Why it’s a cold/flu fighter: When you have a cold or the flu, a major symptom includes congestion in the nose, chest, and throat. Chicken soup has specifically been shown in studies to thin mucus secretions. Broth and noodles provide carbohydrates for maintaining your energy levels, potentially helping you feel less lethargic. If you add vegetables, you’ll boost the level of nutrients in the soup, which will help support immune function. Slurp away on low-sodium soups that contain 30% less salt. You want the soup to contain some salt, though, because sodium helps regulate the amount of fluid in the body. Basically, the saltiness in soup may help encourage hydration, says Lawrence D. Rosen, MD, chair of the Integrative Pediatrics Council, and author of The Whole Child blog. This is important because fevers can contribute to dehydration.