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The concerns about antibiotics in chicken are real for many of us. Thus, some may feel that having free-range or organic chicken would be better or “healthier” for themselves and their family.
Fortunately, the Singapore Food Agency performs regular testing on all types of chicken imported and sold on our supermarket shelves.
All of the chickens you see have antibiotic levels below the minimum threshold, thus safe for consumption for all consumers.
Despite many claims on certain types of chicken have lower fat or cholesterol, the nutritional formulation between the regular broiler chickens compared to the other types of chicken like organic, free range, and kampung chicken are similar. There were no significant differences found.
Regarding the suitability of different cooking methods, the taste and texture of the chicken may differ slightly.
If you’re thinking about the difference between fresh or frozen chicken, is there any difference? Again, the nutritional formulation is similar and has no significant difference.
However, fresh chicken is normally preferred as it is best for all cooking methods as the moisture and juiciness are retained better in different types of cooking than frozen chicken.
Nevertheless, chicken soup has probably been a holy grail for many when they feel unwell.
Interestingly, Western and Eastern perspectives have a similar stance on chicken soup. It is something nice to have when they are under the weather. So let’s look at the benefits of chicken soup during pregnancy!
Source of Protein & Haem Iron
Chicken is a type of “white meat”.It is a good source of protein, vitamin B12 and iron. All of which are essential in wound healing and muscle building.
As chicken contains haem iron, the bioavailability of iron is better than your green leafy vegetable-based counterparts like spinach, kai lan, bok choy and amaranth.
Generally, plant-based source iron is non-haem iron which has lower bioavailability and needs to be paired with something rich in Vitamin C to increase absorption into our body.
Regardless of whatever chicken you will use, chicken soup is hands down one of the most comforting soups we can have. It’s just warming overall, and who wouldn’t enjoy a bowl of delicious soup?
Whether you are feeling under the weather or in a good mood, chicken soup is always lovely any time of the day and especially beautiful during the rainy seasons, especially at the end of the year here in Singapore.
If you enjoy chicken soup, it is a great way to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day! Depending on how long these chicken soups have been boiled, they would contain some amino acids and minerals that are great in helping to replenish electrolytes, too, especially in free iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium.
Potentially Nausea Combating
Besides that, chicken soups with ginger particularly can be a great option for mothers during the first trimester of pregnancy who may be experiencing nausea often.
It is known that ginger helps to reduce nausea in women with morning sickness during pregnancy.
Having some chicken soup with ginger helps not only alleviates nausea but also replaces any electrolytes and hydration lost from vomiting episodes.
Such a soup can be nourishing and helpful in improving the appetite of mothers during meal times.
Easily made into a balanced and nourishing meal
We all know how tiring being pregnant can be. Some days, our energy levels can be really low, and preparing a healthy and balanced meal can be challenging.
Chicken soups can be hearty and warm, depending on the recipes. You can throw it into the pot to boil for hours, and it can be easily paired with some vegetables for fibre and additional antioxidants.
Some common vegetables used are carrots, turnips, mushrooms, celery, and so much more. There are endless ways to make your chicken soups balanced and nutritionally dense for you, especially on days you may not have a good appetite during pregnancy. You can easily pair your chicken soup with potatoes, macaroni, noodles, rice or even bread!
Did you know chicken soup is also recommended for postpartum mothers during confinement?
As you can probably see by now, there are many reasons why soups are necessary during confinement. One of the most important is that they provide a warm, comforting meal that is easy to digest. This is especially important for new mothers, who often have to contend with a sensitive stomach.
In addition, soups are packed with nutrients that can help to boost energy levels and promote healing. They are also hydrating, which is essential for postpartum recovery.
From Traditional Confinement practices, we see that herbal soups are probably one of the main highlights. It is believed to be nourishing and beneficial for mothers during their recovery. For instance, herbal black chicken soup is so popular because the essence from black chicken is believed to speed up recovery by providing more Qi (a.k.a energy). It is also believed that different combinations of herbs help to replenish blood and energy loss and improve the blood and energy flow of the mother based on Traditional Chinese Medicine meridians and organs. Ultimately, soups are a vital part of the postpartum diet and should be enjoyed on a regular basis.
But the question now becomes – “So, Tian Wei, you are a confinement food specialist, right? What special soups do you recommend”?
We’ve come prepared with some of our dietitian-guided, award-winning chef-cooked, goodness-filled soups that will help you feel “Fine” in confinement!
Fenugreek Green Papaya Herbal Fish Soup
This is one of our most popular favourites amongst mummies. With the Seabass providing a healthy dose of Vitamin D as well as the Fenugreek and Papaya being galactagogues, you know you’re in for a real hearty soup with this opening number.
One of the most important vitamins for new mothers is vitamin D. This nutrient is essential for the absorption of calcium, which is critical for developing strong bones. Vitamin D also helps to regulate the immune system, and it has been linked with a reduced risk of several chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
During confinement, new mothers need to take extra care to get enough vitamin D. While they can get some exposure to sunlight, this is often not possible nor recommended for those who practice traditional confinement where they are housebound for a month.
As a result, here’s one good source we’d recommend you chug (okay, maybe not chug, but slurp enthusiastically) rich in vitamin D. By getting enough of this important nutrient, new mothers can give their babies a strong start in life.
Also, the green papaya and red dates that we use in this dish contain Vitamin C, which mothers need to take when taking care of themselves to recover quickly and care for their babies.
