When the sniffles, sneezing, and sore throat set it, it’s a sure sign a dreadful cold is on its way. Unfortunately, nothing can actually (at least ). The good news: There is and feel better faster— without all the drugs. Instead of a trip to the pharmacy, hit the grocery store for the makings of a good ol’ bowl of chicken soup. Research shows the ingredients in chicken soup may help the body kick a cold by battling congestion and inflammation Rennard, B.O., Ertl, R.F., Gossman, G.L., et al. Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Section, Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE. Chest, 2000 Oct;118(4):1150-7..

Caught by a Cold — Why It Matters

Photo by Danielle Karagannis

The chicken itself contains an , , which helps thin mucus in the lungs, making it easier to cough out all that gunk (ew)   Sato, M., Tomonaga, S., Denbow, D.M., et al. Laboratory of Advanced Animal and Marine Bioresources, Graduate School of Bioresource and Bioenvironmental Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan. Amino Acids, 2009 Feb;36(2):303-8. Epub 2008 Apr 4.. Plus, warm chicken soup can help fight inflammation caused when start taking over the (#occupybroncialtubes), and the soothing heat of the soup might just be the thing to help stop the accumulation of these blood cells Rennard, B.O., Ertl, R.F., Gossman, G.L., et al. Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Section, Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE. Chest, 2000 Oct;118(4):1150-7..

Don’t feel well enough to make chicken soup from scratch? found some store-bought soups were even more effective as anti-inflammatories and decongestants than homemade versions. But be sure to check the labels before hitting the checkout line, as store-bought soups can also be loaded with excess sodium and Gutiérrezy, C., Sangronis, E. Departamento de Química de Alimentos, Instituto Nacional de Higiene Rafael Rangel, Caracas, Venezuela. Archives of Latin American Nutrition, 2006 Sep;56(3):265-8.. And be aware that soup cans may (aka bisphenol A), which some studies have linked to (though consuming one can isn't likely to cause such conditions) . Lamartiniere, C.A., Jenkins, S., Betancourt, A.M., et al. Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama. Hormone Molecular Biology and Clinical Investigation, 2011 Mar 1;5(2):45-52. Rubin, B.S. Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA. Journal of Steroid Biochemical Molecular Biology, 2011 Oct;127(1-2):27-34. Epub 2011 May 13..

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner — The Answer/Debate

Chicken soup may put the smack down on the common cold in a lab, but the effects may not be quite as powerful in the human body Rennard, B.O., Ertl, R.F., Gossman, G.L., et al. Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Section, Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE. Chest, 2000 Oct;118(4):1150-7.. Still, it’s nothing to sneeze at— chicken soup is a nutritional dynamo, containing healthy doses of protein and antioxidant-packed veggies. Mounting a solid attack against the cold is , a powerful antioxidant found in onions and garlic, along with , , and from the celery and carrots . Ly, T.N., Hazama, C., Shimoyamada, M, et al. Department of Applied Life Science, Life Science Research Center, Gifu University Gifu City, Gifu, Japan. Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, 2005 Oct 19;53(21):8183-9.. The chicken is also a great source of lean protein, and since a cold can cause the appetite to plummet, may weaken the immune functions even more. Slurping down a cup of soup can be an easy way to get extra calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals, and can even act as mood lifter Troisi, J.D., Gabriel, S. Department of Psychology, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, New York. Psychological Science, 2011 Jun;22(6):747-53. Epub 2011 May 2..

At the very least, chicken soup provides hydration, nutrition, and that soul satisfying boost to make us . wins this round.

treat their colds with a home remedies. What is your favorite tried and true way to treat a cold?

The Takeaway

While eating chicken soup can't necessarily cure the common cold, some elements of it can certainly help ward off a few of the not-so-fun symptoms like congestion and inflammation.