NOT JUST CHICKEN SOUP
One of the main reasons I like this particular recipe is because it is quick and easy, you don’t have to cook for hours and hours. (It can be done in approx 30 mins.)
But while it is efficient to make, it does not skimp on essential nutrients. In fact, it is choc-full of superfoods and doesn’t disappoint in the flavour department either. It can also be frozen and reheated.
When I was a child and feeling under the weather with a cold or flu, I remember my Mum would always make me a batch of hot Chicken Soup to ease my symptoms and soothe my tummy. It was not only delicious, but comforting for both the body and soul.
AN OLD WIVE’S TALE OR FACTUAL SCIENCE?
It seems that Chicken soup has long been regarded as a remedy for symptomatic upper respiratory tract infections. Our Mothers & Grandmothers didn’t make this soup for nothing in times of sickness. Research confirms that it’s not just an old wives tale.
It is the combination of specific ingredients that help make it the ultimate immune booster. It has an anti-inflammatory effect and has an abundance of health benefits.
We know that feeding the body specific nutritious vitamins and minerals helps our cells and thus our body perform and function better.
So, let me break this recipe down for you and explain exactly why it will help you.
BREAKING IT DOWN
We’ll start from the beginning:
Widely marketed as a superfood for good reason. The unique combination of fatty acids in coconut oil has positive effects such as boosting fat loss & immunity, heart health & brain function.
Here are 10 evidence-based health benefits of coconut oil.
Calorie for calorie, garlic is incredibly nutritious. It is well known for it’s ability to reduce the severity of the common cold and flu as well as improving blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, and delivering a beneficial boost of healthy antioxidants that protect against cell damage and aging. Check out this post here to read about all the wonderful health benefits of garlic.
Garlic may also benefit bone health by increasing oestrogen levels in females, particularly encouraging for the peri, meno and post menopausal woman.
Nutrient-dense, meaning they’re low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals.
They are also rich in B vitamins which play key roles in metabolism, red blood cell production as well as being high in potassium necessary for cellular, kidney, muscle & nerve function.
Is one of the best leafy greens out there. Spinach is super low in calories and packs a load of antioxidants and vitamins. Rich in proteins and fiber, spinach will fill you up while providing you with all the essential nutrients.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, this superfood provides the best skin-clearing benefits.
It strengthens bones, aids the immune system, aids digestion, cardiovascular function, increases metabolism & can reduce weight.
The health benefits of tomatoes are diverse.
Tomatoes are yet another superfood packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals & antioxidants. The cooking of tomatoes appears to increase the availability of key nutrients, such as the carotenoids lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. When included in the diet, they can help protect against cancer, maintain healthy blood pressure, and reduce blood glucose in people with diabetes. They protect the eyes from light-induced damage and supports heart health & digestion.
The health benefits of eating chicken are numerous.
Consuming protein rich chicken supports a healthy body weight and aids weight loss by boosting the metabolism.
The protein helps keep you feeling full and is immune-supportive.
Chicken is rich in phosphorus, an essential mineral that supports your teeth and bones, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system function.
It is also abundant in selenium which is involved in metabolic performance … in other words thyroid, hormone, metabolism, and immune function.
Chicken is rich in niacin which guards against cancer and other forms of genetic (DNA) damage.
If you’re feeling depressed, eating some poultry will increase the serotonin (the ‘feel-good’ hormone) & amino acid levels in your brain, enhancing your mood, blasting stress, and lulling you to sleep.
It is also an excellent source of retinol, alpha and beta-carotene, and lycopene (all derived from vitamin A) and all vital for healthy eyesight.
Thanks to the protein punch it packs, chicken can help prevent osteoporosis or arthritis which is a definite concern in our midlife years.
It seems curry powder doesn’t just enhance flavour. The turmeric, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dried chillies, black pepper, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, mustard seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, peppercorns and bay leaves in curry powder packs quite a health punch.
It is a powerful antioxidant thought to help prevent and treat diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.
Turmeric also contains turmerone, which could also help with these kinds of neurodegenerative conditions by stimulating stem cells to make new brain cells.
Some studies have suggested turmeric could increase bone regrowth, connectivity and repair.
The cocktail of spices in curry helps your tummy, with black pepper great for relieving gas and promoting stomach acid, bay leaves and cumin known as digestion helpers, cinnamon soothing diarrhoea and vomiting, while coriander is kind to upset stomachs.
Efficient digestion means less wind and lots of good bacteria jostling around in your bowels and doing its job.
Both cardamom and sweet basil are often included in curry powder, they can lower blood pressure thereby reducing the chance of developing cardiovascular conditions, including atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.
The coriander in curry powder is well-known for its antibacterial qualities.
Capsicums are loaded with various vitamins and minerals and contain an abundance of health benefits. They are particularly advantageous when it comes to eye health, digestion and anaemia prevention. See here.
are low in fat, extremely nutrient-dense, and generally pretty affordable to buy. They pack in a lot of health benefits, including:
They are full of polyphenols: active compounds that fight against harmful agents in the body—everything from ultraviolet rays and radiation to heart disease and cancer. They have long-lasting health benefits, including cardiovascular health and diabetes prevention as well as being high in protein and a great source of iron and fibre.
They are good for bone health and are a great source of folic acid which supports healthy hair growth and can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
If you have trouble sleeping, are stressed or overworked, your body could benefit from regular consumption of magnesium—and lentils can be a great source at 71 mg per cup of cooked lentils.
Adding a handful of flaked almonds as a garnish adds textural element to the dish as well as being highly nutritious and rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4-5 baby capsicums (or 1 large), chopped
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp tumeric
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 50g split red lentils
- 1 pkt frozen spinach
- 250g cooked chicken
- handful parmesan
- handful flaked almonds
- 1 tbsp creme fraiche