Does chicken soup really help with a cold? (ThinkStock)
Does chicken soup really help with a cold?
Lexile

You asked us, does chicken soup really help with a cold? And we went to Generic Grandma for this one.

Yes, it actually looks like her chicken soup might make you feel better.

Like over-the-counter cold meds, chicken soup isn't going to cure your cold or even make it shorter, but it can probably reduce your symptoms, making you that much less miserable.

The virus that's invaded your body and made you sick isn't to blame for your stuffy nose, your cough, or other nastiness -- you can actually thank your body for that.

It's busy fighting off the intruder by sending white blood cells to the front lines.

And lucky us, one of the side effects of this defense structure is a serious uptick in mucus.

Anyway, research suggests that chicken soup has a little something, something -- and don't ask me what, because we don't actually know yet -- that slows down mucus production and gets existing muck to run out.

At the very least, chicken soup helps keep you hydrated and it fills your belly with nutritious, yummy veggies and other good stuff. So the next time you're sick, reach for a big bowl of brothy goodness. It just might make you feel better.

GENERIC GRANDMA: BA-BOWL!

ERIC SHULZE: Oh, thanks Grandma.

For more stories like this, check us out every day at Smithsonian.com.

No sciencey soup for you. No soup. No science.

Critical thinking challenge: What are the helpful side effects of eating chicken soup?

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COMMENTS (220)
  • amyf-And
    3/10/2015 - 02:24 p.m.

    This article proves that chicken noodle soup doesn't get rid of a cold but it does make you feel better. They say it fills your stomach with nutrition. It also keeps you hydrated.

  • jacquelinec-DiB
    3/10/2015 - 02:32 p.m.

    Well for me it does help because like to t said in the article it has good nutrition and helps cure 1% of mucus it still good have soup for sore throat cause it's hot that's able to kill bacteria like honey with
    lime.

  • daltonb-And
    3/10/2015 - 03:02 p.m.

    I always wondered this and it's true I love soup when I have a cold because I feel like it makes me feel better when I have a cold

  • whitneys-And
    3/10/2015 - 03:32 p.m.

    Yes, chicken soup does help your cold. I helps by slowing down mucus and reducing the symptoms you are having. Clearly chicken soup helps when you have a cold

  • janaw-And
    3/10/2015 - 03:38 p.m.

    This article says that soup actually helps with the cold. It doesn't completely get rid of it but it helps with the symptoms which makes you less miserable.

  • kaiat-And
    3/10/2015 - 03:47 p.m.

    Is it scientifically proven that chicken noodle soup help you get over your cold? No its not it may help you get rid of some symptoms, and relieve you of some pain.

  • morganp-And
    3/10/2015 - 04:01 p.m.

    Honestly, I truly prefer chicken and dumplings when I am sick rather than chicken noodle soup because when my om makes me chicken noodle soup the chicken is always dry.

  • lenexab-And
    3/10/2015 - 04:12 p.m.

    helpful side effects of eating chicken soup are that it helps clear sinisus and chicken noodle is very healthy for you and can do a lot of good things for you.

  • ShahrbanoR-Kut
    3/10/2015 - 04:38 p.m.

    Wow I really thought that chicken soup didn't help with colds, I guess I was wrong this whole time!
    Now I really want to know what the "secret" ingredient in chicken soup is so that i can try to incorporate it in other food like sandwiched or something! I hope they find out what that ingredient is!

  • AinsleyW-Kut
    3/10/2015 - 05:00 p.m.

    I think it's cool that it's proven to help people with colds, because a lot of people (including me) probably just eat it because they were told to or because everyone else does that too. I hope they figure out what it is that helps cut down on mucus because that would be really cool to know. The soup is kind of like a mucus medicine that helps the mucus get cut down and make our colds less horrible:) so next time i'm sick i can really know what the soup is doing for me!

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