Friday, February 20, 2009

healing powers of the chicken.

so, i'm feeling a bit under the weather today and spent the night last night chugging large amounts of broth (yes, i burnt my tongue. hmmph.) i got to thinking about whether chicken soup really is a miracle cure for what ails you and whether the chicken is special (why are turkeys left out of this?)
i thought maybe it was psychological-- a comfort food that mom made when you were sick it was cold outside, but it does seem to have some real healing benefits. not surprisingly, many of them come from the veggies and not just from the chicken.

chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine, a substance released when boiled. this amino acid is similar to the drug acetylcysteine, which is prescribed by doctors to patients with bronchitis. it thins the mucus in the lungs and hot chicken vapors have been proven more effective than hot water vapors in clearing out your nose.

carrots are the best natural source of beta-carotene, which body converts to vitamin a. vitamin a helps prevent and fight off infections by enhancing the actions of white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses.

garlic has powerful antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal properties . it is used to boost the immune system, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and assists in treatment of heart disease and cancer.

contain protein, calcium, vitamin a, b complex, c and e. they also contain sulfur compounds and have anti-inflammatory effects. like garlic, onions contain the antibiotic oil allicin, which gives them their pungent flavor.

celery is a carminative, diuretic, tonic, and nervine. used to promote restfulness and sleep, celery is also excellent for relieving rheumatism and gout. its high magnesium and iron content is invaluable as a food for blood cells and because of its anitspasmodic properties, celery is good for all lung conditions, including asthma and bronchitis.

parsley contains two components that provide unique health benefits-- volatile oils including myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene and flavonoids including apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol, and luteolin. the activity of parsley's volatile oils qualifies it as a "chemoprotective" food- a food that can neutralize particular types of carcinogens like benzopyrenes from cigarette and charcoal grill smoke.

sea salt:
sea salt in particular contains a natural balance of sodium, magnesium and potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure and promote good health. mineral salts create electrolytes that carry electrical currents to cells throughout the body. electrolytes are necessary for enzyme production and enzymes are responsible for breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, muscle function, hormone production, etc. electrolytes and enzymes are linked to healthy immune function, proper regulation of bodily fluids, and adrenal health.

black pepper:
black pepper contains volatile oils, alkaloids, proteins and minerals. it aids in healing by acting as a circulatory stimulant, diuretic, cerebral stimulant, infection-reducer, diaphoretic (induces sweating), astringent (tightens mucous membranes) and stimulates sinus drainage.

so and if you choose to use turkey instead, i think you can still feel like you're getting good healing powers from the veggies as well as from the turkey because turkey is naturally low in fat without the skin, containing only 1 gram of fat per ounce of flesh. a 5-ounce serving provides almost half of the recommended daily allowance of folic acid, and is a good source of vitamins B, B1,B6, zinc and potassium. these nutrients have been found to keep blood cholesterol down, protect against birth defects, cancer and heart disease, aid in nerve function and growth, boost the immune system, regulate blood pressure, and assist in healing processes.


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