Chicken Soup Benefits

Health Benefits of Chicken Soup

The term "Soup ' comes from the word "sop" which refers to a dish composed of stock or thick stews A highly nutritious and wholesome food, soup is made by combining ingredients such as chicken and vegetables in plain stock or hot and boiling water till a clear and smooth broth is formed. Highly affordable, it could be consumed by all sections of society and traditionally incorporated the local ingredients and flavors of each region. Soups are available in different varieties and can be either thick or clear. Depending on the types of thickening agents, soups are classified as purees, bisques and cream soups.

Rice, flour, and grain are some of the types of thickening agents used in soup preparation.

The basic differences between a broth and a stock lie in its "properties". These are the key factors to consider in determining whether you are making chicken stock or chicken broth. Let us take a moment and review these key factors in chicken broth and chicken stock

• Chicken broth is usually made with chicken meat and chicken parts, with a high flesh to bone ratio. Whole chicken or assorted parts can be used. The reduction time for chicken broth at sea level is about 3 hours

• Chicken stock is made mostly of chicken parts that have a very low flesh to bone ratio. Backs, necks and breast bones produce the best stock. These boney backbones, wing tips, and other parts are used ready to make your stock. To achieve the maximum extraction of gelatin from the chicken bones the reduction time at sea level is 6 hours.

• Water, vegetables, herbs, and salt are ingredients that are common to both stock and broth. A chicken broth will react differently when deglazing a sauté pan than a chicken stock. The reason for this is that the chicken stock will contain more gelatin than chicken broth and will bind up the pan drippings into a pan sauce as the stock is reduced, replacing the alternative of cream or butter to aid in this process. The type of chicken parts used in the pot and the amount of extraction of gelatin depends on the length of reduction

Reasons Why Clear  Chicken Soup is Healthy
Well, it’s no magic potion in this day and age, but it may as well be. Chicken soup has several properties that make it useful in the treatment of certain illnesses:

1. Cleansing.  
Plenty of fluids is often advised when you’re ill. A body full of attacking allergens (like a virus) and battling antibodies needs to be flushed in order to get healthy. To that effect, the abundant broth in chicken soup performs aptly.

2. Disinfecting.
Chicken soup is generally fairly salty (with lower-sodium versions), so that when it goes down your throat it acts in much the same way as gargling warm salt water. In other words, it removes bacteria in the throat, mouth, and tonsils.

3. Clears sinuses.
Much like other warm liquids (for example, tea), it can help to clear the sinuses with steam.

4. Strengthening.
The lean protein in chicken and nutrients from added vegetables work to bolster your strength when your body is feeling drained of energy.

5.  It's good for the heart, good for the soul, and good for colds.
When we feel cold symptoms we frantically attempt to prevent it by wrapping up in warm clothes, taking cold medications, anything we can to help ward off the horrible feeling that comes with being sick. In some cases we aren't successful in defeating the cold. Congestion, loss of energy and appetite occurs. In the event you're feeling sick - eating chicken soup can have its advantages.
The chicken that's the main ingredient in the soup helps clear up the bronchial passages, decongesting the chest, and helping making productive coughs possible with amino acids it contains. Other ingredients like pepper and garlic also contain certain elements found in cough medications that are helpful for clearing the nasal airways and relieving soar throat pain, making it easier to breathe and swallow. This makes chicken soup well worth eating for temporary relief and comfort.

6. Anti inflammatory.
It has been shown to inhibit the production of neutrophils, white blood cells, that eat bacteria and cause inflammation and mucus production (i.e. stuffy nose, sore throat, phlegm, etc.). They're the cells which rush to attack an invading virus. This is important because while neutrophils kill pathogens, their antimicrobial products damage host tissues. It also inhibits the white blood cells that trigger the inflammatory response (causing sore throats and the production of phlegm) which clears up congestion and eases the flow of nasal secretions. Chicken soup can also be used in this capacity in cases of asthma, emphysema, and even accidents where swelling occurs, to ease inflammation of targeted areas!

Further, each ingredient in chicken soup has its own special healing properties:

7. Chicken
While being filling, is good for more than just a meal. It contains cysteinean amino acid that is thought to help thin mucus in the lungs, making it easier to expel.

8. Carrots
Carrots, one of the routine vegetable ingredients found in chicken soup, are the best natural source of beta-carotene. The body takes that beta-carotene and converts it to vitamin A. Vitamin A helps prevent and fight off infections by enhancing the actions of white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses.

9. Onions
Onions in our chicken soup provide the benefit of antioxidants that reduce inflammation and act as anti-histamine. It contains protein calcium, sulfur, and vitamin A, B complex, C and E. They contain sulfur compounds and have anti-inflammatory effects. Like garlic, onions have the antibiotic oil- allicin, which gives them their pungent flavor.

10. Garlic
Garlic in the soup has powerful antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal properties. It is being used for boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, assisting in treatment of heart disease, and cancer and lowering cholesterol.

11. Sweet potato
It is an excellent source of vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin C, manganese, copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. Having significant antioxidant capacities, they stabilize blood sugar levels and lower insulin resistance.

