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Can Chicken Soup Cure Tom Brady Before the Big Game?

The Super Bowl is just days away, and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady announced…he has a cold. The QB says he’ll be fine for the big game, but is chicken soup part of his strategy? Should it be? We reached out to Wendy Dahl, PhD, RD, FDC, Assistant Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Florida, to help answer the age-old question of whether chicken soup actually cures a cold.

It’s cold and flu season, and it seems no one is immune – not even one of the top athletes playing in the Super Bowl! Many people believe that chicken soup can help fight a cold.

Is there any truth to this? Does chicken soup contain any healing properties to help cure the common cold?

Dr. Dahl:

Chicken soup contains a substance that can aid in alleviating the symptoms of the common cold and influenza. Chicken soup was found to inhibit the movement of neutrophils, a form of white blood cell that initiates the inflammatory response, which reduces upper respiratory cold symptoms. This inhibition results in fewer sore throats and lowers the production of phlegm. Lack of inflammation of the cells in the nasal passageway also eases nasal congestion.

Why do you think people believe that chicken soup can cure a cold?

Dr. Dahl:

People may believe that chicken soup can cure a cold because that’s what they have perhaps been told by family and friends. Most people want to believe there is something positive that can be done to help them and their families feel better when the cold or flu strikes.

So, bottom-line it for us: Does chicken soup cure the common cold?

Dr. Dahl:

Sorry, chicken soup may only alleviate symptoms of the common cold, not get rid of the cold itself!

We don’t know whether it’s part of the star QB’s strategy to get game-ready, but a nice hot bowl of chicken soup probably couldn’t hurt! There’s no indication, however, that chicken soup can help inflate footballs to the proper PSI.

Here are a couple of our favorite chicken soup recipes for game day and beyond:

Chicken Noodle Soup from Julie at Table for Two

Country Chicken & Buttermilk Soup from Carolyn O’Neil, MS, RD