Can You Soup Away Colds and Flu?

Which Is It?

The flu (influenza) and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses. Because colds and flu share many symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference without special lab tests.

Flu symptoms can include fever or chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. Influenza may lead to pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitaliza­tions lasting several weeks. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose that resolves within a week without serious outcomes.

If you are coughing up thick green or yellow phlegm, or if you are wheezing, running a fever higher than 101° F (38.3° C), having night sweats, or coughing up blood, you need to see a doctor. These may be signs of a more serious illness that needs to be diagnosed and treated.

Is it a Cold or Flu?

Symptoms Influenza Cold
Symptom onset Abrupt Gradual
Fever Usual Rare
Aches Usual Slight
Chills Common Slight
Fatigue, weakness Usual Sometimes
Sneezing Sometimes Common
Stuffy nose Sometimes Common
Sore throat Sometimes Common
Chest discomfort, cough Common Mild/moderate
Headache Common Rare
Table provided by CDC

Can soup cure the cold or flu? Certain vitamins bolster our immune system, which is the actual virus fighter. Conceivably, with the right ingredients, soup can indirectly be helpful in combatting symptoms. Tomatoes, for example, are rich in vitamin C. Ginger, radish, garlic, onions, and chili peppers either provide immune-strengthening vitamins or break down congestion. So have a spicy bowl of soup while your amazing body heals itself.

References
  1. Cold Versus Flu. cdc.gov
  2. When a Cold Becomes Bronchitis. webmd.com
  3. 7 Spicy Foods That Help Fight Congestion and Sinus Headache Pain. thespruce.com

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