Doctor explains why chicken soup is so effective when you have a cold

Doctor explains why chicken soup is so effective when you have a cold

  • Chicken soup does not cure a bad cold, but can lessen the symptoms
  • The meat alone can help relieve cold symptoms and thin mucus 
  •  Veggies and seasonings provide important minerals needed to feel better

A doctor has explained why chicken soup is the ideal remedy for anyone feeling under the weather.  

Registered dietitian nutritionist Kara Collier said that while soup doesn’t cure the common cold, it does help reduce some of the symptoms someone might have when they’re sick.

The chicken alone according to Collier is ‘an excellent source of amino acid cysteine,’ an ingredient known to relieve cold symptoms and thin mucus.

People can also add seasonings and veggies to the soup, which like chicken, helps in managing cold like symptoms.

‘The veggies and seasonings, like garlic and herbs, that go into chicken soup can also provide important minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids that help support our body’s immune system,’ Collier told Fox News Digital via the New York Post.

Chicken soup is proven to help relieve symptoms of a cold, but not cure it entirely

One of the biggest features of the soup that make a difference in how someone feels is the broth or as Collier referred to it in the NYP, ‘the base of chicken soup.’ 

The broth is what provides fluids and electrolytes that help the body fight off infections when sick.

Collier said: ‘Your regular hydration strategies may not be appetizing or may not meet your enhanced needs when you’re feeling unwell, so having something that is soothing and easy to consume makes a difference.’

‘The warm broth itself may also help to open up congested nasal and throat passages, which helps to better manage cold and flu symptoms,’ she added.

Utah physician Dr. Andrew Peterson also pointed out that broth is full of proteins and peptides that can provide a boost of energy in immune function.

Chicken soup can be purchased in stores, but a homemade version can be just as healthy, especially with other ingredients may not be found in a can of soup.

Peterson told Fox News Digital via NYP: ‘A healthy homemade chicken soup typically has some vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions.’

‘In a soup, these ingredients are well-cooked and therefore easy to digest, which is important when a person is sick,’ he continued.

Overall, with the amino acids and B vitamins found in the broth and the vitamins and minerals in veggies, Peterson concludes that Chicken soup is a good thing to have when sick.

‘It is much more likely to be helpful than a simple carbohydrate meal with excess sugars that would exacerbate the inflammation that is caused by the viral illness,’ Peterson stated.

Omega-3 fatty acids that are found in salmon help reduce inflammation

Foods and spices that help with colds and flu 

  • Bone broth 
  • Citrus fruits 
  • Bananas 
  • Berries
  • Garlic 
  • Ginger
  • Salmon 
  • Hot tea

Source: New York Post

Collier listed other foods that could decrease cold symptoms such as citrus fruits, omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, and hot teas. 

She noted that one must look out when consuming chicken soup because of glucose levels.

According to the nutritionist, ‘When we’re ill, our body releases a hormone cascade that helps to enhance our immune response.’

‘This hormone shift causes us to make more glucose and be slightly less insulin-sensitive. While this is important for fighting infections, it often leads to those higher-than-normal glucose values,’ she explained.

This explanation is part of why Collier recommends one being conscious of the amount of carbs and sugary drinks someone has when battling a cold.

‘If you can, keep the noodles in your chicken noodle soup balanced by adding in lots of chicken and veggies, and try pairing your fruits with some protein to keep glucose (and energy levels) stable,’ said Collier.

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