Do you ever wonder why your mother gave you chicken soup when you were sick? Looking back you might think it was just something that mothers do when you get a cold. Just having someone you love make you soup can be comforting and healing. But … Is it special because of the comfort it brings…. or is there more value in the soup itself?
Believe it or not, many scientists have asked the same question. Specifically: “ Is chicken soup medicinal?” In extensive studies and research of the soup scientists have found some interesting evidence. That evidence helps answer the chicken soup question.
Here’s a list of 11 benefits of drinking chicken soup when you are sick:
1. Anti-inflammatory Properties-According to Dr. Stephen Rennard, a pulmonary expert at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, there is scientific evidence that chicken soup contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help prevent cold symptoms.
2. Clears Congestion- When you’re sick mucus can grow viruses and bacteria due to the moist environment. However, when you drink chicken soup the steam provides a vapor-like effect clearing mucus and congestion in your nose, head, and throat. Therefore, inhibiting the spread of infection.
3. Amino Acids-The chicken in the soup contains an amino acid called cysteine. This amino acid proves to thin out mucus in the nose and lungs which relieves pressure and swelling, making it easier to breathe.
4. Beta-Carotene– Carrots, which is a typical ingredient in chicken soup, are a great source of beta-carotene. Your body converts this into Vitamin A, which helps prevent and fight off infections by enhancing white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses.
5. Modern Cold Medicine-Chicken soup contains drug-like properties similar to modern cold medicine. Dr. Irwin Ziment, a pulmonary specialist and professor from UCLA school of medicine explains that while the chicken is cooking it releases amino acids that help fight colds similar to cold medicines.
6. Spices– Other than chicken’s medicinal properties, spices like garlic, ginger, and pepper provide powerful healing agents. These spices boost your immune system, which combats sickness. Garlic contains allicin, which resembles a natural antibiotic. Ginger is great due to terpenes and oleoresin, which exhibit antiseptic and lymph cleansing properties. Black pepper will help release mucus in your nose and contains anti-inflammatory, carminative, and anti-flatulent properties.
7. Onion- Onions boost your immune system by using phytochemicals, which helps improve vitamin C in the body. Onions contain quercetin, which is a natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory. Onions have been used for years to boost immunity and fight infections.
8. Natural Chicken Broth- Chicken broth has been known to reduce the length of a cold and help you recover from the flu. Natural chicken broth from organic chicken is a soothing agent, and it repairs the digestive tract. It actually works by repairing the mucosal lining of the intest. The chicken broth also temporarily speeds up the movement of mucus. Speeding up the mucus movement will speed recovery from a cold, so eating the soup every day while sick will get you back on your feet faster.
9. Fluid- When you are sick it is common to become dehydrated. A fever will dehydrate you, and if you are feeling poorly you usually are not eating and drinking enough. Eating chicken soup hydrates you by providing the much needed fluids for recovery. Also, drinking lots of fluids helps fight infection when you are sick. The broth serves as a flushing agent — pushing out the bad bacteria from your system and helping your body return to health.
10. Sodium-This might seem like a strange one but salt actually is beneficial in killing bacteria by dehydrating them. Salt also works as a natural antihistamine. When the sodium does its work, your symptoms will be less severe.
11. Promotes Sleep-The chicken broth containing the amino acid glycine can be very calming. After eating chicken soup you may feel less congested which helps by allowing you the restful sleep your body needs.
So the next time you’re sick – why not try eating chicken soup for the medicinal benefits of combating sickness, congestion, and immunity. I know I’m going to enjoy eating chicken soup the next time I am sick.
For more information contact me at Health With Erin.