When the temperature drops and the windows get frosty, there is nothing more soothing than a hot bowl of homemade chicken broth to warm up inside. In cultures across the world, chicken broth has been the traditional go-to remedy for any winter ailment since ancient times.
However, besides simply providing comfort, warmth and often a nostalgic sense of home, chicken broth has multiple scientifically researched health benefits, making it a powerful ally in fighting off cold and flu symptoms.
The healing power of chicken broth is contained in the proteins of the flesh, and deep within the bone marrow. When it is cooked, chicken releases an amino acid called cysteine. Cysteine has been shown to aid in thinning the mucus that builds in the lungs during a cold or flu, supporting a faster healing process.
According to Chinese medicine, an ancient advocate of the chicken broth cure, the nutrients found in bone marrow support optimal kidney function and adrenal health. The adrenal glands are responsible for multiple hormonal processes and the essential health of the immune system. In her book Deep Nutrition, Dr. Catherine Shanahan proposes the theory that the nutrition in bone broths may even aid in repairing holes worn in kidney tissue by various illnesses.
Chicken broth is also a great source of calcium, as well as mineral-rich gelatin, which aids in liver function, digestion and bone health. Furthermore, recent studies at NYU Medical School are currently discovering evidence that the taurine found in dark meat may lower cholesterol.
Pure chicken broth, as long as it is homemade, not processed and filled with chemical additives, is in itself the perfect remedy for any winter bug. However, creative chefs who want to boost their broth to a new level of healing have many options. Adding apple cider vinegar to the stock will increase the calcium content of the broth. Garlic is another great choice, as it is full of antioxidants and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Cruciferous greens such as kale and collards boost the vitamin A and C quotient, and add even more antioxidants to the brew.
To top it off, choose from an array of healing herbs, such as oregano or rosemary, which taste great and add their own immunity-boosting powers. Whatever recipe you choose, if you begin with natural, organic chicken, add water, time and your own personal twist, your cold or flu will quickly fade to a distant memory.
Have you prepared homemade chicken soup this cold and flu season? Has it helped?
– The Alternative Daily