It’s not just a lot of grandmothers who swear by it: when you have a cold, delicious chicken broth will get you back on your feet. But what about the chicken effect? The answer is, well, sobering.
When it comes to colds, many people swear by drinking chicken broth as a home remedy. But you can do without the chicken in the soup and instead put more vegetables in the pot, advises the famous naturopath.
“Celery and leeks, for example, contain many pungent phytochemicals that have some antiviral and antibacterial effects,” says Andreas Michalsen, professor of clinical naturopathy at Charité and head of internal medicine and naturopathy at Immanuel Hospital in Berlin.
There is no evidence of a positive effect
Michalsen had been researching naturopathy for a long time and was aware of the countless studies that had been done in the field. As for chicken, he has never been able to scientifically find why it should have a positive effect: “Chicken contains proteins and fats, both of which are useless for fighting infections. Chicken does not contain antiviral or antibacterial substances, such as those found in various vegetables.”
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Broth Makes You Feel Good
So, no more chicken stock? Michalsen doesn’t see it clearly: “Like most soups, chicken broth is easy to digest and feels good in the stomach.” Anyone who has a cold and therefore cooks alone should only slightly increase the proportion of vegetables.
Also important: do not drink the soup too hot. “Heat stress is not good for mucous membranes,” says Michalsen. Soup is best when it is pleasantly warm, but not overheated.