If you are anything like my family, fall weather and the sniffles often brings on some good homemade chicken noodle soup "just like Grandma's". But, have you ever stopped to wonder why that is? Is it because she had the BEST recipe and it just hits the spot? Or is there more to it than that?
One thing's for sure, you can't beat a nice warm, homemade soup on a chilly day. But I've learned over the years that there's actually a LOT more to it than that. So, let's take a look at some of the main ingredients you'll find in "Grandma's Chicken Soup".
Onion - high in flavonoids (including quercetin and kaempferol), polyphenols, and allicin. They are antimicrobial, antiviral, antioxidant, immune-enhancing, and anti-inflammatory. Onions can also enhance the action of vitamin C.
Garlic - has allicin and alliin, 2 compounds that are responsible for its antibacterial, antiviral, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties.
Celery - (seed) is an antioxidant and anti inflammatory. It also contains magnesium (benefitial use for the nervous system and muscular system), vitamin K, folate, potassium, fiber, and small amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, and some B vitamins.
Carrots - has vitamins A, K, and C. They are high in fiber, beta-carotene (an antioxidant), alpha-carotene (anti-inflammatory), lutein (helps maintain healthy eyes), and zeaxanthin (protects eyes from harmful UV rays & blue light exposure).
Bone Broth - this one can very depending on where your broth comes from. But a good bone broth will contain all of these:
Magnesium, Phosphorus, Gelatin, Collagen, Glycine, Glutamine, Protein, Iron, Potassium, Calcium, Glucosamine, Chondroitin sulfate, Calcium.
It can help improve digestion, protect your joins, clear your skin, improve your sleep, and help support a healthy immune system.
Lemon - The juice and flesh have many health benefits. But did you know that the peel also has many health benefits? The white pith of the peel is considered a bitter and can help with digestion and liver function. Lemons are also high in vitamin C, vitamin A, beta carotene, calcium, folate, magnesium, and potassium.
Ginger - (fresh) helps stimulate the immune system, allowing it to fight bacterial and viral infections. It stimulates circulation of the blood (which helps to remove pathogens from the bloodstream). It also thins mucous and supports expectoration, and warms the body.
There's nothing like that extra cozy feeling when you are feeling a bit under the weather.
Herbs - You can find a list of herbs for the cold season here.
So, as you can see, there very well may have been a LOT more behind Grandma's chicken soup.
Here's one of my favorite ways to make a good chicken noodle soup.
Resources (with recipes!):