12. Parsnips
It is a good source of the antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E, which help to boost the immune system, plus they're a good source of fiber, which protects against colon cancer and helps maintain healthy bowels. Parsnips are a good to reduce high blood pressure, because they have a high potassium content.

13. Turnips
They are rich in beta-carotene and protect mucous membranes (especially in the lungs and intestinal tract) from cancer and free-radical damage. Also high in vitamin C, in doles, calcium and other minerals

14. Celery
It is Carminative, diuretic, tonic and  nervine agent. Used to promote restfulness and sleep, celery is also excellent for relieving rheumatism and gout. Its high magnesium and iron content is invaluable as a food for blood cells. Because of its antispasmodic properties, celery is good for all lung conditions, including asthma and bronchitis. Celery (which contains vitamin C), both of which help to bolster the immune system and fight infection.

15. Parsley
It contains two components that provide unique health benefits- volatile oils and flavonoids.The activity of parsley's volatile oils qualifies it as a "chemo protective" food- a food that can neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like benzopyrenes from cigarette and charcoal grill smoke).

16. Sea Salt
It has a natural balance of sodium, magnesium and potassium- helps to lower blood pressure and promote good health. Mineral salts create electrolytes the sparks of life- carry electrical currents to cells throughout the body. Electrolytes are necessary for enzyme production. Enzymes are responsible for breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, muscle function, hormone production, etc. Electrolytes and enzymes are linked to healthy immune function, proper regulation of bodily fluids, and adrenal health.

17. Black pepper
It also contains volatile oils, alkaloids, proteins and minerals. It has the following healing actions: circulatory stimulant, diuretic, cerebral stimulant, reduces infection, diaphoretic (induces sweating), astringent (tightens mucous membranes) and stimulates sinuses to drain.”

18. Cabbage
When cabbage chicken soup is used as a starter before your meal, the soup will help you to cut portions of your regular meal, because it causes an earlier satiation effect. This again will lead to a weight loss in the long run as your total calorie and fat intake will decrease naturally.

Homemade chicken soup, made with the ingredients used above, is a stock full of lean protein and vegetables that also offer a nutritional boost and some anti-inflammatory properties. Soups are regarded as beneficial for those who wish to reduce their weight and live a healthy and fulfilling life. A wholesome type of food, soup is a filling type of food and also low in calories and other fats.It is especially low in saturated fats and cholesterol.

19. Good for various joint pains
The components of a healthy stock mostly come from the bones. In a properly prepared stock, the bones are allowed to sit in water with a bit of vinegar for an hour or so before heating.  In a stock, this calcium and other minerals from the bones are transferred directly to the water (which becomes broth/stock), and therefore into you.  The best part is that it’s a more easily assimilated form of all the minerals than many other sources, including your supplements Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily-not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.”

20. Gelatin benefits
A good broth/stock will congeal as it cools because of the presence of gelatin, found in cartilage and connective tissue in the bones.  The best parts of the animal to include in your stock are heads, feet, knuckles and skin. Gelatin can improve symptoms of: joint pain, common cold, peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice, cancer, food allergies, colic, maldigestion, inflammatory bowel disease, osteoporosis, pain and inflammation, cramps, muscle spasms, delusions, depression, insomnia, irritability, hyperactivity, anxiety, palpitations, hypertension, high cholesterol, allergies….  

• Gelatin (broth) can be considered for use in the following conditions: food allergies, dairy maldigestion, colic, bean maldigestion, meat maldigestion, grain maldigestion, hypochlorhydria, hyperacidity (gastro esophageal reflux, gastritis, ulcer, hiatal hernia) inflammatory bowel disease (Cohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, malnutrition, weight loss, muscle wasting, cancer, osteoporosis, calcium deficiency and anemia.”

• “Collagen (broth) can be considered for use in the following conditions: poor wound healing, soft tissue injury (including surgery), cartilage and bone injury (including dental degeneration).”

• “Glycine (broth) can be considered for use in the following conditions: anemia, fatigue, detoxification, blood sugar deregulation, muscle wasting, wound healing, pregnancy, infant and childhood growth, asthma, hypochlorhydria, jaundice and liver support.”

21 It hydrates us
When you have a cold or the flu is to bundle up, stay warm and drink plenty of fluids, and chicken soup is a real good one It tastes good and it hydrates you. Soup is a liquid, and medical experts always recommend fluids for cold and a flu sufferer to starve off dehydration .The steam is the real benefit. Sipping the hot soup and breathing in the steam helps clear up congestion.

22. Reduces blood pressure
Chicken soup may fight blood pressure. Collagen in chicken acts similar to an ACE inhibitor and reduces blood pressure. Human blood pressure is affected by the diameter of blood vessels. When the blood capillaries and arteries contract the blood pressure raises and after they expand it decreases. Hypertension increases the blood pressure. This is because it contracts the blood vessels. It thus requires more force by the heart muscle to work and make blood circulate in the blood stream in opposition to the higher resistance posed by contracted blood arteries. when the chemical angiotensin is converted into angiotensin II. It affects human blood pressure. When there is more of this chemical, the blood pressure raises because angiogenesis II causes the muscles round blood capillaries and arteries to contract. ACE (angiotension converting enzyme) is responsible for converting the angiotensin into angiotensin II, which in turn leads to high blood pressure. It works by stopping the production of angiotensin II by not making ACE available to angiotensin.

