Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup

As the weather starts to cool and immune systems start taking a battering, nothing beats a good ol’ fashioned chicken noodle soup to make you feel better!

This recipe comes from The Pretty Bee and is easily turned into a gluten free dish by opting for a gluten free pasta. With no gluten, dairy, eggs or nuts, this is a very allergy friendly recipe for those with food allergies. May 26th to June 1 2019 is Food Allergy Week and with two in 100 adults living with food allergies, it pays to know how to avoid a reaction.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 650-700 grams chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 1.8 litres of chicken broth
  • 170 grams gluten free fettuccine, broken into small pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the olive oil, chopped onion, carrots, and celery in a large soup pot or dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until soft, about 7 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken thighs and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat slightly and simmer for about 25 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken thighs from the pot and place them on a plate. Chop the chicken into small pieces and return to the pan.
  4. Take about half of a box of gluten free fettucine and break into small pieces. Place the pasta in the pot and simmer until the pasta is tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • Store leftover soup in the refrigerator. It should stay good for 3-4 days.
  • The pasta may soak up a lot of the broth as it sits in the refrigerator. You may need to add more broth when serving the leftover soup.
  • If you don’t want to use noodles, you can use quinoa or rice instead.
  • If you aren’t gluten free, feel free to use your regular pasta.

Winter Wellness Warriors

Sick of being sick?

Are you one of the many people, for whom a string of colds and flu is a way of life in Winter? Fortunately, it is possible to improve your immune system function and reduce the frequency and severity of those nasty Winter germs with a bit of awareness and some simple strategies.

Prevention beats cure every time

If you are stressed out, unfit, run down and/or consuming a nutritionally poor diet, you are likely contributing to the demise of your immune systems defences and setting yourself up to succumb to one of the viruses floating around.

Here’s some top tips on preparing your immune system to withstand this Winter’s lurgies:

• Reduce stress – being stressed reduces immune system function, so make sure you incorporate regular time-out, meditation and/or ‘green’ time, such as walking outdoors or playing with pets.

• Enjoy regular exercise – remaining active reduces the risk of contracting a cold by up to 46%.

• Sleep – aim for 7 to 8 hours each night to restore energy and increase resilience.

• Eat your fruit and vegies – at least three cups of fresh vegetables and/or salad, plus two serves of fresh fruit every day. Fill your plate with a rainbow of colour to ensure an abundance of essential nutrients and antioxidants that will help support healthy immune system cells.

• Regularly wash your hands – simple soap and warm water helps reduce cross- contamination with unwell people.

While being prepared for Winter is the best strategy, it may be unrealistic to achieve all the tips outlined above. This is where your practitioner can help by creating an individualised prescription of natural medicines to help improve your health.

Marvellous medicinal mushrooms

If you are one of those people that experiences recurrent infections then your immune system could benefit from some more specific additional support. The advantage of natural medicine is that it is not just to treat illness, but improve your own natural immune defences. For example, the immune-boosting medicinal mushrooms include cordyceps, coriolus, shiitake and reishi – four, not only traditionally used, but widely-studied and clinically proven mushrooms available. Individually, each species of mushroom has demonstrated remarkable effectiveness in immune enhancement, to help resolve chronic, and/or recurrent infectious conditions. What’s more, this combination of mushrooms provides symptomatic relief of upper respiratory tract infections, including reducing mucus congestion.

Healthy gut – healthy immune system!

Did you know that approximately 70% of your immune system is located in your digestive system? This emphasises how important it is to also look after your gut health. Many people are aware that certain probiotics can support digestion, but did you know there are specific probiotics that support a healthy immune system? The beneficial strains, Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL 9, Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG®) all help enhance immune system function, making this combination a valuable aid to Winter wellness. As a healthy immune system is supported by the right microbial balance in your gut, speak to your practitioner about which probiotic combination is the most appropriate, to help overcome your immune system concerns.

No need to hibernate

There’s no need to experience ongoing or recurrent illness this Winter, or hide away at home until it’s over! Start by modifying what needs to change in your diet and lifestyle, and come speak to your Northside Health practitioner about specific strategies to help support your immune system.

The Wellness Lifestyle Pyramid

  • Take a resveratrol rich antioxidant, multivitamin/mineral, omega-3 fatty acid and probiotic daily
  • Include a handful of nuts and seeds and up to two tablespoons of healthy oils daily
  • Limit starchy carbohydrates at one to two small serves daily
  • Enjoy a minimum of two pieces or one cup of fresh fruit daily
  • Include protein-rich foods in each meal or snack
  • Enjoy a minimum of three cups of fresh vegetables daily
  • Drink a minimum of eight glasses of pure water daily
  • Enjoy a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate activity, and 30 minutes of fun and relaxation on most days

Your Cold & Flu Insurance Policy This Winter!

It’s not just the drop in temperature that heralds the start of Winter. It’s when nearly everyone you run into is battling a cold, coming down with something or has just spent a week of work you know Winter is near! But what if you could take out a wellness ‘insurance policy’ of sorts against colds and flus? We share our tips to boost your immune function and help insure against illness this Winter.

Key Nutrients for a Strong Immune System 

There’s a good reason why most oranges are in season during the colder months! Oranges and citrus fruits of all kinds are rich in Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that plays a key role in the mobilisation of your immune system defences.
Zinc is another powerful immune system supporter, found in meat, eggs, seafood, nuts and seeds. Zinc helps infection-fighting white blood cells to be deployed at the first sign of a disease-causing invader, such as a virus or bacteria. These two nutrients form an essential immune system foundation to help reduce the incidence and severity of colds and infections.
Vitamin D also plays an important role in the overall function of your immune system, working behind the scenes to help ‘marshal’ your immune cells to the site of an infection. Our vitamin D stores tend to decline as you spend more time indoors and less time soaking up the sunshine required to manufacture your own supply. You may wish to take a supplement during this time of year to help maintain your infection-fighting capacity over the winter months.


Good Gut Health = Strong Immune System

Believe it or not, your gastrointestinal tract contains approximately 70% of your immune system, so it’s vital your gut is populated with plenty of beneficial micro-organisms. The micro-organisms are central to you maintaining optimal immune function and different strains of probiotics have different health benefits. Look for Lactobacillus acidophilus (NCFM strain) and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG and HN019 strains) to help you reduce the incidence of respiratory infections that are common in winter.


Lifestyle Tips to Support Good Health

Here’s your official prescription to schedule regular ‘down time’! Stress and being on the go constantly can significantly drain your immune function and leave you more susceptible to any viruses you come in contact with. Recharge with regular relaxation and ‘me time’ such as reading a good book, getting a massage, or perhaps a yoga class followed by a long soak in a warm bath. Ensuring you get sufficient sleep also enables your body to rest and repair, keeping you ready to fight whatever battles you may encounter tomorrow.


Prevention is Better Than Cure!

Don’t just succumb to yet another cold or flu this winter, take out a wellness ‘insurance policy’ and help support your immune system and actually enjoy this slower season. We invite you to come in and speak to your GP here at Northside Health to discuss how we can boost your infection-fighting capacity with high quality, clinically effective Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D and immune-boosting probiotics and what doses are best.