Grandma always said to get out the pots and pans and cook up some chicken soup when you got a cold - remember? Turns out there is a reason that has been standard advice for decades.
A University of Nebraska study in 2012 looked at the physiologic affects of chicken broth on the immune system, and found several health benefits to consuming bone broth. Nowadays, instead of simmering for days, you can use a crock pot to first make a crock pot chicken for dinner, and then to make the bone broth letting it cook overnight. While the broth is slow cooking overnight, amino acids like glutamine and proline, and collagen are released into the broth. Turns out these compounds are healing to the lining of the gut helping to heal leaky gut, and also strengthen the immune system. The U of N study found that these proteins (and others), lowered inflammation and joint pain (which makes sense because much of our inflammation comes from the gut!)
In addition to a rich, delicious, filling and comforting drink or soup, bone broth also contains lots of minerals such as calcium (critical for many functions, including bone strength and muscle contraction), magnesium (involved in over 300 reactions in the body and a very common nutrient deficiency), phosphorous (also important for bone health) and more. Each of these minerals are highly absorbable and supportive to health.
The amino acids in bone broth strengthen the immune system and seem to be part of the mechanism behind its protective effect against the flu.
So in this flu season, boost your immune system with an easy, yummy and super healthy comfort food. Start with a whole chicken crock pot recipe below. You can get several meals from the chicken, like chicken noodle soup, or other chicken dishes like a gluten free chicken pot pie, then make a batch of homemade chicken bone broth to keep on hand to keep you protected from the flu this season!.