When I Have A Cold, Are There Certain Foods That Might Help Me Feel Better Sooner?

Dr. Bernstein answers the question: 'Are There Foods That Help My Cold?'

ByABC News
September 25, 2008, 9:18 AM

— -- Question: When I have a cold, are there certain foods that might help me feel better sooner such as honey, hot liquids or chicken noodle soup?

Answer: You might have heard from your mother or your grandmother in the past that chicken soup is the cure for the common cold. And even Maimonides, years and years ago, said that chicken soup is a great medication as well as food. But things like chicken soup, up until recently, were thought to only help by being a warm liquid that would soothe the nasal passages, keep the mucous flowing a little bit better and just make you feel better by eating something warm.

There was a study though however out of the University of Nebraska that showed that it does actually have an anti-inflammatory effect, mobilizing the neutrophils, or the inflammatory cells, and making them work a little bit better. And also keeping the mucous in the nose moving so that the virus which sits in the nose would mobilize a little bit faster and maybe potentially get you better faster. Things like warm tea or honey or other foods, however, have not been shown medically to help, although they might make you feel better just from their warmth and their soothing effect. So it's important to just keep your nutrition up, keep hydrated, and if you like chicken soup, go right ahead.

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