Cold and Flu Fighting Soups from Around the World
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Cold and Flu Fighting Soups from Around the World

This is a list of healthy cold and flu fighting soups from around the world that will help you feel better if you get a cold or flu.

I love soup and always have. There are soups that have both cold and flu fighting ingredients that can help you feel better. This is a list of the soups that have helped me get over a cold or flu.

A cold and some types of the flu are upper respiratory infections and can be miserable with stuffy noses, coughing, sore throats and a tight chest. These cold and flu fighting soups are more than comfort foods; they can actually help you feel better.

Chicken Soup

Chicken soup has been called Jewish penicillin and can help you feel better when you get a cold or the flu. There are scientific studies that show chicken soup can help you get over a cold or flu. A study conducted by Dr. Stephan Rennard at the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that chicken soup helped alleviate the symptoms of colds and flu [1]. In scientific terms, the chicken soup stopped the movement of neutrophils, a type of white blood cells, that when produced in excess during a cold or flu can cause mucous. The excess mucous causes the stuffy or runny nose, tight chest and coughing.

There is still not a complete understanding of what exactly is in chicken noodle soup that helps with cold and the flu. The University of Maryland reports that chicken noodle soup might have an amino acid that is comparable to drugs that are used to treat symptoms of colds and flu or upper respiratory infections.

The ingredients of the chicken soup in this study included chicken stock, carrots, sweet potato, parsnips, onion, turnips, celery and parsley. The test soup also included matzo balls instead of noodles. The study also tested numerous commercial brands of chicken soup and many of them also had health benefits, but they did not report on the brand names. If you do buy commercial chicken soup, look for a lower sodium soup since many commercial soups can have very high amounts of sodium. Home made is always the best though.

Avgolemono Soup from Greece

Avgolemono is a wonderful soup from Greece, but also popular in other countries. Avgolemono in Greek means egg-lemon, in Arabic it is called tarbiya, meaning egg with lemon. Turkey, Italy and the Balkan countries also have their own variations.

Avgolemono also has chicken which could account for its cold and flu fighting benefits, though some recipes call for lamb or just chicken broth. The other ingredients are lemon, eggs and either orzo or rice. My mom being Greek, I had avgolemono soup many times when I had a cold or flu and I can confirm that avgolemono soup has cold and flu fighting benefits. Just the smell and steam of this lemony soup can make you feel better, especially if you love lemons. Lemons have the health benefits of being high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and include many other minerals including magnesium, calcium, folic acid and zinc. With zinc being a known cold and flu fighting mineral and can boost the immune system fighting off colds and flu.

Hot and Sour Soup from China

This great soup is hot and spicy and will clear your sinuses, soothe a sore throat and loosen that tight chest when you have a cold or flu. There are many health ingredients in hot and sour soup including garlic, ginger, Shitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots, carrots, bok choy and red chili oil or chili sauce. The ginger can also help if you have nausea from the flu. And once again, chicken broth of chicken is used in many recipes for hot and sour soup.

Tom Yum Gung Soup from Thailand

Tom Yum Gung soup is similar to hot and sour with many ingredients and is also known as Thai hot and sour soup. Ingredients can include hot chili peppers, lemon, cilantro, mushrooms, and lemon grass and shrimp although some recipes use chicken stock. Tom Yum soup is known for its cold and flu fighting benefits and also an anti-cancer soup. A joint study at the Kasetsar University in Thailand and Kinki University in Japan found that the ingredients in Tom Yum soup are 100 times effective at fighting cancerous tumors than other foods.

Miso Soup from Japan

I have had a cup of miso almost every day for the past 21 years starting when I first learned about macrobiotics and I do believe it is more of a soup that will prevent a cold or flu. The health benefits from miso soup most likely are from the fact it is a fermented food, fermented soybeans with miso. Fermented foods are known to create a healthy digestive system and a healthy digestive system is important to a healthy immune system.

For most Americans, miso soup is an acquired taste. When I first tried it I did not like it, but believing in this soups health benefits I continued to drink it and now love it. There are different types of miso soups with some being milder. You can just have plain miso soup or you can add wakame and or tofu. Wakame is seaweed with many health benefits as well.

Vegetarian Vegetable Soup

Another soup I believe in as a healthy cold and flu fighting soup is a soup that can be vegan with vegetable broth or non-vegan with chicken broth in it. This soup helped me overcome blood poisoning since the ingredients are blood, liver and kidney cleansing. The soup is simple with carrots, Daikon, onions and either udon noodles or pearl barley. The vegetables are blood cleansing and the barley is good for cleansing the liver and kidney. You can use chicken or vegetable stock or broth which will help alleviate congestion of the sinuses and lungs. For a complete recipe of this soup, please read Low Sodium Vegetable Soup Recipe.

Cold and Flu Fighting Recipes Conclusion

All of these soups will help you feel better and relieve symptoms of colds and the flu. You can make your own or order from a restaurant. When ordering or buying some of these soups, watch for high sodium and the hot and sour soups could also have MSG.

Copyright © September 2011 Sam Montana


[1] University of Nebraska Medical Center study

Eden Foods Miso Soups

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Comments (11)
Ranked #9 in Nutrition

Wow, this was such an interesting list of soups from all over the world.

Ranked #1 in Nutrition

Great list of soups, I love the Miso soup and the veggie soup.

This is really wonderful. You have done so well in compiling such dishes!

One of my personal areas of interest and expertise.

Your soups could get me into a "stew of confusion" Sam - about which one, or all of which to consume :-) Voted up, and down the hatch!

Great list Sam. I just wish that there was more in the way of a recipe for each of them. I guess I'll just have to research that issue on the Internet.

Ranked #2 in Nutrition

Jerry, I was originally going to put recipes in, but there are so many variations of recipes and ingredients I thought it would be better if readers found the recipe they want to try.

I love Tom Yum soup, I didnt know it was good for fighting colds.

So, do you have a recipe for your Miso soup? I've never had it but would love to try it. Hot and Sour soups are my favorites whenever I'm stuffed up. Nice article.

Ranked #2 in Nutrition

Sandy, we just usually make a broth or plain miso. But many others will add wakame, onion, daikon, tofu or other ingredients. The miso is a paste. You first boil 4 cups of water, then lower the heat. The instructions on the package I have here calls for 1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp of miso and add it to a small amount of this hot water and dissolve the miso by stirring. You then add this to the 4 cups of just boiled water. We make ours stronger than this and use about 3 cups of water for 3 Tbsp of miso. This makes two cups or mugs of miso. Maybe Ron or James can explain this better. Miso can take some getting used to, but I believe it is very healthy. There is a good article here on Factoidz with several miso recipes at

Excellent article, Sam. Soup is my perfect comfort food, and I often do use a clear broth (with loads of garlic, lemon and ginger) or vegetable soup when I'm feeling under the weather. I haven't tried miso, but this article has enticed me to acquire some!