questionswhy is soup a good food when you're sick?

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Taking in more fluids helps the healing process so liquid meals are a way to achieve that. Beyond that I don't think it matters too much what kind of soup you're eating.

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Easy to digest, easy to get nutrients from, and they tend to be easy for your stomach to process.

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@figgers3036: Home remedy. Chicken noodle soup is supposed one of the better soups in the Western diet because it has what you need in the right proportion - fluids, carbs, and protein. In Asian cultures, the equivalent is a rice congee for the same reasons.

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and it keeps me warm inside
: )

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@omnichad: I wonder how this would compare to a vegetable broth? I'm a vegetarian so I tend to shy away from Chicken Noodle soup..

That's actually my secondary reason for asking this; I'm wondering if I would be wasting my time picking up veggie broth (I can do some diced tofu and noodles or something for the carbs and protein) compared to chicken broth.

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@thedogma: Watch the salt content on any broth you pick up. I realize you probably do, but am still pointing it out. High sodium will make it more difficult for you to benefit from the broth.

That said, vegetable broth, combined with the tofu (or other protein-bearing item) you'd mentioned seems like an excellent idea.

[Edit] Please note that I said high sodium is bad, not sodium is bad. Not the same thing.

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@thedogma: For hydration, it would be great. Veggie stock can have a lot of vitamins, depending on how it's made.

But chicken stock, made from cooking chicken bones, has a lot of collagen, gelatin, and calcium. All of which have some health benefits you won't necessarily get from vegetable stock.

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@shrdlu: If you're sick, I'm not how true that would be. Your body's electrolyte balance is thrown seriously off when you are sick. You might need to consume some extra salt with your water to stay properly hydrated. Another plus for broth.

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@omnichad: Consuming extra salt will never help with hydration. It does exactly the opposite.

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@samstag: It will help with muscle cramping that sometimes accompanies dehydration.

Salt hinders hydration only when you're properly hydrated and have enough sodium in your system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_rehydration_therapy

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a.) Extra liquid to rehydrate you.
b.) Extra protein, etc.
c.) Extra steam to clear congestions
d.) Extra comfort (probably the most important part!)

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@samstag: I just want to back-up @omnichad's statement but with some nuance: sodium MUST be consumed, but not because it helps with hydration.
- blood sodium levels are critically important independent of hydration
- diarrhea very quickly results in blood sodium being depleted
- raising the hydration level of the body by consuming a large quantity of water results in the concentration of sodium in the blood being too low (not-to-scale and simplistic example: if the concentration of sodium in the body needs to be 1%, then doubling the amount of liquid in the body without adding any sodium would result in a sodium concentration of 0.5% - and a blood sodium concentration half of what it should be would result in lethargy, mental confusion, cramps, and eventually brain swelling as the brain pulls in too much water in an attempt to get enough sodium, leading to coma/brain damage); overhydration is dangerous and is becoming increasingly common among "recreational" marathon runners

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Short version: if someone is dehydrated due to diarrhea or excessive sweating, BOTH sodium AND water need to be consumed. I'm not positive about vomiting (ask your doctor!!!!), but it's probably better to consume moderately high levels of sodium such as in chicken broth, but don't, like, eat a deer salt lick.

Disclaimer: I work in allied health care, but I'm not qualified to evaluate hydration levels and this isn't medical advice. ["You drank some water. Tell me about what your father would think of your water consumption." :)]

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my 2 cents. I swear by Hot & Sour Soup, when I have any illness. (unless stomach is upside down)....it really clears out the ick, quick.

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It isn't. It's packed with sodium and preservatives. Don't get me wrong; I love sodium and preservatives. It's just that neither are good for you, especially when you're ill.

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I think it has something to do with the ease of fewer chunks during the "Two exits! No waiting!" period of being sick.

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I don't even have expertise, I just think any kind of soup would work because it encourages you to eat something and eating is better than not eating. I'll tell you what for sure doesn't help, at least for me anyway: ginger ale. (I was out sick yesterday. Had ginger ale and regretted it.)

If you are under the weather, feel better soon!

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It goes down easy, and then it comes out easy :D

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When you have a cold your body goes through the natural process of hot and cold flashes to not only to put the bacteria or virus that is harming you into an unlivable temperature to try and kill it off but also to let your body sweat it out naturally. That's also why baths and soup make you feel better, they rise your internal body temperature to try and kill the virus and help you sweat it out.

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@kylemittskus: When you have a cold your body goes through the natural process of hot and cold flashes to not only to put the bacteria or virus that is harming you into an unlivable temperature to try and kill it off but also to let your body sweat it out naturally. That's also why baths and soup make you feel better, they rise your internal body temperature to try and kill the virus and help you sweat it out.
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