Having a hot bowl of chicken noodle soup when one has a nasty cold or cough, is a tradition as old as time . But how many of us know the reason behind it? We’d be lying if we said if we knew. But no more staying in the dark! Sandy Allonen, a clinical dietitian at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, tells us the science behind the proverbial chicken soup and why it helps us feel better.
She says, staying hydrated is utmost importance when one has a cold. Since the chicken soup is warm and soothing, it’s a great way to stay hydrated and soothe a sore throat. She also adds seasonings and spices when used in moderation an acceptable way to add taste to the diet.
Since chicken is a clean source of protein, it also helps bring the immune system back to normal. Consuming the meat also supplies the body with vvitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, which boost immunity and help with digestion.
"Chicken is also high in tryptophan, which helps your body produce serotonin that can enhance your mood and give you the feeling of 'comfort' that helps make chicken noodle soup a true comfort food," Allonen said.
The noodles provide the body with the much needed carbohydrates, thus making it feel full and satisfied. This helps in feeling less sluggish and bringing the body back to its normal energy levels. Adding vegetables like carrots, celery and onions provides the body with vitamin C and K and other anti oxidants and minerals. Infact, even the steam from the chicken soup is beneficial, in clearing up airways and making it easier to breath.
So the next time your grandmother serves you some chicken soup when you’re unwell, you will know it’s out of reason and not just love!