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Published on June 04, 2019

Your mom was right about chicken soup

chicken soup bowl

When a cold knocks you out for the count, there are some traditional favorite ways to get through it, including lots of rest, some lazy time in front of the TV and, most of all, a big bowl of chicken soup.

Your mom probably believed in the powers of chicken soup, and she was on to something. We asked Rachel Songer, a registered dietitian who works as a clinical dietitian at Cape Cod Hospital, to break down the reasons chicken soup makes you feel better.

“Chicken soup may not be a miracle worker, but the different elements of it are actually healthy for you and do something more than just provide a little comfort,” said Songer. “It’s pretty well balanced, if you think about it.”

Here’s why, according to Songer:

  • The broth: Chicken soup can help keep you hydrated since water is a large part of the stock. Plus it also contains sodium which is an important electrolyte.
  • The noodles: You need some energy when you’re under the weather, so having some carbs and fiber might give you the boost you need to start feeling better.
  • The chicken: Chicken’s contribution is protein, which will help you rebuild your strength.
  • The veggies: Veggies are always good, of course, for vitamins and minerals, but not the kind of thing you’re likely to snack on when you’re sick. Soup is a good way to keep some vegetables in your diet when your appetite is suppressed.
  • The steam: Serve the soup nice and hot, because the steam from hot foods and hot beverages can help fight congestion and will allow you to breathe a little easier.

Sounds like mom was onto something when she served us chicken soup when we were sick!

“Chicken soup won’t cure you or make your cold go away faster, but it can give you some relief from the symptoms,” said Songer.