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The healing power of chicken soup

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The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates said, "Let your food be your medicine."  And this bowl of soup really is!   Fondly referred to as Jewish penicillin, this bowl of chicken soup is guaranteed to provide you with a mild anti-inflammatory effect—one that can help mitigate infections in the upper-respiratory area, such as a common cold.

Colds are often the result of transient infections of the mucosa of the upper respiratory tract from a variety of viruses which lead to the stimulation of a cytokine cascade. Cytokines are soluble proteins secreted by various cell types and involved in cell-to-cell communication, coordinating antibody and T-cell immune interactions, and amplifying immune reactivity. Many, if not most, symptoms related to colds are likely the result of the inflammatory response initiated by the cytokine cascade. Colds are also associated with the generation of neutrophil chemotactic activities that relate to a cell's tendency to migrate toward or away from certain chemical stimuli.

In essence, the soup works to inhibit neutrophil migration, the process by which white blood cells called neutrophils quickly move from bloodstream infection sites in tissue to other parts of the body.


The soup also contains essential amino acids, water-soluble B vitamins, minerals such as iron, selenium, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium.  These come from both the meat, bones, skin and cartilage of the chicken which pass to the broth.  Alongside a range of additional other elements that feed the microbiota, your bowl of soup is guaranteed to increase the defensive power of the intestinal bacterial microflora and healing from any infectious diseases you may be suffering from.


Interestingly, while cooking, the chicken also dissolves its gelatine in water, which is fat rich in antioxidant nutraceutical substances, fat-soluble vitamins, chondroitin, glucosamine and hyaluronic acid.  These are functional substances of the collagen found in the cartilages and proven useful for reconstructing any damaged cartilages, as well as being great for skin regeneration.


And finally, the psychological effect.  Chicken soup is often given when people feel under the weather, and therefore becomes associated with not only medicinal benefits, but also nourishment, warmth, and kindness.  As our brains are primed to make a connection between physical warmth and social warmth studies suggest that eating hot soup also increases positive feelings toward others.

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Feed Your Soul

Feeling great from a warm bowl of chicken soup maybe one way to feed your soul, but giving to others in need can be equally satisfying.  Allow us to give more chicken soup to those in need through our soup kitchen donations programme. 

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