So was your mother actually correct in telling you to finish your chicken soup because it’s good for you? Perhaps.
Chicken soup has been considered an aid to the common cold and flu for centuries, by many cultures. In 2001 an interesting research paper (link at bottom of post) showed that chicken soup actually slowed down neutrophil activity and movements in test tubes. Neutrophils are the body’s cells that fight infections and inflammation. Another study showed increase clearance of nasal mucus compared to just hot water. So, chicken soup seems to have anti-inflammatory activity, which theoretically may help decrease the symptoms of colds and flu.
There’s still uncertainty as to which ingredients help, or if it’s just the psychological boost and hydration that people get from a warm bowl of soup. No matter what the reason, chicken soup is always a healthy, hydrating and relaxing approach to fighting your colds and flu.
The link below also provides a good recipe for chicken soup, but canned soup works as well.
Archive: Is chicken soup an essential drug? – a fun review, from 1999
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