Fact or Myth: Chicken Soup Cures a Cold

This is a FACT.

Whether canned or homemade, a bowl of steaming hot chicken soup cures a cold! The chicken soup cure has been healing sore throats and stuffy noses since ancient times, and modern research confirms it’s more than just an old wives’ tale.

chicken soupThe Low-Down on Colds

Health experts have determined that colds are caused by viral infections in the upper respiratory tract. Your immune system responds to a cold by activating the inflammatory response. White blood cells rush to the scene to clear away the infection. Unfortunately, the inflammatory response gives rise to all sorts of annoying cold symptoms: sore throats, stuffy noses, coughs…the works! Chicken soup cures a cold by alleviating these symptoms and providing relief.

Science Says…

Researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha found evidence of chicken soup’s anti-inflammatory properties. Dr. Stephen Rennard analyzed the ability of white blood cells to migrate across a filter from one side of a chamber to the other. Then, he added chicken soup to the mix. Turns out, fewer white blood cells migrated across the filter when in the presence of chicken soup. Although the exact biological mechanism is undetermined, it seems the chemical makeup of chicken soup either suppresses or slows the accumulation of white blood cells in the lung area, thereby relieving cold symptoms. Although scientists don’t know if it’s a particular ingredient or a more holistic component that makes chicken soup such an effective cold cure, there’s no denying it’s more than just comfort food.

Don’t have access to your grandma’s homemade chicken soup? Not to worry; the study tested 13 store-bought brands of canned soup that worked just as effectively.

Other Benefits

According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, chicken soup also helps you stay hydrated, so that you can flush your system of the virus and heal quicker. Chicken soup is naturally full of electrolytes that help you retain more fluids than water alone does. The salt, steam, and heat in chicken soup works to thin out mucous and relieve congestion.

If you’re a vegetarian and don’t eat chicken soup, then try hot teas and other  broths to clear your sinuses and soothe sore throats.