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.
It 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
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..!