That’s what makes chicken soup so good

Even my grandmother knew that it really helps with colds. Instead of swallowing a bunch of medicine, she recommended an effective and delicious pot remedy: chicken soup has long been considered a home remedy for colds and sore throats.


But is it just superstition, or does a warm decoction really help with cold symptoms? And if so, why? We find out the facts.


Does chicken soup help with a cold?

Had some chicken soup and your cold went away? After all, it’s not that simple. Still, it’s long established itself as a natural home remedy—and for good reason: A lab study in Nebraska found that chicken soup actually contains substances that can reduce cold symptoms. Although this has only been proven in a test tube, the effects of a home remedy may seem more plausible.


The positive effect of the soup is mainly explained by the blocking effect on the so-called “neutrophil granulocytes”. These special white blood cells are among the most important immune cells in the body’s defense system to successfully fight off invaders. However, they can also cause inflammatory reactions themselves, during which, for example, they cause swelling of the mucous membranes. Chicken soup blocks this reaction and makes the classic cold symptoms go away faster.


Especially for viral infections like the common cold, you should give natural home remedies like chicken soup a shot. Less chemicals and soothing relief for sore throats.


What are the ingredients that make chicken broth so good?

In addition to the above effects on neutrophils (the most common type of white blood cell), homemade chicken soup also contains various amino acids, such as cysteine, which are released when the chicken is cooked and migrate into the soup. Due to its anti-inflammatory effects, cysteine ​​reduces the swelling of the mucous membranes and thus can relieve symptoms, especially in diseases of the upper respiratory tract, according to studies.


Also on board: zinc and histidine, a true anti-inflammatory duo. Both substances are also found in chicken meat, and histidine supports the absorption of zinc in the body. The mineral zinc is involved in many metabolic processes in the body. It is considered a multifaceted talent without which, for example, your immune system would not function properly. But it has many other effects, that’s all at a glance.


Since the fortifying broth contains not only chicken, but also healthy vegetables, it also contains vitamins, minerals and secondary plant substances. The optimal mixture for quickly strengthening a weakened immune system.


But not only the ingredients make chicken soup universal among home remedies for colds. The very aroma and temperature of the warming decoction can have a healing effect. The steam also moisturizes the mucous membranes, which means that secretions from the throat and nose can leave better. In addition, soup contributes to the daily norm of liquid.


Recipe: This is how you can cook chicken soup yourself when you have a cold

It is not difficult to prepare chicken broth. However, in order for it to live up to its promise, it must be made by hand. The main ingredient, of course, is chicken soup, preferably organic. Chicken drumsticks or chicken breast substitutes only in an emergency, as they do not give the same result in a casserole, both in terms of taste and nutrition.


With the help of greens for soup, the amount of certain types of vegetables can be changed or supplemented, for example, with parsley root or parsnip. To give the chicken soup extra spiciness, don’t forget a generous piece of ginger. Ginger is a universal talent against almost all ailments and provides extra strength. Everything else will take care of itself later. The finished broth can also be perfectly frozen, so it is worth preparing a large pot.


Basic recipe for homemade chicken soup (1 large pot)

  • 1 organic soup chicken (about 2.2-2.5 kg)
  • 1 bunch of soup greens (2 carrots, 200 g celeriac, 1 leek)
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 bulb
  • 5 cm of ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of pepper

preparation

1. Wash the soup chicken thoroughly inside and out and – if it is still stuck – remove the peritoneum from the upper back. If this sebaceous gland, with which the chicken lubricates the feathers, is also cooked, the soup becomes cloudy and can quickly turn sour.
2. Peel the carrot and celeriac and cut into large pieces. Clean the leek well and cut into thick slices. Cut the spring onion in half. Peel and slice the ginger.
3. Put all the prepared ingredients plus half of the parsley in a saucepan and pour 5 liters of cold water. Everything should be covered with water. Increase the heat and wait for the water to heat up without boiling. Then add salt, pepper and bay leaf.
4. Let the broth simmer without a lid for about 2 hours. From time to time remove the turbidity (foam) that rises with a sieve. This creates a nice, clear broth at the end.
5. After the cooking time is over, strain the soup through a sieve so that only the broth remains. Remove the meat from the bone, cut into pieces and return to the broth. Vegetables have lost all their beneficial ingredients, so they are no longer worth returning. Finally, sprinkle with parsley or prepare another soup.


Advice: If you don’t have enough time to cook yourself, there are good “ready-to-eat products” such as those from BROX, which are a quality alternative. This is what makes the so-called “bone broth” so special.


Side dish for chicken soup

If you want some soup, you can let off some steam. For this, you must use chicken. To do this, the skin is loosened, the meat is separated from the bones and cartilage and pieces are returned to the broth. Vegetables such as peas or carrots go well with it. Rice or soup noodles will fill you up and energize you, and a few fresh herbs like parsley or chives will be the icing on the cake.


Of course, chicken soup is not a miracle cure, but it can really relieve cold symptoms. Maintain warmth, fluids, and a nutritious diet immune system from the inside. If symptoms worsen, see your family doctor. You can read about how to distinguish the symptoms of a cold, flu or Covid here.


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