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The Health Benefits of Eating Soup During Flu Season

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The Medicinal and Therapeutic Value of Soup

Ever wondered why you are given chicken soup when you have the sniffles? A study reveals that chicken soup has indeed medicinal benefits that have an impact on certain parts of the body preventing the virus from spreading and the flu from developing further. This is the main reason why you feel better after eating soup such as Frontier Soups’ Connecticut Chicken Noodle Soup when you are sick or have a cold.

The Science Behind Chicken Soup

A study by Dr. Stephan Rennard of the University of Nebraska Medical Center revealed that chicken soup might help defend against colds. They are believed to be caused by a virus infecting the upper respiratory tract. An ingredient in chicken soup which researchers could not exactly identify slows down the movement of the neutrophils (white-blood cells) to the lung area. If there are too many neutrophils in the zone, they can increase inflammation which in turn cause the symptoms of a cold.

Drinking soup also promoted a better flow of the mucus compared to sipping cold or hot water as confirmed in a 1978 study by Saketkhoo et al. This helped in freeing blocked nasal passages.

What About Other Types of Soup?

There was a time when bone broths were a fad – soups made by simmering chicken or beef bones for days. People want to have a healthy and balanced lifestyle trying new things to achieve this. Bone broths were purported to have lots of health benefits including curing arthritis, improving bones and boosting the immune system. While many of these claims could not be backed by scientific evidence, bone broth does have a health benefit – it is a good source of protein, about 6-12 grams a cup, according to Cambridge Health Alliance.

Using bone broth as a soup base is a great idea. Building on it by adding vegetables such as carrots, kale, spinach, celery, tomatoes and beans not only add flavor and color but also creates a hearty soup. Throwing in herbs and spices not only makes it tastier but also provides medicinal benefits.

Garlic may prevent common colds, heart disease, and high blood pressure. It can also boost the immune system. Another herb is ginger, used as a spice in cooking for at least 4,400 years. Several studies suggest that ginger works in curing nausea and motion sickness. It may even lower cholesterol and may prevent blood clotting. Rosemary which is a popular spice in Mediterranean dishes relieves muscle pain, improves memory and promotes better functioning of the circulatory & nervous systems. Curcumin has an antidepressant function.

From chicken and vegetable soups to bone and herb broths, there is no denying that soups are healthy, promote weight loss and keep you hydrated. The herbs and spices used in soups provide therapeutic and medicinal benefits. Soups in different forms help treat ordinary ailments and may even prevent certain diseases such as coronary and mental health problems.