Fight the flu and get back on your feet faster with the powerful healing benefits of chicken soup!
Now that the cold and flu season is upon us, it’s the perfect time to make and freeze a delicious pot of chicken soup. Since the days of Hippocrates, chicken soup has earned its reputation as “health in a bowl”.
It is brimming with key nutrients and phytonutrients that provide an array of health benefits:
1) Anti-Microbial: The phytonutrient-rich vegetables cooked into the broth (onion, carrot, celery and parsnip) support our immune response to fight infection. Plus I use ample garlic and oregano, both of which help kill microbes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11035691
2) Anti-Inflammatory: Chicken broth is rich in the amino acid carnosine, which helps reduce the flood of cytokines, those inflammatory compounds that contribute to cold and flu symptoms. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23569978
3) Clears Mucous: Chicken broth is also rich in the amino acid, cysteine, which thins mucous and helps move it up and out of the lungs. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15281093
4) Rehydrates: Soup is obviously hydrating, and the hot broth helps promote mucous drainage. If you can tolerate some extra heat, add a pinch of red chili flakes to further clear your sinuses and lungs!
In this version of chicken soup, I use the Chinese herb, astragalus (pronounced ass-strag-uh-lus).
Astragalus has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years to strengthen the immune response, fight fatigue, as well as treat lung, heart, liver and kidney problems.
Over the past few decades, scientists have confirmed that Astragalus:
- Possesses potent anti-viral activity
- Supports key aspects of immune response
- Helps fight hepatitis and liver damage
- Inhibits the growth and metastasis of a variety of cancers
- Helps heal damaged intestinal lining
For a research review of this important herb, read more here:
But while the research continues, consider slipping a few slices into your next soup or stew. It barely influences the flavor and works beautifully with the other ingredients to enhance our immune response and help keep us healthy!
I’ve pre-shopped the best organic astragalus for culinary use, so grab some to use in Dr. Sally’s Vegetable Chicken Soup here:
Dr. Sally LaMont is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist practicing in Larkspur, California. Her passion is using food as medicine to optimize health and prevent disease. Subscribe at http://www.drsallyskitchen.com/ for more recipes and vital health information.