Did you know that studies have actually been done that have shown an improvement in immunity after chicken soup? It’s not just an old wives tail at all and this ultimate ‘food as medicine’ recipe is perfect to boost your immunity or to help you recover from a cold or flu more quickly. Various studies have found that chicken soup can help to reduce a fever, keep you hydrated and reduce mucous congestion. All important actions when you are fighting off the dreaded cold or flu! Here’s how chicken soup can help your immunity:
Chicken- Chicken is of course the main ingredient in chicken soup, and the chicken can aid your respiratory health. Chicken contains an amino acid cysteine which has been shown to reduce and break up mucous congestion in the lungs.
Garlic- Garlic is a must in a chicken soup as nature’s best natural antibiotic and antibacterial agent to help your body fight infection and get better quickly.
Onions- Onions contain compounds that reduce mucous congestion, as well as the nutrient quercetin which is a powerful anti-inflammatory to the respiratory tract. It also contains some antibacterial and antibiotic compounds similar to garlic.
Carrots- Carrots are very high in vitamin A, a vitamin that helps to enhance the health of the mucous membranes lining the respiratory tract. A healthy mucous membrane lining makes it less likely that germs can adhere to your respiratory tract walls. Carrots also contain good levels of vitamin C, which along with vitamin A will boost immunity.
Celery- Celery contains high levels of vitamin A, C, E and the mineral zinc, and all of these are important immune nutrients. It is also great blood tonic and has antispasmodic qualities which are great for lung infections.
Sage and thyme- These two herbs add potent antibacterial and antimicrobial activity to your chicken soup, making them a tasty addition that also fights your infection.
Chilli- Chilli helps to thin mucous, enabling you to clear out mucous and unblock your sinuses. It is also a great diaphoretic and circulatory stimulant to help break a fever.
Himalayan or Celtic sea salt- Minerals in good quality salt provide a good source of electrolytes to keep you hydrated while unwell.
Pepper- Pepper is a circulatory stimulant and diaphoretic to induce sweating and clear blocked sinuses.
Traditional Chicken & Vegetable soup
1.2kg whole chicken or 800g chicken breast- preferably organic
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic clove, chopped
1 leek, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrot, chopped
1 parsnip, chopped
1 swede, chopped
2 sprigs parsley
3 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon chopped sage leaves
Chilli- add as much as you can handle!
2 litres water
Celtic or himalayan salt
Remove the skin and any fat from the chicken, wash thoroughly and set aside. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, garlic, leek, celery, carrot, parsnip and swede. Cook until a light golden brown. Add the chicken, parsley, thyme, sage, chilli, water, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil.
Turn down the heat and cook for 1½ hours. If using a whole chicken- take out the chicken once cooked and remove the meat from the bones. Break into small chunks and return the chicken to saucepan, discarding the bones. Can add brown rice or barley if you prefer a thicker consistency.
Serves 6 generously.
Written by Hayley
Hayley is our Naturopath at pH Clinic and also a mum of 2 young boys – she understands the juggle of busy family life! Hayley’s passions are helping support you through all aspects of a healthy family life and treats women, men, babies, kids and adolescents. She has 12 years experience as a clinical naturopath and loves to help her patients understand how lifestyle and diet can affect your body (in both a positive and negative way).
Hayley works a full day on Wednesdays and every second Saturday. To book in with Hayley please call 0420 644 852 or email her here.