Soups: liquid is a plus for colds
The advantages of soups for a cold are obvious: they provide the body with a lot of liquid, warm from the inside, help with chills, and in the case of chicken and vegetable broths, they are easily digested. All this is useful when the body fights cold viruses. “At the same time, the heat of the soup improves blood circulation, mucous membranes do not dry out, and mucus dissolves. This is perceived as beneficial and supports the body’s own defense against mucous membranes,” says Silke Restemaier, certified ecotrophologist at the Public Relations Department of the German Nutrition Society e. V. (DGE).
Heat has a beneficial effect
The heat from the spoon is also good for the throat. Warm soup often has a soothing effect on a sore throat. The tickling in the throat subsides a little, and the urge to cough also calms down a little for a short time. In addition, for many, the aroma awakens childhood memories of care and attention. “It helps a lot of people calm down and relax,” Restemeyer says.
Easily digestible and rich in minerals
The easy digestibility of soups is also useful during a cold: if the body spends less energy on digestion, it has the ability to fight infections. In addition, soups are not heavy on the stomach – this is also nice when you are lying in bed and you have less appetite due to a cold. In addition, soups compensate for the loss of minerals caused by increased sweating during a cold. Therefore, it is worth trying several strong and healing soups, as they are called colloquially. They are easy to prepare and can be prepared in large quantities in advance: another plus if you are tired and do not want to stand by the stove all the time.
Classic: chicken soup
Chicken soup for colds: a classic from the time of my grandmother. For good reason: “The ingredients in chicken soup contain nutrients that can strengthen the immune system. It starts with high-zinc chicken and continues with classic vegetables like leeks, celery, carrots and onions. Vegetables contain vitamin K, beta-carotene and phytochemicals,” says Restemeyer. “If you top off the soup with parsley at the end, you’re adding an extra dose of vitamin C. Chicken soup also provides energy to help those with a cold get back on their feet quickly.”
Even if only laboratory experiments were conducted on the possible effectiveness of chicken soup for colds and there are no clinical studies with patients on whether chicken soup helps with colds: soups are an indispensable part of the first aid kit. It is also interesting to know: in Ayurvedic teachings, traditional Indian medicine, meat soups are also classified as strengthening, healing and supporting digestion.
Chicken soup: basic recipe
The basic recipe: put one kilogram of meat soup (for example, chicken or beef) together with one kilogram of bones in four liters of cold water. Bring to a slow boil. The soup should simmer, not boil. When the foam stops, you can add vegetables and spices of your choice, as well as finely chopped greens and onion halves. Bay leaves, lovage, thyme, rosemary, a piece of ginger root and juniper berries also go well together. Vary to your taste. A little vinegar and a little salt in the broth will help loosen calcium from the bones.