The chicken soup cure for flu

There's a reason a bowl of chicken soup feels so good when you're sick -- and it's not just because it brings back memories of grandma's flu remedies nursing you back to health.

Made right, chicken soup is overflowing with virus-fighting nutrients -- including some of the critical nutrients that can help you beat the worst winter illness of all: the flu.

One new study of flu remedies even names the flu-fighting compound found in chicken soup. It's called carnosine, and researchers say it gives the immune system enough power to fight off viral invaders -- including the flu virus.

This isn't the first time this "folk remedy" has been verified by rigorous modern science. In 1993, researchers found that chicken soup can reduce inflammation, improve respiratory infection symptoms, and stimulate white blood cells to fight those infections

And that's not all it can do.

Chicken soup can help loosen up phlegm so your coughs are more productive. It's easy to get down when you're feeling ill, and easy to keep down when your stomach isn't right.

It also won't hurt a sore throat -- just make sure it cools down first -- and it tastes pretty good, too.

The key to chicken soup for flu remedies is to get it fresh. The soup in the new flue remedies study included traditional ingredients such as chicken, onions, carrots, celery, parsley, salt, and pepper as well as a few that you might not think to include, such as sweet potatoes, parsnips, and turnips.

If you can't make it yourself from scratch -- and if you're sick, I don't blame you -- find someone who can, or at least buy it from a store or restaurant you trust to make it fresh each day.

Canned soups contain way too much salt, far too little nutrients, and the cans themselves are lined with BPA, a toxic hormone-like chemical with serious long-term health risks -- including obesity, diabetes, sexual problems, and more.

And those are a lot worse than a cold or flu.