Confused about swine flu? Even the name of this flu can be puzzling. Usually called swine flu, you'll also hear it called 2009 H1N1 flu and novel influenza A (H1N1). No wonder we're all a little baffled.
But swine flu isn't that hard to understand; it's a lot like seasonal flu. It has similar symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. As a matter of fact, it's hard to tell swine flu from seasonal flu without a lab test.
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Quite simply, a well-nourished immune system, your body's defense against germs, is better able to ward off infections.
So eat healthy this cold season and throughout the year. Enjoy these recipes from the kitchen of Charlotte Mathis, MD.
Charlotte's Chicken Soup
1 chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces (remove skin, leave bone in)
8 cups of chicken broth (homemade is preferable, but unsalted, low-fat boxed or canned is fine**)
3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
8 ounces dried wide egg noodles or 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
Pat chicken parts dry. Season pieces with salt and pepper. Brown chicken parts in a heavy Dutch oven with 1 teaspoon of canola oil over medium-high heat for about 6-8 minutes, turning once.
Add chicken broth to the pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover partially and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Using tongs, transfer chicken to a large bowl. Cool chicken and broth slightly. Discard bones from chicken. Cut or pull apart chicken meat into bite-sized pieces and reserve.
Spoon fat off top of chicken broth. Return broth to simmer. Add onion, carrots, celery, and thyme. Simmer until vegetables soften, about 8 minutes. (You can prepare 1 day ahead, but be sure to store broth and meat separately in the fridge.)
Stir in noodles, parsley, and reserved chicken. Simmer until noodles are tender, about 5 minutes. If you use rice, simmer until the rice is done. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowls, and garnish it with parsley if you want.
** You can make canned soup taste more like homemade if you simmer it for about 45 minutes with a couple of celery stalks, carrots, half a chopped onion, a bit of garlic, some peppercorns, and a bay leaf. Strain before using.