Comfort Foods With a Healthy Twist

Americans are cooking at home more than ever due to Covid-19 challenges in most communities. Even if your state is starting to open up businesses, restaurants are still different than pre-coronavirus. This means you’ll probably be eating at home more than usual for the foreseeable future. Add on the fact that heightened stress has just about everyone reaching for comfort foods. Simply put: food and comfort go hand-in-hand.

Food has a huge impact on immune function. It’s a good idea to think about whether your comfort food go-to’s are healing or hurtful. All too often the comfort foods that get top billing in times of trouble are things like pizza, French fries, pastries, and ice cream.

As you can see from this list of favorites, most comfort foods are high in fat, sodium, sugar, or just plain nutritionally missing the mark. But there is actually a place where good taste and good health meet up. Healthy versions of comfort foods do exist. You can comfort yourself with foods you love, but up their nutrition with an ingredient make-over.

Take the case of chicken noodle soup: the ultimate food of comfort. This soup is often very high in sodium when it comes from a can. Consider a healthful update on this classic comfort food. It’s still delicious, only now it’s more nutritious. This version is made with whole-wheat egg noodles to add fiber and nutrients and reduced-sodium chicken broth to lessen the sodium.

Try the recipe below, but if you want to really go for the nutritional gold, ‘Nana Vogt’ (who is a very healthy 91!) says to substitute whole, organic chicken.

Simply Healing Chicken Noodle Soup

Servings: About 6


  • Reduced-sodium chicken broth, 10 cups
  • Carrots, 3 medium-sized (diced)
  • Celery, 1 stalk (diced)
  • Ginger, 3 tablespoons (minced)
  • Garlic, 6 cloves (minced)
  • Whole-wheat egg noodles, 3 cups
  • Cooked, skinless chicken breast, 4 cups (shredded)

After bringing the broth to a boil in a large saucepan, add the carrots, celery, ginger, and garlic. Cook uncovered over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Add the noodles and chicken and continue to cook at a simmer for 8-10 minutes.

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