Cold season? Not so fast if you have an immune boosting chicken soup on hand.
In my home, chicken soup is ‘at the ready’ to tackle those runny noses and sore throats before they get out of control.
A classic for many cultures, chicken soup heals the body, nourishes your soul and makes you feel like a warm ball of energy.
There’s even research showing that chicken soup could help ease the symptoms of upper respiratory infections like the common cold (1).
Can Chicken Soup Cure The Common Cold?
Colds happen because of an infection in your upper respiratory tract. When you come down with a cold, your body responds with inflammation.
This inflammatory response tells white blood cells (WBCs) to assemble in the region. For colds they assemble in our upper respiratory tract.
This migration of WBCs causes your stuffy nose or sore throat.
Chicken soup for immunity dates back to the 12th century. Egyption Jewish philosopher and physician Moshe ben Maimon recommended chicken soup for respiratory tract infections.
Fast forward to the 90s and we have some research on how chicken soup boosts your immune system to cure the common cold.
The researchers found that chicken soup blocks or reduced white blood cells into your upper respiratory tract.
With less WBCs in the area, it may shorten the duration of the common cold. How does this work?
4 Chicken Soup Benefits for Immunity
1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
The anti-inflammatory properties of chicken soup result in less WBCs and inflammation in your chest.
Chicken bone broth is about 1/3rd glycine by weight. Glycine is a potent anti-inflammatory that helps to heal your gut specifically.
Chicken soup also has carnosine which may inhibit proinflammatory symptoms associated with viral infections.
These together could help to shorten the duration of and help to prevent the common cold (2).
2. Improve Rehydration
Chicken soup is full of hydrating electrolytes, vitamin C and vitamin E. These antioxidants keep your body nourished and help it fight off the cold symptoms.
3. Increased Movement of Nasal Fluids
Chicken soup improves the function of the tiny hairlike projections in your nose (called cilia) to prevent infectious particles from afflicting your body (3).
4. Psychological and Physical Comfort
Warm beverages and soups make you feel great. Those who simply hold a warm cup of soup express more positive attitudes than those who do not (4). It is also a reminder of loving care.
Maybe you took the time to make it or your friend or family member made it for you. This reminds us we are being cared for which can help to heal the body.
Any chicken soup worth its weight needs a strong base. The broth. Making your own broth is incredibly rewarding, however, sometimes convenience takes precedence over tradition.
Your grandma may not approve of using store bought broth, that is why we exist. Back to chicken soup.
This recipe is naturally grain free, gluten free and dairy free. Great if you have any food sensitivities as the collagen rich bone broth naturally soothes your digestive system.
In typical Connor fashion, my chicken soup is a bit different. I cook with lots of garlic, turmeric and ginger because of their anti inflammatory and gut healing properties.
The more of these foods I eat, the stronger I feel and more energy I have. It also helps a ton with recovery from all of the training I do.
This is all to the chagrin of people who hang out with me because of the garlic.
Regardless, this soup will stop a cold or flu in its tracks! It’s warming, comforting, vibrant and delicious.
Best of all, it is simple! One pot to rule them all. You’re home will smell delicious whilst it simmers away. On to the ingredients.
- ¼ cup avocado oil, divided (or olive oil)
- 1 pound skin on chicken breast or thighs, cut into bite sized chunks
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3-4 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 large celery stalks, chopped
- 6-8 garlic cloves, chopped (you can never have too much)
- 1 thumb size piece of ginger, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves (or ½ tsp dried)
- ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 8 cups chicken bone broth (or 4 cups water, 4 cups broth)
- Parsley to garnish
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy-bottom soup pot over medium high heat.
- Add chicken in a single layer and cook for about 4 minutes. Stir and continue cooking, stirring until the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the chicken and any accumulated juices to a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.
- Return the soup pot to medium heat with 2 tablespoons oil.
- Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, turmeric and cook, stirring often until the vegetables are soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add bone broth, chicken and rosemary, cover and bring to a gentle boil over high heat.
- Remove lid, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, 15-45 minutes.
- Remove rosemary stems, serve and enjoy!
- Garnish with fresh parsley.
- Place your onion, carrots, celery, garlic, ginger, rosemary to the bottom of a 6L or larger crock pot.
- Place chicken on top of the vegetables, add your water, salt, turmeric, pepper.
- Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
- Enjoy with some fresh parsley garnish sprinkled on top.
Best served with a thick slice of sourdough bread!