Eating chicken soup somehow seems like the best idea when you have a cold, are sick with the flu or have a stomach bug. Chicken soup is actually a great source of nourishment, providing balanced nutrition and variety to one’s diet. It’s been proven to mediate inflammation and improve symptoms of respiratory infections as well as balance eating for a wide range of wonderful health benefits
So it’s no wonder it’s the go-to food of everyone recovering from an illness and associated with getting better in the collective mind. It’s nourishing, savory, soothing while light and easy on the stomach, perfect for everybody from children to the elderly. Discover below what are 7 great benefits of eating chicken soup.
1) Chicken soup is good for the common cold
Studies show eating chicken soup when you’re sick with a cold is good for you. Chicken soup has been observed to stop the migration of a type of white blood cells called neutrophils to the site of the infection, resulting in reduced inflammation and improved symptoms.
In the case of the common cold, which is an upper respiratory infection, specific viruses infect the throat, nose, sinuses and voice box. These are the areas where the viruses multiply and, while doing so, alert the immune system. The immune system quickly sends white blood cells to fight the infection and one of the first to arrive are neutrophils. Their presence is partly responsible for the extensive inflammation that causes the common cold symptoms. Eating chicken soup inhibits their migration to the site of the infection, resulting in less inflammation and less symptoms.
2) Chicken soup is good for nasal congestion
Stuffiness associated with the common cold, certain flu viruses or other respiratory infections of bacterial or viral causes, even allergies can be corrected and improved in a matter of minutes by eating chicken soup.
First of all, chicken soup is half liquid and this helps hydrate mucous membranes lining the nasal passages, allowing for the mucus to drain and facilitates normal breathing. Secondly, it’s usually eaten warm and the heat further helps clear stuffiness and eliminate nose mucus. Furthermore, research shows chicken soup has important anti-inflammatory benefits. And by reducing inflammation, it automatically contributes to less severe symptoms, including nasal congestion.
3) Eating chicken soup supports healthy weight loss
Chicken soup is low in calories, if you make it right. It has boiled chicken meat which provides protein for creating muscle – muscle mass burns more calories and helps with weight loss. Chicken meat also has a little or a lot of fat which is needed for absolutely every cell in the body – in addition to antioxidant benefits, fat is essential for healthy and beautiful skin, a big concern during weight loss diets. Fat is also good for the brain and helps curb cravings, supporting healthy and clean eating.
The variety of vegetables incorporated in chicken soup is a source of complex carbohydrates for good energy levels and fiber for great transit and an easy digestion. Complex carbs and fiber also help combat blood sugar fluctuations which holds benefits for overeating.
Noodles, should you choose to add them, also provide quick energy for the body to use and contribute to macronutrient balance which is essential for curbing hunger and cravings, especially in a weight loss diet. And the fact that chicken soup is half water also contributes to curbing hunger and satiating.
The chicken, the vegetables and the noodles are low-calorie which makes the chicken soup also low in calories which makes it a rather perfect dish for losing weight. Even more, chicken meat is rich in B vitamins that support nervous system activity and digestion, has iron for muscle energy and a wide variety of vitamins from vegetables, making chicken soup both low-calorie and nutritious, ideal for healthy weight loss.
Just remember to not add extra fat or oil to the soup (the chicken fat from chicken skin is enough to make a great tasting soup and still have it be healthy), skip sour cream and avoid frying the vegetables in butter or oil – boiling them is enough to flavor the soup.
4) Chicken soup benefits for gout
Eating some chicken soup every now and then is actually good for you even if you have gout, as long as your intake is reasonable and you watch the rest of your diet so as to avoid foods that are problematic for gout. Chicken soup is bad for gout only if you eat too much of it too often, or have a diet already rich in animal products high in purines in which case you already get enough nutrition and sufficient problematic purines as it is.
The advantage of chicken soup is that it also has lots of healthy vegetables and ups your intake of plant foods which is good for gout as it helps better manage gout flare ups. Chicken soup is also low in calories with benefits for weight management, also important in gout management.
By eating chicken soup you don’t actually fill yourself with chicken meat, but rather vegetables and fluids, the amount of meat you eat being moderate to low. And since you do need good amounts of quality protein from the chicken, and a hearty source of B vitamins to be in good healthy, making chicken soup is a good option even for gout as it is a source of good nutrition, benefits for health, with minimal side effects for the condition.
The idea is that chicken soup is preferable to other foods rich in purines. Not to mention it’s easier to fill up on fried shrimp, pork steak, beef burger and hot wings than it is on chicken soup or chicken from soup. To make your chicken soup good for gout, don’t add sour cream, grated cheese and leave out the eggs. More important, avoid organ meats because of their high content of purines.
5) Chicken soup for anemia
While a pork steak, a beef burger and eggs are far better sources of iron to help combat anemia, chicken soup is just as great, without all the added fat and calories. You can make a great chicken soup for anemia by substituting chicken legs, chicken drumsticks, chicken breast or whole chicken with liver, gizzards and hearts, and maybe also adding a couple of wings to get some fat too.
Innards, particularly liver, are some of the foods richest in iron and effectively combat fatigue, lethargy and muscle weakness caused by anemia while replenishing your nutritional reserves. Moreover, they are excellent sources of B vitamins, especially vitamins B12 and B9, which are needed for making red blood cells for a boost in energy and vitality.
Adding fresh parsley in chicken soup ups its iron content, modestly albeit. Ideally, add the parsley fresh to the soup to boost your nutrition. You could also have a slice of lime or a few unripe sour cherry plums to get some vitamin C to be able to absorb iron from the soup ingredients well. Adding some whisked eggs at the end of the cooking process further increases the iron and vitamin B12 content of your chicken soup and provides extra nutrition and benefits for anemia.
6) Eating chicken soup combats dehydration
Chicken soup is half liquid, or at least it should be. This alone makes it healthy because it allows you to up your intake of fluids and stay hydrated. Not to mention the stock is infused with vitamins, minerals and other healthy elements from the ingredients used, actually making it nutritious and further adding to the benefits for health.
Chicken soup is good to eat if you have the common cold, the flu, a simple hoarseness or the stomach flu. Find out more about what to eat when you have the stomach flu.
7) Chicken soup as a remedy for constipation
There are three ways chicken soup helps with constipation. First, it provides complex carbs and dietary fiber from vegetables. Secondly, it ups water intake and rehydrates. Thirdly, it contains at least small amounts of fat from the chicken skin and chicken fat, for example. See the benefits of chicken skin.
Any vegetables you add to chicken soup will add to your intake of dietary fiber and help you have softer stools that are easy to pass, essentially combating constipation. The fat that oozes in the stock from the chicken helps move bowel movements along the GI tract. Moreover, chicken soup is half water which is great because fiber needs water to bulk up and soften stools for constipation relief.
While a traditional veggie and chicken noodle soup can be a very effective food against constipation, you can make your dish even better for constipation if you add legumes such as beans, lentils, corn, green peas or greens such as spinach, sorrel or patience dock to it for a boost in fiber content.