Best Soup for Flu-Delicious chicken soup kids will love and so easy to make!
Homemade chicken soup has long been the “cure” for cold, cough and the flu. But is there any truth to this claim or is it merely an old wives’ tale?
Learn why you may want to include this easy chicken soup for flu defense, the secret ingredient in the chicken, and how to amp up the immune power.
Vegan or vegetarian? Learn why that may be a good thing in this case and convert this recipe into a tasty veg soup for cold and cough.
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Can chicken soup help fight a cold or flu?
When a cold or flu hits, you might want to make up a big old batch of chicken noodle soup. Apparently there are more benefits to chicken soup than just tasting delicious.
Benefits of Chicken Soup
Chicken soup is great for a sore throat as the saltiness and warmth helps to ease the pain. As you breathe in the delicious steam wafting from the hot bowl of soup, you are also helping to loosen congestion in your nose and sinuses.
Are your kids refusing to eat and drink when sick? Encouraging them to eat a big old bowl of organic chicken soup not only relieves flu symptoms but it helps them to stay hydrated.
Drinking water and staying hydrated is important when sick to help the body recover more quickly and effectively. However it important to realize that hydration increases your blood volume and helps to balance your electrolytes not “flush out the illness.”
You should drink water but too much can be harmful. Chicken soup and other broth based soups are some of the best soups for flu, cough, and cold because it helps to restore lost fluid and sodium.
Recommended daily intake of sodium in adults and kids
Are you wondering how much sodium should a child have per day? During my research I discovered that the recommended amount of salt a kid or adult should have per day keeps changing.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommended reducing sodium intake to 1500 mg for these populations:
- anyone over the age of 51
- African Americans
- person with diabetes
- a person with hypertension
- chronic kidney disease sufferer
At the time this accounted for about half of the U.S. population. The remaining percentage were encouraged to stay under 2300 milligrams of daily sodium intake.
New recommended daily intake of sodium
However, 38 studies conducted by the IOM who released the results in 2013 indicated no significant benefit in reducing sodium intake below 2300 mg a day for the different subgroups.
In response to this new research, the 2015-2020 DGA updated their recommended daily intake of 2300 mg of sodium to include everyone, from 14 years to adult. For children below the age of 14, Tolerable Upper Intake Levels were recommended according to age and sex.
However the DGA still insisted that hypertension and prehypertension individuals who maintained 1500 mg of daily sodium intake would experience the benefit of lower blood pressure. The American Heart Association also states that the ideal sodium intake is a max of 1500 mg per adult.
Don’t know how much sodium you take daily? The average American eats more than 3400 milligrams of sodium daily. The average child, age 2 to 19, takes in over 3100 mg daily.
What do you mean by Tolerable Upper Intake Levels?
Were you as confused as I was on what exactly Tolerable Upper Intake Levels means for kids? This simply means the maximum recommended amount of a nutrient that is not likely to cause adverse effects when taken daily and for extended periods of time.
Per the Institute of Medicine, the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels of sodium for kids are as follows:
- age 1-3, 1500 milligrams max daily intake
- ages 4-8, 2200 mg max daily intake
- age 8+, 2300 mg max daily intake
Remember the average child eats over 3100 mg of sodium per day.
What is the sodium content of chicken soup?
Does chicken noodle soup have a lot of sodium? This is a concern that is often voiced when chicken soup is recommended as flu fighter.
The answer is pretty straightforward. If you are using store bought, check the can!!!
Check labels on soup cans before purchasing.
I researched Campbell’s chicken soup products since they are a popular well known brand and here’s what I found.
- Campbell Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup has 890 mg per 1/2 cup.
I thought surely Campbell’s homestyle chicken noodle soup would have less sodium especially since it does include some carrots and celery. My hunch was confirmed.
The serving size listed is 1 cup at 790 mg. However if we apply the 1/2 cup portion size as in the first soup that comes out to 395 mg per 1/2 cup so significantly better than the 890 mg of their basic condensed chicken noodle soup!
But if you consume the entire can which is pretty easy to do that’s a whopping 1700 mg of sodium leaving you with only 500 mg to spare for your daily quota of sodium!
The last soup I checked was their classic chicken soup microwaveable bowl. I was not prepared for the shock I received. The serving size was the entire bowl at 1390 mg. of sodium!
Too much Sodium in Chicken Soup
Technically this allows for 810 mg more of sodium allowance for adults which is still better than an entire can of their homestyle chicken noodle soup.
But are you going to consume an entire can?? How much you eat will help you decide the better option of the two.
Keep in mind that the microwaveable version more than doubles the recommended amount for a child depending on their tolerable upper intake levels of sodium. Also it’s microwaved, yuck.
Make Healthy Chicken Soup
The best route to go is to make healthy chicken soup for cold and flu! Making organic chicken soup is so easy, fast, and delicious!
The organic chicken soup recipe below includes oregano, garlic (a powerhouse plant packed with nutrients), and cilantro (calms your stomach, relieves anxiety, helps break down your food, promotes sleep).
All good things that you want to help with cold and flu defense and boosting your immune system!
Easy Chicken Soup for Flu
This is a chicken vegetable soup but you can easily turn it into just a vegetable soup that is even better for you when you are sick.
If fact, you can give your body an even better chance to heal by cutting out the chicken! Veggie soup digests more easily and doesn’t make the body work as hard which is important when you are sick.
Quick Flu Fighting Chicken Soup
- 8 cups of water
- 6-7 chicken tenders or 1 large chicken breast
- 3 tbsp veg or chicken soup base organic is best!
- 5 garlic cloves
- 3-4 celery stalks
- 1-2 yellow and red peppers
- 3 green onion stalks
- 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
- 1 jalapeno or pepper of choice
- 1 Packet of fresh thyme
Cook the chicken.
- Wash chicken then place into your soup pot. (Recommend rinsing in vinegar to help kill germs.)
- Add the water.
- Add the veg or chicken soup base per the directions give. If using the one I did, add 3 tablespoons of veg soup base.
- Put to cook on high heat. While the chicken is cooking chop your veggies.
Chop your veggies.
- Chop the green onions, celery, carrots, and yellow and red peppers. The smaller you cut your veggies the easier to digest. Slice the carrots no thicker than 1/8 inch.
- Add your veggies according to which method you prefer. See notes for clarification.
- Let the soup simmer until the veggies are semi-soft and then add 2 sprigs of thyme and however much cilantro and jalepeno you prefer.
- When veggies are soft, your soup is done! Remove the thyme and serve the soup with fresh cilantro on top! Share the yumminess with friends and fam!
Did you like it? Let me know what you think and how it worked for you in the comments below!!!
To you and yours good health!
Cheers! Mrs. G