Chicken soup is not just for the soul
Although Grandma’s favorite cold fighter hasn’t yet yielded up all its healing secrets, researchers are beginning to puzzle out why it may work. For starters, hot chicken soup raises the temperature in your nose and throat, creating an inhospitable environment for viruses that prefer cooler, drier climates. Hot, steamy soup also thins out your mucus so you can blow it out more easily. Studies have proved it works better at this than plain old hot water.
And finally, according to a laboratory study of both homemade and store-bought soups done at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the soup inhibits white blood cells called neutrophils that are released in huge numbers when you have a cold. It’s the congregation of these white cells that causes a cold’s hallmark congestion.
Aim for: There’s no prescribed “dosage” for chicken soup, so just enjoy a steaming bowlful when you’re feeling sniffly and sneezy.