Chicken soup is a favorite meal as the season turns to chillier weather. In some cultures, chicken soup has long been a traditional cold remedy. Chicken soup contains drug-like agents similar to those in modern cold medicines. For example, an amino acid released from chicken during cooking chemically resembles the drug acetylcysteine, prescribed for bronchitis and other respiratory problems. Spices that are often added to chicken soup, such as garlic and pepper (all ancient treatments for respiratory diseases), work the same way as modern cough medicines, thinning mucus and making breathing easier.
Another theory, put forth by Stephen Rennard, M.D., chief of pulmonary medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, is that chicken soup acts as an anti-inflammatory. The soup, he says, keeps a check on inflammatory white blood cells (neutrophils). Cold symptoms, such as coughs and congestion, are often caused by inflammation produced when neutrophils migrate to the bronchial tubes and accumulate there.
Here is your quick and easy recipe:
1 whole chicken (2 ½ – 3 ½ pounds)
3-4 cans chicken broth
1 (8 ounces) package frozen mixed vegetables (corn, zucchini, carrots)
1 (8 ounces) package egg noodles
Salt and pepper to taste