Since we've been on soups, and the cold of winter is not done with us quite yet, I thought I'd add another to the menu. My Jewish grandmother swore by the healing properties of chicken soup and now doctors do too because it has been scientifically proven to help ease the symptoms of colds and flus. But if it helps multitudes of cold symptoms, one would naturally assume it helps other ailments too - Especially any to do with inflammation.
The Proof Is In The Broth
From as early as the 12th century, chicken soup has been touted to have healing benefits. But it wasn't until Dr. Stephen Rennard, M.D. of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, started questioning the scientific proof that any of us realized the true healing properties of this traditional cold season favorite.
Rennard tested his theory and added his wife's home made chicken soup to white blood cells, called neutrophils. To his surprise, the soup did slow the neutrophils. In fact, he claims that chemicals in the broth-based elixir clears a stuffy nose by inhibiting inflammation of the cells in the nasal passages.
Since Dr. Rennard's findings in the early 1990's, several studies have since agreed with his results, and show chicken soup as a "relief" for the common cold, not a "cure." All research agrees that the soup helps break up congestion and eases the flow of nasal secretions. In addition, many say it also inhibits the white blood cells that trigger the inflammatory response (causing sore throats and the production of phlegm.)
The traditional ingredients are loaded with nutritional goodness.
Chicken: Chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine, a substance released when you make the soup. This amino acid is similar to the drug acetylcysteine, which is prescribed by doctors to patients with bronchitis. It thins the mucus in the lungs, making it easier to cough out. And hot chicken vapors have been proven more effective than hot water vapors in clearing out the cold in your nose.
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.
Onions: Onions, another chicken soup regular, contains quercetin, a powerful anti-oxidant that is also a natural anti-histamine, and anti-inflammatory.
Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup
This is a make ahead recipe that my daughter and husband claim is the best chicken soup they have ever tasted. Full of healthy goodness and I promise no one will know it is gluten free. We also use all organic ingredients.
1 whole chicken roaster
1 pack of chicken wings
1 cup of onion chopped
2 cups of carrots chopped
2 cups of celery chopped
3 tablespoons of Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken bouillon paste(we buy it at Healthy Home Market)
Pepper & Sage to taste
Pinch of Parsley
Place chicken in large soup pot with 3 quarts of water.Cover and cook until tender - about 2 hours. Remove chicken from pot and strain broth. De-bone chicken and return to pot with strained broth. Add the rest of ingredients and cook until vegetables are tender.
1 package of DeBole's GF Corn Spaghetti noodles
You can use any gluten free pasta but this one is the most like wheat noodles we have ever tried.
Put pasta noodles into soup and cook for 10 minutes stirring frequently.
For an extra nutritional punch you can add Kale, Leeks, Peas, Sweet potatoes, Parsnips, Broccoli pieces, or any other number of good ingredients. I throw in whatever veggies I have available. You can also substitute Basmati rice for the noodles.
This recipe freezes beautifully but it rarely makes it long enough in my fridge to need to be frozen.