Doctor explains why chicken soup is so effective when you have a cold
- Chicken soup does not cure a bad cold, but it can reduce the symptoms
- The meat alone can help relieve cold symptoms and thin mucus
- Vegetables and herbs provide important minerals needed to feel better
A doctor has explained why chicken soup is the ideal remedy for anyone who is feeling bad.
Registered dietitian nutritionist Kara Collier said that while soup doesn’t cure the common cold, it does help reduce some of the symptoms a person may have when sick.
According to Collier, the chicken alone is “an excellent source of the amino acid cysteine,” an ingredient known to relieve cold symptoms and thin mucus.
People can also add herbs and vegetables to the soup, which, like chicken, help manage cold symptoms.
“The vegetables and herbs, such as garlic and herbs, used in 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 has been proven to help relieve the symptoms of a cold, but does not cure it completely
One of the biggest features of the soup that makes a difference in how someone feels is the broth, or as Collier called it in the NYP, “the basis of chicken soup.’
The broth provides fluids and electrolytes that help the body fight infections when sick.
Collier said: ‘Your regular hydration strategies may not be palatable or may not meet your increased needs when you’re feeling unwell, so having something that’s soothing and easy to consume makes a difference.’
“The warm broth itself can also help open clogged nasal passages, which helps better control cold and flu symptoms,” she added.
Utah physician Dr. Andrew Peterson also pointed out that the broth is packed with proteins and peptides that can provide an energy boost to immune function.
You can buy chicken soup in the stores, but a homemade version can be just as healthy, especially if you can’t find the other ingredients in a can of soup.
Peterson told Fox News Digital via NYP, “A healthy homemade chicken soup typically includes some vegetables like carrots, celery and onions.”
“In a soup, these ingredients are well cooked and therefore easy to digest, which is important when someone is sick,” he continued.
Overall, based on the amino acids and B vitamins in the broth and the vitamins and minerals in vegetables, Peterson concludes that chicken soup is a good thing to eat when you’re sick.
“It is much more likely to help than a simple carbohydrate meal with excess sugar that would worsen the inflammation caused by the viral disease,” said Peterson.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon help reduce inflammation
Foods and herbs that help with colds and flu
- Bone broth
- Citrus fruits
- Hot tea
Source: New York Post
Collier listed other foods that can reduce cold symptoms, such as citrus fruits, omega-3 fatty acids in salmon and hot tea.
She noted that you need to be careful when consuming chicken soup because of its glucose levels.
According to the nutritionist, “When we are sick, our body releases a hormone cascade that helps boost our immune response.”
‘This hormone shift ensures that we produce more glucose and are slightly less insulin sensitive. While this is important for fighting infections, it often leads to higher than normal glucose levels,” she explains.
This explanation is part of why Collier recommends being aware of the amount of carbohydrates and sugary drinks a person drinks when they have a cold.
“If you can, balance the noodles in your chicken noodle soup by adding plenty of chicken and vegetables, and try to combine your fruit with some protein to keep glucose (and energy levels) stable,” says Collier.