When my kids don’t feel well, one of the only things they will eat is chicken soup – my homemade chicken soup.
But do they want the soup because it represents a strong comfort food they have known all of their lives, or is there something more?
The answer is yes, and the old wives’ tale is right. Chicken soup really is good for you.
Dr. Stephen Rennard and his team of researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha conducted a series of tests to study the health benefits of chicken soup.
“Everyone’s heard this from their mother and grandmother in many cultures,” Rennard said. “We found chicken soup might have some anti-inflammatory value.”
After examining blood samples from study volunteers, the researchers found that homemade chicken soup reduced the movement of a type of white blood cells, called neutrophils, which help defend against infection. By inhibiting movement of these cells in the body, chicken soup can help reduce upper respiratory cold symptoms, Rennard theorized.
“Researchers suspect the reduction in movement of neutrophils may reduce activity in the upper respiratory tract that can cause symptoms associated with a cold,” the University of Nebraska said in a press release.