Yesterday, I had a mean case of the blues. I don’t really want to go on about what had me down, but I do want to share with you what made me feel better and eventually completely over it. The secret was a nice bowl of homemade Chicken Soup, and a long run down the street I grew up on in Kansas City. Why does Chicken Soup seem to bring my mind so much peace? Is it the ingredients, or is it a comfort food for me? Well, obviously it is a comfort food for me, but I thought I would investigate to see if there is a science behind all of the hype of why so many people find Chicken Soup to be soothing to their mind, body, and according to a very popular series of books even their soul.
Some doctors and researchers say that a bowl of warm Chicken Soup can help the body reduce the amount of inflammation and mucus production that is common when you contract a cold. Does eating this soup cure a cold? “No, but it does make you feel a lot better” says Dr. Jordon S. Josephine an otolaryngologist and sinus specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He also states “Colds and flu naturally make you produce mucus, but research showed that chicken soup inhibits the mucus production.” Indeed, a doctor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center tested his wife’s chicken soup recipe in his laboratory finding it did have medicinal qualities in helping a person through the stuffiness of a cold or flu. This doctor found that the ingredients in Chicken soup including chicken, water, onions, carrots, and celery limited the movement of neutrophils, the white cells in the blood that fight infection. Neutrophils actually remove bacteria from the body, but in the process they stimulate the production of mucus.
Josephson speculates “it’s a combination of things from the vitamins and minerals in the ingredients to the heat of the soup, even the soup’s fat content, which has a soothing effect on the throat, could play a role,” he says. So, if you feel a cold coming on keep warm, drink warm liquids, and make sure to get plenty of vitamins to help your body fight the infection that it caught somewhere along the lines of your everyday life.
So, remember always listen to the one you love that wants to bring over the Chicken Soup so that you can feel better. They are not just listening to an old family wise tale, but actual science. Or, if it’s your honey not you that is sick you can fix up a big pot of Chicken Soup to help nurse him/her back to their old self again.
Chicken Soup for Some Booty
2-tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 celery sticks, sliced
18-oz of chicken broth (preferably home made)
2-cups of water
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh thyme
1/2 pound of white chicken meat, torn into pieces
2 cups of egg noodles
salt and pepper to taste
In a large soup pot heat the olive oil over high heat. Once the oil begins to smoke turn the stove down to medium and toss in the onion, carrots, and celery. Saute the vegetables in the oil until browned (about five minutes). Then, pour in the chicken broth and water and bring the liquid to a boil. Once the liquid begins to boil throw in the fresh herbs and the chicken. Let boil for five minutes or until the chicken is cooked to the proper temperature. Once the chicken is cooked, toss in the egg noodles and let boil for ten more minutes, or until the egg noodles are to the proper consistency.
Serve warm with crackers.