There’s nothing quite like a steaming bowl of soup when you’ve got the sniffles. Now that the temperature outside is dropping and the amount of college students getting sick is rising, soup is essential. Like, Essential with a capital E.
And don't just take my word for it. One study on the health benefits of chicken soup found that it's good for more than just your soul. But what about us all vegetarians that are craving a bowl of soupy comfort? Well, that same chicken soup study concluded that vegetables by themselves were just as potent as the chicken broth in the soup.
So worry not, veggie friends: the vegetables in your soup are just as good at keeping your body from freaking out when it senses germs. Which means we should all just hunker down with a warm bowl of whatever-kind-of-delicious soup, IMO.
Okay, maybe not "whatever" kind. There are certain ingredients and types of soups that are full of nutrients that will help your sick body more than others. So without further ado, here's a list of the best soups to eat this flu season—with handy recipes, because I'm not going to just drop some knowledge and then abandon you.
1) Vegetable Soups
Alright, let me break it down why soup in general is the best thing for when you can't stop sneezing and coughing: Mothersouppin' steam.
The steam and hot liquid in soup opens up your upper respiratory tract, aka your lungs, nose, and throat. If your nose is stuffed, this means that eating hot soup will literally help you breathe better. Where does vegetables soup fit into this equation, you ask? Well, hot water by itself isn't as effective. But when it's mixed with the nutrients in vegetables, they work together to clear your sinuses.
2) Tomato Soups
Vitamin C is like Red Bull for your immune system. When your body is pulling that all-nighter in the fight to keep you healthy, Vitamin C gives it the energy it needs. It's even been found to reduce cold and flu symptoms by 85%. If you're sick, you need Vitamin C starting, like, yesterday.
And what is an excellent source of Vitamin C? You guessed it—tomatoes. So ignore the red color; anything with a tomato broth is a green-lighted go, go, go.Try this tomato soup recipe, and you'll feel better in no-time.
3) Miso Soups
"Miso?" you ask. "Miso," I answer.
Miso is a Japanese paste made from fermented soybeans that'll knock your socks off. It's probiotic, which means it's full of good bacteria to help your body triumph over any bad bacteria that's making you sick. It also aids in digestion and strengths your immune system. Wow, thanks miso!
With this miso soup recipe, you'll be ready to give the flu a run for its money.
4) Squash Soups
Remember Vitamin C, the immune system booster to end all immune system boosters? Squashes are full of it, as well as other awesome nutrients like magnesium and Vitamin A. These work together to keep your body's response to viruses as strong as the force of your sneezing.
5) Ginger Soups
Ah, ginger. This powerful spice has antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties to help your body fight infections. If you're feeling queasy, ginger will soothe your stomach. And it's also tasty as all get-out. Put ginger in everything, and stop snifflin' soon.
6) Carrot Soups
Psst. Psst. Hey, guess what? Remember our old friend Vitamin C? Well, it's back! Carrots are a great source of that lovable vitamin, as well as a host of other sickness-fighting nutrients such as potassium, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene. You've probably heard that carrots improve your eyesight—eat some carrot soup to improve your health.
Make this vegan carrot soup, and kick that cold to the curb.
7) Spicy Soups
You know when you take a big bite of something spicy, and it makes your nose run? Well, that's because spicy foods like curry, jalapeños, or cayenne pepper contain compounds that raise your internal temperature. These foods are great for when you're sick, as the temperature kick can relieve any flu-like symptoms. So next time you feel a cold coming on, turn up the heat.
8) Lentil Soups
Lentils are a good source of zinc, a mineral that has been found to be very effective against sickness, and may even reduce how long your cold lasts. Lentils also hold a lot of water, which will keep your body hydrated when it needs it the most. There's definitely a reason that the first advice your mom gave you whenever you were sick was "drink more fluids."
Next time you get hit with something nasty, or even feel a sneeze coming on, remember to grab a bowl of soup. With all the amazing nutrients and delicious flavors, soup tops the list as the king of comfort foods. May your bowl overflow, and your cold disappear. Soups up!