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Not everything has to be “functional,” you know.

What’s worse than bland soup? Honestly, pretty much nothing. (That is, unless you’re down bad with a stomach bug and plain rice and tasteless chicken noodle soup is exactly what the doctor ordered. Under those circumstances: Do carry on.)

But at most meals, we prefer a lively, flavor-rich soup situation. The solution to bland soup is simple: spices, herbs, and seasonings. We caught up with Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, CLEC, CPT, a registered dietitian based in Charleston who shared some of the best dietitian-approved spices for chicken soup loaded with anti-inflammatory perks to season (ha!) the day.

3 dietitian-recommended anti-inflammatory spices for chicken soup 

1. Turmeric

According to Manaker, one of the easiest ways to add a beautiful golden hue, anti-inflammatory benefits, and a whole lot of flavor is by adding a pinch (or two) of turmeric to your chicken soup stock. “It contains curcumin, a compound with potent anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation in the body,” Manaker says. Keep in mind that turmeric goes better together when combined with black pepper—and not just from a flavor perspective. In fact, research shows that pairing turmeric with black pepper can help increase the bioavailability of circumin by a whopping 2,000 percent.

2. Ginger

The benefits of ginger are two-fold: it adds delicious flavor to a simple chicken soup recipe, plus it’s a digestion savior. “Ginger is best known for its ability to alleviate gastrointestinal distress and possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that can soothe a sore throat or an upset stomach,” Manaker says. In other words, ginger and chicken soup are essentially a match made in heaven, especially when it comes to making the perfect chicken soup for colds.

3. Cinnamon

Looking to add a bit of earthiness and anti-inflammatory benefits to your chicken soup—or any easy soup recipe for that matter—try a pinch of cinnamon. “Aside from its warming flavor, cinnamon is rich in antioxidants that fight inflammation,” Manaker says.

Pro tip: You can doctor up just about any store-bought soup with these spices too. “Try stirring these spices into store-bought soup—start with a small amount like a quarter teaspoon, taste, and add more as needed. Heating the soup will activate the spices’ flavors and properties, transforming a simple meal into a healthful experience,” Manaker says.

What can I add to my chicken soup to give it flavor?

Aside from turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon that have tons of anti-inflammatory properties, there ar

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