chicken soup made of onions, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, carrots, celery stems and parsley for the study. It showed that the soup had anti-inflammatory activity, which could treat upper respiratory tract infections.

Researchers found that the neutrophils – a type of white blood cells – which point to the presence of inflammation in the body, was markedly reduced when the soup was consumed. Common Cold Treatment: Home Remedies To Prevent and Treat Sore Throat and Cough During Seasonal Change This Winter.

Another study in the same journal pointed out that drinking a hot bowl of soup with various spices could open up the blocked nasal passages and improve the flow of mucus.

Sandy Allonen, clinical dietician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, says, "A clear broth is warm and soothing, making it a great source of hydration while you are sick, especially if you have a sore throat."

"Chicken is also high in tryptophan (amino acid), which helps the body produce serotonin that can enhance your mood and give you the feeling of 'comfort' that helps make chicken noodle soup a true comfort food, Allonen adds.

The Health Benefits of Chicken Soup (Watch Video):

There’s another reason why you feel better after having chicken soup. It’s a nutritious food, which contains vitamins and minerals required to fight an infection. Micronutrients like zinc and vitamin A that helps the immune system are found in chicken soup. Plus, it’s easy to digest, easing some of the body’s burden when it’s fighting an infection.

How to Make Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is one of the easiest things you could make. You can prepare it by boiling chunks of chicken in water, seasoned only with salt, bay leaf and pepper. But if you want to up its nutritional qualities and make it a little more potent against flu, here’s an easy recipe.

Ingredients:

Chicken 2 kg
Onion 2
Garlic 10 cloves
Ginger One big chunk
Whole pepper 4 tsp
Cumin 4 tsp
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Salt To taste
Coriander leaves For garnishing

  • Grind ginger, garlic, pepper and cumin together into a paste.
  • Chop the onions finely.
  •  Place the chicken pieces, the spice paste, turmeric and the finely chopped onions in a pressure cooker.
  • Pour water till the chicken is completely submerged in the water.
  • Turn off the heat once you hear five whistles of the pressure cooker.
  • Fish out the chicken chunks and shred them.
  • Discard the bones and add the shredded chicken back into the broth.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

How to make an easy chicken soup recipe:

The soup is excellent for those with blocked noses and sore throats. The spices in the chicken soup not only have anti-inflammatory qualities but also help in opening up the nasal passages and the flow of mucus. If you want to make the soup even healthier, add carrots, potatoes and other assorted veggies into the mix.