The flu season has officially started – take extra care to strengthen your immune system.
Did your grandmother make soup chicken when you were sick? Chicken soup is a popular folk remedy for many reasons. It provides you with hydration and anti-inflammatory properties. Chicken is also high in cysteine which will help you clear any mucus. If you make your own chicken stock, you will add gelatin to your soup which is beneficial for your gut health (read more why gut health is important).
Add these ingredients to help you boost your immune system:
Garlic was used in traditional herbal medicine to prevent and treat colds and flu, coughs and to expel parasites. The anti-microbial compound allicin found in garlic becomes active when the garlic is crushed or chewed, therefore it is best to consume garlic fresh with minimal cooking. Chop garlic finely or press into your food.
Gingerol, which is found in fresh ginger, contains anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that can dampen the symptoms of colds. The diaphoretic capacity of fresh ginger creates heat throughout the body and induces sweating, which also helps you to get rid of a cold.
The high antioxidants and strong anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric are a general immune system booster which can help reduce symptoms associated with colds and flu.
Recipe Immune-boosting soup
2 litres of chicken stock
2 cups shredded chicken meat (extracted from stock if available)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery
1 1/2 cups finely chopped carrots
2 - 5 cloves garlic minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1 teaspoon finely grated turmeric
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh coriander (optional)
sea salt - to taste
Add the finely chopped celery, carrots and a dash of olive oil into a cooking pot on a medium heat. Let it simmer for 3-5 minutes or until the vegetables soften.
Add your stock to the cooking pot, together with the chicken meat. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes or until vegetables soften further.
Add the garlic and spices and simmer for another minute or so. Season with sea salt. Remove the pot from the heat and stir through the coriander and parsley.
Tip: Add some more of your favourite vegetables into the soup.