Why Soup Is Good For You
Benefits of Eating Soup
Eating soups has many health benefits such as helping the organism fight cold season viruses. The veggies and spices used to prepare soups are generally full of vitamins, antioxidants, and good nutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties. Soups contain electrolytes that are essential for body function and as a liquid-based dish it keeps the body hydrated.
Along with vegetables, soups may contain fatty fish, meat, plant-based protein. One can consume a good soup until feeling full while keeping a low-calorie intake. This is particularly important for people who need to lose weight, reduce junk processed foods, and follow a healthy diet. We do not include ready-to-eat processed soup here but instead homemade soup or the ones carefully cooked by a chef.
We all have heard our grand-parents talking about the benefits of eating soup. They had a soup recipe for everything: for dinner, for lunch, for breakfast, for colds, and more. I have to say it is a pleasure to sip a delicious bowl of soup to keep you warm during the cold season. Most importantly soup has always been a healthy dish to enjoy with the family and relatives.
14 Reasons Why Soup is Good For You
1. Soup contains vegetables and healthy spices
Fresh veggies are excellent sources of healthy nutrients. Condiment and spices like onions, chives, garlic, and thyme are often used in soup recipes. They are also full of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Soup can be part of any healthy meal prep or diet, it is suitable for vegetarians and for people who enjoy eating meat. To fully benefit from it, one should avoid overcooking and choose the best raw vegetables, to begin with.
One needs a daily quota of veggies and one of the most important way to reach that quota is through eating soups. They contain a higher amount of veggies except for those varieties which contain creams and cheese. Regardless of the season it’s always possible to prepare them by using seasonal vegetables or the frozen ones.
2. Soup is a low-calorie meal and help with weight loss
It is possible to cook tasty and low-calorie soups, especially the ones who do not contain starchy food like potatoes. These no starch dishes are also suitable for the keto diet. One other way to lower calories and to avoid non-healthy fat is by selecting lean meats like skinless poultries or seafood. A bowl of soup can be the main dish and consuming a small portion of low-calorie soup before a meal is a healthy eating habit.
According to a study led by Pennsylvania State University:
participants who ate a first course of soup before a lunch entree reduced their total calorie intake at lunch (soup + entre) by 20 percent, compared to when they did not eat soup.
Lowering the daily calorie intake has a direct impact on weight control. Whether soup is consumed alone or not it gives the feeling of fullness without over-eating. This type of meal is widely suitable for a healthy diet and may contain all the required nutrients for losing weight without starving.
For example, the 7-day cabbage soup diet is widely used to lose extra weight fast. It is a highly restrictive diet based on the consumption of cabbage soup which is a low-calorie meal. The calorie restriction helps shedding pounds but unfortunately can not be considered a healthy diet. Not enough variety and required nutrients for the long run. A most effective way and long term approach could be to couple similar soups consumption with eating regular healthy food. People who follow the USDA dietary guidelines and include low-calorie soups are more likely not to gain the weight back.
3. Soup can have healing properties
Some soups may have curative properties and I am sure that many of you have tried the famous chicken soup. One article of NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) explains why chicken soup has a positive effect on cold and “symptomatic upper respiratory tract infections”. Here is a list of healing soups:
- Healing cabbage soup
- Chicken garlic ginger healing soup
- Medicine bomb chicken soup by Marta Rivera
- Immune-Boosting Soup, Winter-Warmer Hearty Soup & Detoxifying Broth by Dr. Mao Shing Ni in his article on DortorOz.
4. Soup contains minerals and vitamins
Higher levels of sodium can damage your internal system and it is an evident fact that soups contain sodium as well. However, the line where a soup draws to other meals is that it also contains higher doses of potassium. Sodium can increase your blood pressure but the potassium present in the soups can help to keep it at the right level. Which makes the soup a perfectly safe meal.
A simple homemade sandwich may contain 800mg of sodium and just 320mg of potassium whereas winter soups contain 640mg of sodium which is counterattacked by 740mg of potassium. Not only sodium and potassium, but it also contains a large number of other vitamins and nutrients that can fill up your daily dose range such as vitamin A, iron, magnesium, and fiber.
