Se­cret be­hind chicken soup’s med­i­cal magic

The Borneo Post - Nature and health - - Front Page -

You may think added salt and other sea­son­ings aren’t great for you, but in mod­er­a­tion, these spices can help com­bat the feel­ing of dull taste buds

Many peo­ple rely on chicken noo­dle soup to soothe a cold, but few know ex­actly why the warm broth brings re­lief. But one di­eti­cian can ex­plain its magic. “Stud­ies have shown that a hearty bowl of chicken noo­dle soup may help clear nasal con­ges­tion and ease cold symp­toms,” said Sandy Al­lo­nen, a clin­i­cal di­eti­tian at Beth Is­rael Dea­coness Med­i­cal Cen­tre in Bos­ton. “It’s all about the in­gre­di­ents.” When you have a cold, it’s also im­por­tant to stay hy­drated, she added.

“A clear broth is warm and sooth­ing, mak­ing it a great source of hy­dra­tion while you’re sick, es­pe­cially if you have a sore throat,” Al­lo­nen said in a hos­pi­tal news re­lease. “You may think added salt and other sea­son­ings aren’t great for you, but in mod­er­a­tion, these spices can help com­bat the feel­ing of dull taste buds,” she noted. “A loss of taste is com­mon in a cold, but as with any fla­vor enhancer, salt is great for get­ting you to eat more.”

The chicken in your soup of­fers a num­ber of ben­e­fits. It’s high in protein that helps the im­mune sys­tem, and is also a good source of vi­ta­mins and min­er­als, such as B vi­ta­mins, which boost im­mu­nity and help with di­ges­tion/ “Chicken is also high in tryp­to­phan, which helps your body pro­duce sero­tonin that can en­hance your mood and give you the feel­ing of ‘com­fort’ that helps make chicken noo­dle soup a true com­fort food,” Al­lo­nen said.

The noo­dles pro­vide car­bo­hy­drates that help you feel full and sat­is­fied. “Carbs are the pre­ferred source of en­ergy for your body, so get­ting in a good dose through soup can help you feel less slug­gish,” Al­lo­nen said. Veg­eta­bles such as car­rots, cel­ery, and onion have vi­ta­mins C and K, and other an­tiox­i­dants and min­er­als.

“Not only does this help build a healthy im­mune sys­tem to fight off viruses, it also helps your body re­cover from ill­ness more quickly,” Al­lo­nen said. Even the steam from your chicken soup is ben­e­fi­cial. “Steam can open up air­ways, mak­ing it eas­ier to breathe. It also has a mild anti-in­flam­ma­tory ef­fect that can help re­lax your mus­cles and soothe the dis­com­forts of cold symp­toms,” Al­lo­nen said.

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