Vitamin C helps the body heal by boosting collagen production, which is important for tissue repair. It also helps the body absorb iron to produce healthy red blood cells, essential for preventing fatigue. In addition, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect the body from infection. So, mothers, remember to get enough vitamin C during confinement in order to promote healing and recovery.
On top of all those ingredients, we use Seabass as our fish of choice because it is a good source of omega 3-DHA, which is needed for a baby’s brain development and lowers the risk of postpartum depression. Seabass is also a good source of vitamin D, supporting bone health and the immune system in both mother and child.
The soup is double-boiled with many other beneficial Chinese herbs to consume during confinement, such as yù zhú, dang gui, chuan xiong, wolfberries, and red dates. These ingredients help to regulate the blood, expel wind and coldness, and promote a smoother flow of Qi.
Lotus Roots And Red Dates Chicken Soup
Next, we have a calming yet nutrition-packed soup with protein, vitamin C, and Magnesium.
We already know what vitamin C does to our body, but what about Protein and Magnesium?
As any medical professional will tell you, protein is essential for the human body. It helps to build and repair tissues, produces enzymes and hormones, and provides the energy we need to get through the day.
Protein is especially important for new mothers during the confinement period after giving birth. The body needs time to recover from the stress of childbirth, and protein helps to speed up the healing process.
Alright, but what about Magnesium?
Magnesium is a vital mineral for mothers during the postpartum period. It helps to relax muscles, reduce inflammation, and maintain good health.
Eucommia Kidney Nourishing Soup
Now, this one sounds interesting, doesn’t it? The kidney nourishment aspect aside, for now, this soup contains Iron as well as vitamin C.
What does Iron do for you during confinement, you ask?
Well, let’s get right down to it!
Iron is an essential mineral that plays a number of important roles in the body, including carrying oxygen in the blood and supporting a healthy immune system.
Iron is especially important for mothers during the confinement period after giving birth. This is because the body loses significant blood during childbirth, which can lead to iron deficiency anaemia.
Symptoms of anaemia include fatigue, weakness and shortness of breath, all of which can make it difficult for new mothers to recover from childbirth and care for their babies.
Believed to strengthen the kidneys, liver, and waist, this soup contains many herbs and ingredients that are said to help with recoveries after childbirth, such as eucommia and morinda officinalis, which is a source of iron, chicken and black beans, which are good sources of protein, and red dates which are rich in potassium that regulates muscle function and heartbeats.
In addition, it contains a root known as the ‘poor man’s ginseng’ — the codonopsis pilosula root. Known to bring plenty of traditional benefits, it is especially useful as a blood tonic mothers drink to improve their uterine function.
Gingko Lotus Seed Pig Stomach Soup
Just from the name, you might not know that it contains one of the best ingredients for traditionally dispelling wind during confinement, which is ginger. Great for digestion and warming up the body, ginger is believed to help with ailments such as rheumatism and aches caused by wind, and it is a lactogenic ingredient that helps boost the milk supply.
Aside from that, this soup contains pork ribs, good sources of iron, zinc and vitamin B12, and ginkgo and red dates, which are rich in vitamin C. All these ingredients combine to make a nourishing soup.
Corn Millet Soup
Want a simple yet delicious soup? You should get the Corn Millet Soup. Almost like a dessert, it has a natural sweetness and is made mainly with 2 ingredients; corn and millet; making it a soup full of fibre, vitamins, and minerals. With millet, you get fibre, vitamin B1, folate, and iron, which play a significant role as fibre eases bowel movement and supports gut health and the immune system, vitamin B1 supports nerve, muscle, and heart functions, folate maintains healthy cells, and iron helps to build healthy red blood cells.
Black Bean Soup with Pork Ribs and Fuzzy Melon
Yet another soup that contains ginger, our Black Bean Soup with Pork Ribs comes with a fuzzy melon (or hairy gourd) twist. This soup is popular during confinement as it is warm, hearty, and loaded with nutrients, which is great for mummy and baby. And with a hairy gourd in the mix, it gives an added boost of vitamin C along with red dates, which promotes collagen production and helps with wound healing around genital and caesarean areas after childbirth for the mother and is needed for a newborn’s healthy skin, teeth, bones, joint tissues, and blood vessels which he or she can get through breast milk.
All in all, when looking up soups that are good for pregnant women, herbal chicken soup for pregnancy is always a good choice! Pairing it with complex carbohydrates and vegetables makes it a great meal anytime! Similarly, during confinement, warm and hearty chicken soups can be great during your recovery! Case in point, here’s one popular fan favourite (and is usually searched with the keywords – “black chicken soup pregnancy”…admit it, you’ve probably searched it once or twice yourself):
Black Chicken Soup
We’ve seen this rather interesting dish and ingredient before. Well, you most certainly can’t unsee a wholly black chicken, now, can you?
Nevertheless, Black Chicken Soup will be one of the usual suspects whenever confinement soups are discussed. This particular hearty soup is a good source of protein and iron; chicken soup generally has a certain anti-inflammatory quality.
Yes, our black chicken soup is a favourite of the mothers we serve! It is included in our confinement food menu, which will be hot and fresh to your doorstep – just like it came out of your kitchen.
So, if you are interested in experiencing our black chicken soup benefits or just want to learn about our traditional Sheng Hua Soup for confinement, feel free to drop by the Tian Wei Signature homepage to check out our menu today!