Chicken Soup For The Trail

Some trailworthy soups can even help you heal.

Attention ramen lovers: In addition to its thrifty price and good taste, your favorite trail food has been proven to have medicinal value. A team of scientists from the Pulmonary Medicine department at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha) found that chicken soup—especially the dehydrated variety with noodles—helps relieve respiratory inflammation associated with the common cold. And the fact that the soup aids in hydration and nutrition needs doesn't hurt either.

Of all the soups tested, Campbell's chicken-flavored ramen noodles worked best, with Nissin Cup Noodles and Lipton Chicken Noodle Cup-a-Soup also scoring well. Study participants felt the benefits after just one average-size bowl of soup, but researchers advise cold sufferers to continue the soup regimen at mealtime until symptoms improve. So next time you're feeling a bit sniffly, consider tossing a few packages of soup into your first-aid kit.