Chicken Soup’s Medical Magic

Robert Preidt of HealthDay Reporter enlightens us on the magic of chicken soup. Many of us may rely on that chicken noodle soup to soothe a cold without even really knowing exactly why the warmth of the broth brings us relief.

A dietitian explains that a hearty bowl of this soup may help to clear the nasal congestion and ease the cold symptoms.  Sandy Allonen is a clinical dietitian at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who also says it’s all about the ingredients.  In addition to the benefits of the warm soup, it is important to stay hydrated.

The warm and clear broth makes a great source of hydration, especially if you have a sore throat.  Adding salt and other seasonings aren’t great for you, but in moderation, these spices can help to combat the feeling of dull taste buds.  Your loss of taste is common when having a cold, but as with any flavor enhancer, salt is also great for getting you to eat more.

Along with the comfort you feel, chicken is also high in tryptophan that helps your body produce serotonin that can enhance your mood and give you a feeling of comfort that helps to make the chicken noodle soup a true comfort food.

Also, the noodles provide carbohydrates that can help you to feel full and satisfied.  This is the preferred source of energy for your body, so having that needed dose through soup can help you feel less sluggish while recuperating.

Adding vegetables such as carrots, celery and onions, you get vitamins C and K along with other antioxidants and minerals.  This will help to build a healthy immune system to help fight off viruses.  It will also help your body recover from illness more quickly.

Steam from your chicken soup is also beneficial as it can open up airways, making it easier to breath.  There is also a mild anti-inflammatory effect that can help relax your muscles and soothe the discomforts of cold symptoms, according to Allonen.

When you are feeling down with a cold, don’t forget to grab a cup of that good ole chicken noodle soup!  Just feel that warm, soothing liquid slide down your throat!  How can you not feel better?

Dr Fredda Branyon