Some experts believe chicken soup is worth trying if you’re sick. Soup can come in handy when eating a solid meal feels like too much.
Chicken soup can offer a nutrient-dense food option when someone is struggling with a poor appetite. It can also help increase hydration during a time when this could be a challenge.
Eat Chicken Soup
Should you really feed a cold and starve a fever?
Most chicken soups contain ingredients that provide lots of vitamins and minerals, according to Smith. For example, carrots provide your body with vitamin A, a nutrient that plays a role in the immune response. Chicken stock also contains zinc, which may help fight a cold when consumed in high amounts. Chicken may help with the repair of body tissue and contains the amino acid cysteine, which some researchers are exploring for improving colds in supplement form, though Smith cautions that “most homemade and canned varieties would probably not provide adequate amounts to offer benefits.”
There is also the notion that collagen from bone broth or stock can help with healing, “but the current scientific evidence to support this theory is lacking,” Smith said.
“My wife (who prepared the soup for the study) makes the point that when you are feeling ill, if someone is taking care of you, that tender loving care is not a placebo effect,” Rennard said. “There are clearly beneficial effects of that. So if someone is sitting there and making you chicken soup, it may make you feel better … but whether it has to do with contents of the chicken soup may be irrelevant.”
Saketkhoo said, “does it cure the cold? Of course not. But does it help people with a cold feel better? I think it does … and so that’s why we give hot fluids, including chicken soup, to people with colds.”