We all know how flu can dampen one's energy and the spirits of the young and old alike. While we wait with bated breath for a flu vaccine, research has revealed that we might be able to shorten the duration of the flu and control the symptoms with the help of certain foods.
Chicken noodle soup has long been touted as an antidote for flu. A recent study, which was published in the American journal of Therapeutics, has revealed that carnosine, a component that is present in the majority of chicken noodle soup is capable of mobilizing the immune system to fight the early symptoms of flu and cold.
AdvertisementIt all began with the reports of Dr. Stephan Rennard, a researcher at the University of Nebraska, who found that a certain chicken soup recipe belonging to his wife's family helped in stopping neutrophil response which, in turn, seems to alleviate the upper respiratory infection. Neutrophil, is a subset of the white blood cells that are produced as a defense mechanism against infections.
When Rennard first made his observation he could not identify the source of the soup's power; the soup comprised of chicken, celery, carrots, parsley, onions, parsnip, turnips, sweet potato, pepper and salt. Later on researchers found that even the soup that can be brought from super markets have the same prowess to fight infections.
It is not just the chicken in the chicken soup that fights the infection. All the components of the soup collectively participate in the crusade against infection - the organosulphides, carotenoids, vit A and C, zinc and other minerals and nutrients found in the chicken and the vegetables collectively help in boosting the immune system to fight the infection during a flu.
Another study carried out in Miami on 15 volunteers evaluated the effects of hot water, cold water and chicken soup on mucus and airflow. The study revealed that the soup enhanced the function of the hair that lined the nostrils (cilia) and prevented foreign particles from entering the body through the nasal passage. Hot water also helped to clear the airways by allowing the movement of mucus and by minimizing congestion. It must be noted that nutrients are easily absorbed by the body in a liquid than in solid form.
For those of you who are not fans of soup here's the good news. There are several other foods that can be as therapeutic in fighting flu as the chicken soup and they include - teas, sweet potato, peppers, kiwi, probiotics and citrus fruits.
It is indeed heartening to know that flu can be tackled with certain good foods instead of the usual dose of obnoxious medications. So the next time you have the flu, take rest, stay warm and don't forget the chicken soup..!