Nothing beats homemade chicken noodle soup when it comes to healthy comfort food. The power of this soup lies in its long list of nutritious ingredients. Whether you have a cold, the flu or are just feeling a bit under the weather, homemade chicken noodle soup is a tasty way to nourish your body.
The most healthy soup starts with organic chicken. USDA-certified poultry has been raised in a humane environment, fed an appropriate organic diet and is free of hormones, antibiotics and preservatives. Load up your soup with organic vegetables like carrots, onions, celery and leeks and simmer them in water or a low-sodium organic chicken broth. Use whole-grain noodles to boost your fiber intake. Experiment with the herbs that you find most appealing. Parsley and oregano are often used in chicken soup, while dill and lemon grass are less traditional.
Chicken noodle soup packs a nutritional wallop, including lean protein in the chicken, vitamins and minerals in the vegetables and herbs and complex carbohydrates in the noodles. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, chicken soup broth is especially helpful for relieving congestion and soothing a sore throat.
Stove Vs. Crock Pot
If you're in a hurry, chicken noodle soup can be made quickly on the stove with frozen or pre-cut vegetables from the grocery store. Simmer them along with the chicken until they soften, then add the noodles for the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking. Using a crock pot to slow-roast a whole chicken in broth with fragrant herbs and fresh vegetables may take longer, but it allows the essence of each food to be released and merge for a rich, satisfying flavor.
If you have the flu, adding a bit of fresh or ground ginger to your soup can help settle your stomach and relieve nausea. Serving your soup with a few low-sodium crackers can also calm your stomach. To remove excess fat from your soup, chill it overnight in the refrigerator. After the fat congeals at the top, you can simply skim it off.
Buying chicken noodle soup in a can may be a handy, quick alternative to preparing homemade, but the sodium content is much higher than homemade. Restaurant soup is a good choice when dining out but is also more likely to be higher in sodium than the homemade kind.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.