homemade chicken soup can help you during the COVID crisis

How homemade chicken soup can help you during the COVID crisis

Food, Nutrology, ,

A couple weeks ago we suggested that our readers consider making their own bread at home. Lots of people seem to be doing that. Recently at the supermarket, there was still flour available, but all the yeast was sold out.

Today we have another recommendation, even more valuable than bread. Make your own chicken soup at home. It is super simple to make. Just a whole chicken, some vegetables, water, and a few spices. For decades, homemade chicken soup has been famous as a home treatment for colds and influenza, and now, many people are touting it to help heal from coronavirus.

Famous chicken soup advocates

One example is UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, recently discharged from a London hospital. He credits part of his quick recovery to “Boris Broth” (chicken soup). Likewise, one of the main anchors of CNN (US), Chris Cuomo, says that chicken soup—unlike other “fake” remedies he found on the internet—helped drop his fever. Before the invention of antibiotics, chicken soup was referred to as “Jewish penicillin”. 

Medical studies

But still, you might think it’s silly to consider chicken soup as an essential for your home COVID kit. Decades of medical research, however, have supported its therapeutic benefits. People with influenza have fevers, and easily become dehydrated (often without realizing it).  Good hydration is important to for good body functioning. Think of your body as an engine, and like an engine with low oil, your body will still work when low on water, but it won’t work as well. 

Water keeps your mucous membranes thick and functional. One reason this is important is that the coronavirus invades via your mucous membranes. Hydration—from water and chicken soup— help thin the secretions in your bronchial tubes and chest, facilitating their movement up and out of your body. If the secretions get stuck below, you have an increased chance of resistant pneumonia. 

Warm chicken soup also improves the function of the cilia inside the nose. Cilia are the tiny protective hair like projections that help sweep out foreign material. Medical studies have shown chicken soup has a mild anti-inflammatory effect, and seems to decrease the conglomeration of white blood cells in the respiratory tract that contribute to thick secretions.

A complete food

Chicken soup gives your body the salt and electrolytes you need, along with a balanced dose of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, better than almost any other single food.  The vegetables are full of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. The water and electrolytes will hydrate you. 

Simple chicken soup recipe

You can look at Instagram or Pinterest to find a recipe, but here is a simple one you can try. First, buy a whole chicken. Fresh if possible, or frozen if fresh not available. Find one that includes the NECK of the chicken (and perhaps the head as well, if you can tolerate that). The neck, in particular, has been shown to add some (yet) unknown components to the soup that make it healthier. 

If the chicken is frozen, defrost it first, or, defrost it slowly as it cooks. If it’s unfrozen, chop it up into big pieces and place in your biggest pot full of water, along with a teaspoon or two of salt (adjust later to taste). If the chicken defrosts as you cook it, carefully remove it after partially defrosted and chop it up, and replace the pieces. 

Start cooking on high until it starts to boil slightly, then turn down to a simmer for at least 3 hours, stirring occasionally. When you first start cooking, add a few chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, and lots of garlic cloves. This is a minimum of vegetables, but you should also add at least a couple more of these: squash, ginger, broccoli, green beans, leaks, parsley, and spices such as turmeric (with black pepper), bay leaf, and maybe some red pepper flakes. If you have other favorite vegetables, add those. Near the end of cooking, add some noodles if you like. When it is cooled, with clean hands, remove the bones. 

Now, freeze some

It is important to freeze some for your COVID kit. This is an “emergency” kit of items you should keep at home, should you or anyone in your family become infected. If you get symptoms, start the soup right away. Next post we will talk about the COVID kit.

To find a doctor, of any specialty, anywhere in Brazil, check out our website: www.ProcuraMed.com.

See also in ProcuraMed:

A link between religion, spirituality, and health

Four ways to lessen loneliness while social distancing 

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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This post is related to the specialties Clinical Medicine, Infectious Disease. Below is a list of some doctors related to these specialties.