Is Chicken Noodle Soup Good For The Flu

Improved appetite, better digestion

All that makes sense, because amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and the amino acid glutamate is found in foods with the umami taste. Not all umami foods are meat or poultry, however; cheese, mushrooms, miso and soy sauce have it too.

Studies show that taste, it turns out, is critical to the healing properties of chicken soup. When I see patients with upper respiratory illnesses, I notice many of them are suddenly eating less or not eating at all. This is because acute illnesses ignite an inflammatory response that can decrease your appetite. Not feeling like eating means you’re unlikely to get the nutrition you need, which is hardly an optimal recipe for immune health and recovery from illness.

But evidence suggests that the umami taste in chicken soup may help spur a bigger appetite. Participants in one study said they felt hungrier after their first taste of a soup with umami flavor added in by researchers.

Other studies say umami may also improve nutrient digestion. Once our brains sense umami through the taste receptors on our tongues, our bodies prime our digestive tracts to absorb protein more easily.

This can reduce gastrointestinal symptoms, which many people experience when they’re under the weather. Although most people don’t associate upper respiratory infections with gastrointestinal symptoms, research in children has found that the flu virus increased abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea symptoms.

Never Miss a Beat!

Thank you for subscribing!

Sorry, an error occurred. Please try again later.

What Are the Best Foods to Eat When You Are Sick?

In addition to soup, the following foods and beverages are beneficial to consume when ill:

  • Yogurt. It is rich in probiotics and protein, both of which can strengthen your immune system.
  • Sugar-free cold cereal or oatmeal. They’re easy to digest and provide carbs for energy.
  • Smoothies with frozen fruit and any kind of milk. They easily replace a meal and are highly hydrating.
  • Fresh, frozen, or canned fruit (packed in 100% juice). Fruit gives you fiber to keep your digestive system moving and antioxidants and vitamin C to support your immune system.
  • 100% fruit juice or tea. These are good choices for hydration.

Editors’ Note: The last review of this article was completed on and it was first published on Refreshed Feb. 23, 2022.

Related Posts