Does chicken soup really fight colds and flu?

Does chicken soup really fight colds and flu?

When you think of cold and flu killing remedies, what is the first thing you think of? Most people think: chicken soup. It is warming and soothing and full of nutrition when prepared right. But does chicken soup really fight colds and flu? Or is it all a myth?

We are now in the peak of flu season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that since 1982, the month of February has been the peak of the flu season more times than any other month.

Courtesy of CDC

Courtesy of CDC.


According to a recent study by ZocDoc, online food ordering companies saw the biggest spike in soup orders when cold and flu appointments were at their highest.


Courtesy of ZocDoc & GrubHub.

Courtesy of ZocDoc & GrubHub.


Dr. Keri Peterson, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital and Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City who is also associated with ZocDoc explains that soup has the ability to open up sinuses.

All liquid broth soups will speed up the movement of mucous in your nose simply because it’s a hot fluid and that causes dilation of blood vessels which causes increased blood flow and allows the mucous to flush everything out. And that will help alleviate congestion,” she told CBS News.

Soups are also great at hydrating, which is one of the most important factors when fighting a cold or flu. “Clear broth soups are hydrating because they typically contain not only water but also salt and so those two together are good properties for hydration,” Peterson added.

There has been research suggesting that soup may reduce inflammation from colds and flu, including a study published in 2000 in the journal Chest.

So next time you are fighting the sniffles and a sore throat, reaching for organic chicken soup might not be a bad idea.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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Flu-killing garlic onion soup.
Flu shot soup.

1. “Chicken Soup for Colds and Flu: Does It Really Help?CBSNews. CBS Interactive, n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.
2. “The Flu Season.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 Oct. 2014. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.
3. “Chicken Soup Inhibits Neutrophil Chemotaxis in Vitro.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.
4. “ZocDoc and Grubhub Find a Soup-er Correlation for Cold and Flu Season.” PRNewswire. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.

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