This is my first post on this new blog. I would really appreciate some feed back. I’ve been told that it may be too long as well as too technical. I love reading about vitamins and minerals and how they affect our bodies. I hope you do too because this article is full of that information. Please let me know if it is too much to be interesting. I want you to be interested. 🙂
For the most part, my family only cares about the taste and comfort they gain from my chicken soup, but I care about the nourishment they receive.
People used to call chicken soup Mom’s Penicillin. The first thing grandmas used to do when we got sick was to make a pot. It was warm, soothing and helped our bodies heal.
The chicken in my pot is pasture-raised on organic feed. A recent study in Perugia, Italy showed that chickens raised organically had increased omega-3 fatty acids in their breast meat. More interesting to me is that when the chickens were pastured they increased in anti-oxidant nutrients and had a significant decrease in the oxidative damage to the fats in the meat. The fact that the chicken simmering in my pot is raised organically assures me no GMOs (genetically modified organism) in the chicken will transfer to the people who eat it. There are no pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides lurking in the meat I will feed my family. The fact that it is pastured (free-range or not caged), means it has a more genuine diet and gains nutritive value from the green grass, worms, insects and seeds that will pass on to my diners.
A serving of chicken from my pot tonight will give each person 128% of the amino acid, Tryptophan, the average adult needs. L-tryptophan must be included in your diet because your body doesn’t produce it on its own. That’s why it’s called an essential amino acid. L-tryptophan is essential for your body to make serotonin, which helps to maintain a calm and relaxed state. Serotonin has also been linked to weight loss. It’s been found to reduce appetite and shut off cravings.
The body uses tryptophan to produce niacin, a B vitamin that increases good cholesterol and reduces the bad. Your body uses niacin to turn carbohydrates into energy and keep the hair, skin, nails and digestive system healthy.
The chicken in my pot will also provide vitamin B3 (niacin), protein, selenium, vitamin B6, phosphorous and choline. Choline is beneficial for everything from helping the brains of babies grow to reducing fat in the adult liver.
The celery in my pot of soup provides nutrient rich antioxidants, vitamin C, significant amount of vitamin K, and small percentages of folate, vitamin A, potassium, fiber and several minerals.
The carrots not only add lovely color to my soup, but also aid in reducing the possibility of cardio vascular disease. A ten-year study in the Netherlands found the fruits and vegetables with yellow/orange color were the most beneficial to reduce the risk of CVD. Not to mention the carotenoids with antioxidative advantage, I found out recently that beta-carotene will not activate for our bodies unless it is heated to 140 degrees. All those raw carrots I’ve been eating have only given me added fiber.
A serving of carrots provides us with impressive vitamin A values, vitamin K, fiber, B vitamins, and several minerals.
I use a lot of onion in my chicken soup. Onion is rich in quercetin, a flavanoid that prevents oxidative stress. Several servings of onions per week significantly reduce the risk of some types of cancer. High in vitamin C, fiber and minerals as well as flavor, the onion is a welcome addition to the soup I will present to my family.
A little note about the garlicin my soup: Letting garlic sit for a few minutes before adding it to the pot will enhance its allinase enzymes so it works better to protect your body from cancer. Garlic may help your body metabolize iron better. The diallyl sulfides in garlic increase the production of ferroportin. Ferroportin is a protein that runs across cell membranes forming a passageway for stored iron to leave the cells and become available where it is needed. Garlic is a good source of selenium. Garlic contains H2S, hydrogen sulfide. H2S can cause our blood vessels to expand and keep our blood pressure in check. Studies show that the fresh garlic works better for this than the dried supplements. Garlic is rich in mineral content.
The world’s most popular herb, parsley, adds color and nutrients. Parsley contains two uncommon components, the volatile oils and flavanoids, that provide health benefits.
One of parsley’s volatile oils, myristicin, has been shown to inhibit formation of tumors in animal studies especially lung tumors. Parsley is considered a chemo protective food. It can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens.
The flavanoids in parsley have been shown to function as antioxidants to help prevent oxygen based damage to cells. It is high in two vital nutrients, vitamin C and vitamin A. Parsley contains a large amount of beta-carotene, is a good source of folic acid, one of the most important B vitamins. It also is a substantial source of vitamin K.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin best be known for its role in blood clotting, but vitamin K is inherent for building strong bones and preventing heart disease. A number of studies show that vitamin K is effective against cancer. Vitamin K has also been found beneficial in the fight against non-Hodgkin lymphoma, colon, stomach, nasopharynx, and oral cancers. Foods high in vitamin K help prevent calcification in the arteries – which can cause heart attack and stroke. Vitamin K protects against cancer in the liver and prostate. Think dark green leafy vegetables. Keep in mind that vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it won’t benefit you without some fat to go with it. You can add a drizzle of olive oil, or, as in the case of my chicken soup, the fat from the chicken will be perfect.
My family may not care about anything beyond taste in the foods they eat, but I do. I want us to live long, healthy lives. Because of that, I am thoughtful about what I prepare for them. Chicken soup may seem like a simple thing, but it’s so much more!