We are almost deep into December, and with the onset of winter in Kolkata, it is peak season for getting a nasty cold and flu. Thus comes out Bengals famous potent weapon to battle the chills of the season…monkey cap, quilt (laep) and full sweater. But that being said, there’s further good news for the foodie souls in Bengal; we may have a further addition to our armory of battling the common cold – once we resign ourselves to taking a day off work to sneeze in solitude, we may put that time to concoct at the comfort of our home a miracle cure-all special savory item…Granny’s Chicken Soup!!
The benefits of chicken soup date back centuries ago when Jewish physician and philosopher, Moshe ben Maimon, recommended chicken soup for cold symptoms in his 12th century writings.
Since then, recipes for the warm broth have been passed down for generations surrounded by rumors of cold-fighting abilities.
Research shows that aroma, spices and heat from the soup can clear congestion brought on by the common cold, by breaking up mucus and opening airways.
Granny's chicken soup contains vegetables high in fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants. Drinking an entire bowl can provide that daily dose of nutrients which can boost the immune system to battle cold symptoms.
Also chicken soup doesn't have to be homemade to have these cold-fighting effects. We may go to any Oriental cuisine restaurant and order a humble bowl of spicy chicken soup which has the potential to have the same inhibitory effect.
Lastly, while chicken soup certainly seems to be the ultimate cold remedy this winter, also don't underestimate the power of placebo. If your granny used to tuck you up with a bowl of chicken and promised it would make you feel better, such associations probably still influence how you feel today. The placebo effect is a well-documented phenomenon, relating to the power of the mind over the body - if we expect to get better as a result of cough syrup; we often feel that we are on the mend.
So think positive and start having more chicken soup starting this winter!