Feb 262018

Chicken soup is popular and the myths will prevail. Use common sense to determine what you believe and why and enjoy your chicken soup!

For decades, chicken soup has been the “go to” food when someone has a cold. Grandma, and perhaps your great grandma, believed that it cured a cold. Does it? Let’s take a look at the myth that chicken soup cures a cold, and a few other chicken soup myths.

Does Chicken Soup Cure a Cold?

The unfortunate truth is that no study has proven that chicken soup is actually good for a cold. That being said, there are many reasons why chicken soup may make you feel better if you have a cold.

#1 Colds Dehydrate You – Chicken soup contains a large amount of liquid. When you eat it, you’re helping your body to rehydrate, which can instantly help you feel better. Cold medications that include antihistamines and decongestants dehydrate you. They pull fluid from your cells. So eating chicken soup helps to get more fluids into your body.

#2 The Ingredients Fight Inflammation – According to WebMD and other medical experts, the ingredients in chicken soup, including the fat in the chicken and broth, can help reduce inflammation. This may make your sinuses, throat, and even your chest feel relief. It also helps your body fight the virus more effectively.

#3 Heat is Good – The steam from a hot bowl of chicken soup can help clear your nasal passages. Additionally, the warm broth can soothe an achy throat.

Finally, chicken soup is packed with healthy ingredients which can help strengthen your immune system and give your body the energy it needs to feel better. And the bottom line is if chicken soup is comforting, then it’s certainly a good food to eat when you’re feeling sick.

Myth: Chicken Soup is Too High in Sodium to Be Healthy

Is this true? Well, the answer is that it depends. Many store bought chicken soups, including canned chicken noodle soup and cream of chicken soup, are very high in sodium. A serving of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup contains 890mg of sodium. The RDA is 2,300mg. That’s more than 25% of your RDA in one cup of soup (and nearly 100% of the RDA if you eat the entire can). And if you’re sodium sensitive that recommended daily amount drops to 1500mg. Buying low sodium soup can help. Campbell’s Healthy Request chicken noodle soup contains 410mg of sodium per serving.

If you make chicken soup at home, you can control the amount of sodium in your soup by using low sodium chicken broth. Perk up the flavor by adding a variety of vegetables and seasonings.

Myth: If You Eat Only Chicken Soup You’ll Lose Weight

In many cases if you only eat one thing for several days, you’ll lose weight. However, there’s really no bearing for this myth. It depends on how much soup you eat and how many calories you burn each day. Chicken soup is delicious to be sure, but probably not something you want to eat all day, every day for several weeks.

Chicken soup is definitley popular and the myths will prevail. Use common sense to determine what you believe and why and enjoy your chicken soup!

  30 Responses to “Is Chicken Soup Really Good For a Cold and Other Chicken Soup Myths”

  1. These are good points and I never really considered which ways it was supposed to be healthy! I think I’ll continue serving chicken soups to my family when they’re sick. I

  2. I love this in-depth post about chicken soup and a cold! Mom always made us chicken soup when we were under the weather. I think she was on to something! This was really so informative!

  3. Finally! Scientific proof that chicken soup is good for a cold! Being made with love helps, too!

  4. That was such an informative post. We always were told about Jewish penicillin being chicken soup. I am sure it is good to drink a nice warm soup with plenty of sodium to keep you from getting dehydrated.

  5. Would you believe that I am totally not a soup person? I think I am the only one in my family that is not crazy for soup!

  6. I completely agree that chicken soup definitely heals and nurtures a cold. As for losing weight, probably not so much.

  7. This is very useful information to know! Next time I’m sick I will definitely eat a lot of chicken soup.

  8. Chicken soup is the perfect food when you are sick. Even if there was zero scientific reason, I think it would still make you feel better because it feels like home.

  9. I just love chicken soup! And I love that we finally have proof!

  10. I’m convinced that chicken soup is good for me when I’m sick. Even if it’s just a placebo effect or that feeling of comfort food, I end up feeling better so I’m in.

  11. I always was told chicken soup was good for a cold. More about the broth. We make our own chicken broth and homemade chicken noodle soup so think it would be healthier.

  12. I always make homemade chicken noodle soup when a family member has a cold and it came in handy during the flu season. No, it’s not a cure, but it sure does help you feel better. Plus, it’s delicious!

  13. I love that you’re debunking this myth! So true, but doesn’t it just make you feel better?

  14. I also think the sodium in chicken soup is soothing for a sore throat–much the way gargling with salt water helps with throat pain. so, i actually do consider it to be medicinal! great points!

  15. All good points. Some people feel better after being given a placebo, so I don’t even know who knows what really is medicinal. The warmth and saltiness can help with a sore throat.

  16. I just know chicken soup always soothes me when I’m ill. Any soup does, really. I always try to drink a lot of water as well when I’m sick.

  17. I love chicken soup when I’m ill – but I’m sure you’re right, and it has more to do with the heat and the hydration than anything!

  18. Chicken soup is a comfort food that you simply cannot go without when you’re feeling under the weather. I think it really depends, you’re right that when it’s store bought or canned it may be less healthier than it should originally be.

  19. I did not know that the ingredients help fight inflammation. I have always just assumed that other than keeping the body hydrated it is more calming and comforting than anything. Having someone make a warm soup for you will always improve things, it is a go-to meal for anyone sick in our house!

  20. I have always known chicken soup to be the best thing to have when you are feeling under the weather. My mom made a really delicious one. We don’t buy canned soup because home made always tastes better.

  21. Nothing like a piping hot bowl of chicken soup when you’re not feeling well. I’ve always heard about the healing properties of chicken soup and it is definitely something I reach for when I’m not feeling well.

  22. My mom always makes me tomato basil instead. It always seems to make me feel better when I am sick.

  23. Chicken noodle soup feels like ti should be able to cure everything. It is the epitome of comfort food!

  24. I actually do think chicken soup is healthy for many reasons including the ones you mentioned. Some great benefits here including hydration and anti-inflammatory effects. Overall, it’s amazing, especially when homemade and you control what goes in it.

  25. Yes it is! My kids absolutely LOVE my homemade chicken noodle soup and I swear just taking out my soup pot makes us all feel better when we are feeling under the weather.

  26. I think the thought of a bowl of chicken noodle soups helps me feel better when I’m sick. It could very well just be that it brings back fond childhood memories of my mom making us some for colds and not actually from eating it.

  27. Definitely a great choice for a meal when sick! We love soups, especially when it’s cold in NYC. Lots of ginger in the soup is another addition to help feel better too.

  28. These are interesting myths. When I was younger, I enjoyed getting sick because I got my mom’s 100% attention and she would prepare whatever food I wanted just to make me happy! 🙂

  29. I never thought that there is really such health benefits but I just love how it gives me relief when I got a sip of the soup. Now I learned something new.

  30. I think it’s a great food for when you’re feeling down and out. I need all the foods I can that help fight inflammation.