People who love chicken soup would have found the article on chicken soup treatment for swine flu an interesting one. But when I read it, I set out to find the health benefits of chicken soup.

Even much before the swine flu scare, chicken soup has been reigning as a health food and as a home remedy for relief from cold and flu. Doctor’s who could not just believe in the old wives tale tried the soup themselves during ailments and found that it really worked. As scientists are like judges seeking proof and evidence, they began to study the broth in detail. They found that the chemicals in the soup indeed cleared nasal passages and congestion by increasing the flow of mucus secretions and inhibited inflammation. They also learn that the soup may come in handy during a flu as it can curb the white blood cells which trigger the inflammatory response resulting in sore throats and the production of phlegm.

The right nutrients at the right time can create miracles.  Out of the 20 or more amino acids identified, you need 9 for the healthy functioning of your body. Since your body cannot store proteins you have to eat them daily. Animal products like chicken, beef and fish contain all of the essential amino acids (proteins)needed for the repair of our body parts. But animal foods are no healthy packages for a daily diet as they contain a lot of fat and cholesterol.

Scientists owe the health benefits of chicken soup to the amino acid called cysteine. Cycsteine like acetylcysteine (a drug for bronchitis) is capable of thinning the mucus in the lungs making your passages clear. As you take a hot chicken soup, the chicken vapors help you clear out your nasty cold. It may not cure a cold but it will certainly provide comfort, hydrate your body and get you back in action.

For a healthy nutrition package add garlic cloves, onions, your favorite vegetables like carrots, celery, turnips, sweet potatoes and herbs and spices like black pepper, parsley and sea salt.

Helpful Tips for a Replenishing Soup

  • Use cold water to begin making your soup.
  • For maximum health benefit use fresh chicken instead of frozen ones. Freezing always dries the stuff out and thawing would drain the juices off.
  • Some are against sieving the soup as it may drain off the nutrition. If you prefer clear soup, drain it only before adding the veggies. By that time, the nutritional solids would have broken up.
  • If you want to gain some healthy weight make the soup with the bones in it. Remove the bones from the chicken when tender and store in refrigerator. You can add them while making the broth and strain after simmering.

-AparnA K V
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