Spotlight On: Chicken Soup For A Healthy Immune System

Chicken Soup: healthy Immune System

I remember how I would come home from school and open the front door to the warming aroma of pure love. It always seemed that no matter what the ailment, chicken soup was the answer.

Did you grow up eating  chicken soup when you were sick?

My house always smelled of chicken soup…or at least, as a kid, that’s what it felt like. My grandmother lived with us for many years after my grandfather died. I remember how I would come home from school and open the front door to the warming aroma of pure love. It always seemed that no matter what the ailment, chicken soup was the answer. Not that I had any idea at the time that chicken soup is what the doctor ordered for a healthy immune system!

It turns out there is something to chicken soup after all.

Research shows that chicken soup does provide health benefits. For starters, chicken soup contains Vitamins A and C, magnesium, phosphorous, gelatin and antioxidants, all of which help build a healthy immune system (read “3 Tips to Build Your Immunity  And Keep You Healthy This Winter” for more on a healthy immune system).

The protein in chicken soup provides the amino acids glycine, arginine and proline, which have anti-inflammatory properties and are used to build antibodies to fight infection. There is a great article you can read about it on the Weston A. Price Foundation website. The collagen in the broth reduces intestinal inflammation and is also great at supporting healthy skin.

Chicken soup decreases the duration and intensity of colds and the flu.

It does this by inhibiting the migration of white blood cells across the mucous membrane, thereby reducing congestion and easing cold symptoms. Did you know it is even more effective than hot or cold water at making noses run? This is beneficial since nasal secretions help rid the body of viruses and bacteria.

This nutrient rich broth is also useful in preventing dehydration, which is helpful when sweating from a fever. (sodium and potassium help keep your electrolytes balanced). It contains other minerals that play a role in healthy bone formation and can contribute to improved eye health and collagen production.

While chicken soup won’t prevent or cure an illness, having a bowl or two when you feel yourself getting sick, will help you get back on your feet sooner rather than later. I’ve always marveled at how grandmothers just seemed to know this. It’s no wonder that this tradition has been passed down from generation to generation.

What’s the best way to prepare this panacea? Here’s a recipe:

Home Made Chicken Soup Recipe

– Place 1 organic pasture fed chicken with all body parts (if you can get the chicken feet and neck, even better!) in a pot of water.
– Add salt, parsley and dill and the following chopped vegetables: carrots, turnips, parsnips, celery and onion.
– Add 3 tablespoons Apple cider vinegar (helps to extract the minerals from the bones)

Bring to a boil, and then lower to simmer for 24-48 hours. The longer it simmers, the more the nutrients from the bones will be extracted. Skim off the scum that rises to the top but don’t skim off all the fat! This is important for storing your soup.

When the soup has cooled, pour into glass mason jars, letting the fat rise to the top. The fat will harden and this will preserve the soup as it eliminates any air from entering. This will allow you to store soup in the fridge for a few months!

Of course you can freeze as well. One easy method to freezing is to pour into ice cube trays, freeze and then transfer into a Ziploc baggie. Or store in airtight freezer safe containers.

You can enjoy your soup every day, all year long, continuing a tradition that started generations ago or starting one of your own. Either way, I would guess that “Grandma Knows Best” trumps “Father Knows Best” on this healthy immune system panacea.

To learn more about Sharon, visit her website  where you can sign up for her newsletter. You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook and join her private Facebook group for free.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

I have accepted that I am still learning from my grandmother, even though she is no longer physically here and I am still working on accepting that there is still so much to learn!

2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?  

I have learned to appreciate that my grandmother taught me so much that I had forgotten and am still waking up to, and I am still working on appreciating all those moments that I took for granted when she was alive and embracing that they are part of what makes me who I am.

3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the  goals and dreams that you still have.

One of my most rewarding achievements is that I “woke up” to realize that I have to be present and pay attention and by doing so, it is leading me down the path to where my dreams once lay dormant and are now alive.

4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth–we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?  

Ah…a not-so-perfect way…I have to admit, I can sometimes still be impatient and I am learning to slow down and breathe through it!

5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”  

Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) I love that I am surrounded by nature and get to enjoy beautiful walks out on the dirt roads that surround my house.

About the author

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Sharon Holand Gelfand

A member of the American College of Nutrition, Sharon Holand Gelfand is a board certified nutrition consultant, lifestyle designer, motivational speaker and author whose mission is to empower women with the tools they need to live healthier, richer, spiritual lives. She’s passionate about helping them create a personal blueprint for success so that they can enjoy more balance and more freedom every day—without the constraints of traditional dieting.

Sharon’s unique perspective on nutrition is infused with real-life insight based on her own experiences managing her son’s Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and Ileitis, all part of Irritable Bowl Disease, an autoimmune disorder. It was only when dealing with her son’s condition that Sharon realized she had her own set of health issues which she had always ignored—hypoglycemia from constant dieting, chronic migraine headaches, anemia, strep, eye inflammation and chronic aches and pains in her neck. But by choosing healthier lifestyle options, she was able to not only help herself, but clear up her son’s chronic inflammation too.

Her philosophy? Eat well, think clearly, and live fully.

You can find out more about Sharon over at

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