23. Lose weight with soup
Obesity is on the rise throughout the industrialized world, resulting in a startling increase in the rates of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. You can count yourself out of the statistics if you eat a bowl of soup at least once a day. Nutritious low-salt soups will nourish you as they flush excess wastes from your body. It has been found that people who eat one serving of soup per day lose more weight than those who eat the same amount of calories.

24. Build your immunity
Your immune system needs a lot of minerals to function properly and our diet does not always hit the mark. When you slowly simmer foods over low heat, you gently leach out the energetic and therapeutic properties of the foods, preserving the nutritional value of the foods. Keep in mind that boiling can destroy half of the vitamins found in vegetables, so cook soup over a low heat.

25. Detoxify your body
As a liquid, soup is already helping you flush waste from your body. When you choose detoxifying ingredients, such as the ones featured in the recipe below, you are really treating your body to an internal cleanse. The broth below boasts many benefits: it supports the liver in detoxification, increases circulation, reduces inflammation, and replenishes your body with essential minerals. In addition to using cleansing herbs in soups, you can take cleansing herbs in supplements. For a gentle but powerful cleanse using Chinese herbs, Internal Cleanse increases the ability of the liver to cleanse the body of internal and environmental toxins.

26. Broth can be an excellent remedy for both of these causes of mineral deficiency because it provides easily absorbed extracted minerals plus promotes healing of the intestinal tract.”

• “Calcium (broth) can be considered for use in the following deficiency signs, symptoms and conditions: pain and inflammation, cramps, muscle spasms, delusions, depression, insomnia, irritability, hyperactivity, anxiety, palpitations, hypertension, high cholesterol, allergies, brittle nails, periodontal and dental disease, pica, rickets, osteomalacia, osteoporosis and any situation that creates bone loss such as aging, immobilization, post menopause, and caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol use.”

• “Phosphorus (broth) can be considered for use in the following phosphorus deficiency signs, symptoms and conditions: decreased attention span, fatigue, weakness, muscle weakness, celiac , rickets, osteomalacia, primary hyperparathyroidism and seizures.”

• “Magnesium (broth) can be considered for use in the following magnesium deficiency signs, symptoms and conditions: loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, confusion, hyperactivity, insomnia, muscular irritability and weakness, allergies, immune depression, kidney stones and heart attack.”

• “Broth can be thought of as a protein supplement, and a calcium supplement. The chemical ingredients extracted from broth are glycine and proline (collagen/gelatin), calcium and phosphorus (minerals), hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate (GAGs), and other minerals, amino acids and GAGs in smaller amounts

27. Warm up with a hearty soup

You always want to eat for the season. Soups provide something the body craves in cold weather. When you cook foods into a soup, you are adding a lot of what Chinese nutrition would call “warming energy” into the food. Warming foods to feature in your soups include: leeks, onions, turnips, spinach, kale, broccoli, yams, squash, garlic, scallions, and parsley. As a spice, turmeric aids with circulation, a great boost against the cold weather.

28. Get well faster
As your mother may have instinctively known, when you are sick, there is no better healing food than soup. The reason for this is that soups and stews don’t require as much energy to digest, freeing your body up to fight the infection. While chicken soup may not cure a cold outright, it does help alleviate some of the symptoms and can help as a preventative measure.  So while chicken soup might not be the miracle cure to get you back on your feet faster, it does seem to help alleviate many of the annoying symptoms of a cold as well as help to keep the body hydrated, not to mention make someone feel comforted and cared for.

An ancient Chinese proverb states that a good doctor uses food first, and then resorts to medicine. A healing soup can be your first step in maintaining your health and preventing illness. The therapeutic value of soup comes from the ease with which your body can assimilate the nutrients from the ingredients, which have been broken down by simmering. It provides relief from cold and throat problems.

It clears the clogged airways and fights off colds. Soups are warmth inducing and are easy to prepare and eat. They provide adequate nourishment to the human body in many ways. Soup forms a necessary part of the diet of sick and invalid people and is also good for children and people of all ages. Soup is easier to digest as compared to other foods. It provides the required fluids and minerals to the body without damaging

Further, it is essential to the building of strong bones. Soups can be consumed as a main dish .The healing power of soup: something that both scientists and grandmothers can agree on. From helping you lose weight to warming you up from the inside out to boosting your immunity, soup is a winter staple that you shouldn’t be without.
                                       
Let us all Hail to the benefit from soup's amazing healing powers.

The author of this article, Priti Pasricha, is an experienced Academician and Counselor. She has been acting as a bridge between Teacher-Child-Parent Counseling for the past many years.

She is a professionally trained n qualified Primary Teacher and for the past few years she has been working as a Centre Head with an internationally reputed Chain of Primary Schools based at Delhi.

Besides her academic interest, she’s an explorer and a keen learner of the world around her with music and reading as her PASSION.

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