It’s cold and flu season and my household is currently starting the hard trek over illness mountain. It’s always those tell tale signs that hint to you that a cold is coming. The aching bones, the stuffy nose, and the feeling of never getting enough sleep. My husband and I have been lucky so far this winter, not catching anything so far. Unfortunately we spoke to soon and both of us have woken up feeling wildly under the weather so my first instinct was to run to the store and whip up some chicken soup.
I don’t know what it is about feeling sick, but chicken soup is always the cure all. Whether you’re a little sniffly or have a full blow cold, just holding that steaming bowl or cup warms you up from the inside. While it may not be what a doctor prescribes, here are some reasons it’s definitely what the doctor should order:
// The steam opens the airways
This one seems simple enough. Feeling like you’re head’s about to pop is one of my least favorite side effects of a cold or flu. The warmth and steam billowing up off that soup will help not only to warm you up but to decongest your chest, nose and throat. It’s like releasing all the air out of an overfilled balloon. Research is constantly being done on the benefits of that steamy broth in soup. Some say it not only is the warmth that is beneficial but also certain compounds in broth (as opposed to just hot water like tea) help to protect your cilia in your nose that help ward off contaminants. This help keep that mucus (yuck) moving through your body and protects what keeps more germs and stuff out.
//Staying hydrated and nourished.
One thing you always hear is to drink lots of fluids, especially if you have a fever. When you’re bodies hot and feverish you’re losing hydration from sweat, even if you feel like you’re shivering. The hot liquid not only helps keep you hydrated but also fills you up with all the nutrients broth, chicken, and maybe veggies have to offer in a time when food is usually the last thing on your mind. Different veggies also add to the party with vitamins and minerals that you’ll not only be lacking from a lack of appetite but that help boost your immune system to fight whatever’s ailing you. Chicken adds protein, carrots and celery have vitamin C and Beta-carotene which boost your immune system and anything else that you add.
There are tons of articles on this benefit and that benefit of chicken noodle soup when sick. There are some saying it’s all wives tales or a placebo; while others say solid research proves chemical components that help. I’m definitely not an expert in this field, so doing more research on one side or the other is up to you but I’m happy curled up with my steaming bowl, sick on the couch. So however you make your chicken soup, enjoy. 🙂