Home Natural Healing Why is Chicken Soup Healthy?

Why is Chicken Soup Healthy?

written by Guest Blogger August 31, 2010

Editor’s Note: Ever wonder why chicken soup is the #1 most prescribed cold and flu folk remedy? Read today’s guest post by Leah Martins!

Before chicken soup was for the soul, it was used by mothers everywhere as the best course to treat physical maladies of all types (although it’s best known to remedy the common cold).  But what is it about chicken soup that makes it such a health-booster?

If it was snake oil, it would have gone out of fashion long ago, but it continues to be used generation after generation by concerned and conscientious caregivers. Every child has fond memories of being bundled in a mountain of blankets to sleep away the latest cold, with a steady diet of soup and crackers arriving periodically on a tray.

Is it just an old wives tale, or does chicken soup really have some magical healing properties to sooth and subjugate an array of ailments?

Well, it’s no magic potion in this day and age, but it may as well be. Chicken soup has several properties that make it useful in the treatment of certain illnesses:

  • Cleansing. “Plenty of fluids” is often advised when you’re ill. A body full of attacking allergens (like a virus) and battling antibodies needs to be flushed in order to get healthy. To that effect, the abundant broth in chicken soup performs aptly.
  • Disinfecting. Chicken soup is generally fairly salty (with lower-sodium versions), so that when it goes down your throat it acts in much the same way as gargling warm salt water. In other words, it removes bacteria in the throat, mouth, and tonsils.
  • Clears sinuses. Much like other warm liquids (for example, tea), it can help to clear the sinuses with steam.
  • Strengthening. The lean protein in chicken and nutrients from added vegetables work to bolster your strength when your body is feeling drained of energy.

These self-explanatory health benefits alone should convince anyone to suck down some chicken soup when they get the sniffles!

More Reasons Why Chicken Soup is Healthy

Studies have also shown that chicken soup affects you on a much deeper level.

For starters, it has been shown to inhibit the production of neutrophils, white blood cells that eat bacteria and cause inflammation and mucus production (i.e. stuffy nose, sore throat, phlegm, etc.). This is important because while neutrophils kill pathogens, their antimicrobial products damage host tissues.

Theoretically, chicken soup can also be used in this capacity in cases of asthma, emphysema, and even accidents where swelling occurs, to ease inflammation of targeted areas!

Further, each ingredient in chicken soup has its own special healing properties:

  1. Chicken, while filling, is good for more than just a meal. It contains cysteine, an amino acid that is thought to help thin mucus in the lungs, making it easier to expel.
  2. Carrots (which contain beta-carotene) and celery (which contains vitamin C), both of which help to bolster the immune system and fight infection.
  3. Onions in your chicken soup provide the benefit of antioxidants that reduce inflammation and act as an anti-histamine.

Besides all of the physical benefits of ingesting chicken soup, there is an added psychological reason to take it. For many people, it is either administered by a caring relative or it brings with it fond and comforting memories of home.

Either scenario will allow a patient to relax and let the soup do its work to treat the symptoms. And really, we all know the best remedy is a good attitude and plenty of rest.

About the Author

Leah Martins is a writer for the popular self defense website Hertao, where you can find great tips and advice from the pros.

Depending on your ingredients (check this post for a chicken soup recipe), like additional veggies and herbs and spices, it would increase the already prominent health factor of this home remedy! What do you put in your homemade chicken soup?

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Tokeloshe September 2, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Great post!
I love this blog.

Head Health Nutter September 11, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Thanks, Tokeloshe! 🙂

Stephen September 4, 2010 at 5:55 am

I love chicken soup because it’s aids my hungry tummy and it’s very nutritious meal. It’s like a hitting two birds with one stone..

Your post is very informative and useful for everyone. 🙂

Head Health Nutter September 11, 2010 at 2:39 pm

mmm… ya, chicken soup is SOOO tasty and it’s healthy to boot! lol

Ma soupe de poulet au curry February 21, 2012 at 7:32 am

[…] ma curiosité, et je suis tombée sur un article du site Live Lighter. Cet article intitulé “Why is chicken soup so healthy“, écrit par Leah Martins, donne plusieurs raisons pour lesquelles la soupe de poulet serait […]

4 Reasons to Eat Home- Made Chicken Soup | Ilene On Words February 27, 2013 at 7:24 am

[…] followong 4 reasons is by Head Health Nutter on August 31, 2010 on the holistic health blog titled: Live […]

rahul March 6, 2013 at 6:30 am

friends ayurveda the ancient medical system of india has considered non-veg diet first and then veg in importance. importantly ayurveda recommends ‘mans ras’ meaning soup as more benifical than the flesh itself.

Chicken Noodle Soup – Virginia Chicken Festival January 5, 2017 at 7:38 am

[…] Alas, “Chicken Noodle Soup”, it would seem that this simple dish could never amount to such great applications such as: ailments, remedies, and just plain old “Good eating’. However, Chicken noodle soup may serve as a remedy for the broken soul; including a broken heart, as well as a remedy for a variety of ailments including the common cold. For the scientific world, the benefits of chicken noodle soup were reported centuries ago. That was based on ancient Greek writings, some of which stated that the soup could help clear upper respiratory infections. Well, wouldn’t you know it, the common cold happens as a result of an upper respiratory infection, which thus causes inflammation. Well, I guess those ancient Greece knew what they were talking about after all. Here are some benefits of chicken soup. […]


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