5. Soup helps recovery
Plenty of soups are used to help people recover quickly after a period of illness. For example, high fiber foods like soups can cure constipation since they also provide necessary liquids for a balanced diet.
For the sportsperson, this is a suitable after-workouts dish. High protein soups which are also rich in minerals and vitamins constitute perfect post-workout meals. It helps to restore the fluid and the minerals lost during physical activities which shorten recovery time and the protein is highly important for muscle building.
6. Soup is an environmental-friendly meal
To cook a good soup, we use raw foods, and it requires fewer processed food. The meals that are prepared using local and seasonal unpackaged foods are much more environmental-friendly. Soups have a relatively short cooking time which participates in keeping a low carbon footprint. It is possible to cook for 30 minutes a healthy fish soup using only one cooking pot and the stove.
Food waste remains a real issue in America and other developing countries. Some people have already taken action by using leftovers to make delicious and innovative soups. The best leftover soups can use already cooked food like meat or extra raw veggies from previous meals.
7. One can eat soup on a budget
Leftover soups are not only good to preserve the environment but are also beneficial for the wallet. This is a perfect way to eat healthy homemade cheap soups. Although one can use meat and seafood to prepare soups, vegetables and spices remain the main ingredients. Here are 4 ways to get cheap and fresh veggies:
- Buying at a local market: deals for returning customers, buying just before closing time, and price comparison are a few ways to buy vegetables at a lower cost.
- Bartering: the new form of bartering is through the internet but some people in rural areas still barter to get fresh veggies
- Food delivery services: companies like imperfect food are doing a great job delivering fruits, vegetables, and groceries right to your doorstep at an affordable cost.
- Grow it yourself: gardening gives people the opportunities to grow and eat their own veggies
8. Soup can be a nutrient-dense meal
A bowl of homemade soup contains very few sugars, refined carbohydrates, trans fat, or any other bad nutrient. A broccoli salmon garlic soup is a great example of a healthy and nutrient-dense meal. Here are some ingredients to use for cooking the best nutrient-dense soups:
- fatty fish
- spinach, kale (and other leafy greens)
- barley, quinoa (other healthy grains and beans)
- sweet potatoes
- onion, parsley
Unlike other dishes, people consume all the good nutrients contained in a homemade vegetable soup or broth.
9. Soup is a versatile and diverse meal
Whether one enjoys eating thick soups or clear soups there are countless recipes to chose from. One can not only choose various ingredients but also among the six main types of soups. Most importantly there are soups suitable for:
- any diet
- both people who want to lose or gain weight
- all type of budgets
- active and non-active lifestyles
- winter and all seasons
When it comes to soup recipes, the only limit is the imagination. Anyone will find a taste, flavors, colors and soup thickness that are attractive for the eyes and soft on the palate. Here are some example of soups:
- Chicken and Rice Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Bean and Pea Soup
- Seafood Soup
- Chicken Corn Soup
- Vegetable Soup
- Sweet Potato Soup
- Broccoli Soup
- Beef Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
10. Soup allows minimal nutrient loss
In comparison with other cooking methods, soups allow minimal nutrient loss. They can be cooked in a cooking pot with the cover on or in a pressure cooker. With these cooking methods, most of the nutrients remain inside the soups. For example, with boiling and braising, we do not consume all the liquid and sauce that contain many nutrients. When we boil vegetables, plenty of nutrients remain in the broth and go to waste unless we drink it. Braising makes tasty meals but cooking food for too long destroys some nutrients like vitamins.
11. Eating soup is a safer way to eat veggies
While some vegetables are exclusively eaten raw or cooked, there are plenty of veggies that are served both ways. We already know that well-cooked vegetables are generally more digest. And people who eat raw food are more exposed to diseases caused by bacteria. All vegetables should be cleaned and washed carefully but cooking them in a soup adds an extra layer of protection. In some cases, cooking a vegetable can actually increase the nutrient quality. For example, mushrooms provide more antioxidants when cooked properly.
12. Soup is easy to store and facilitate meal prep
Soups can be easily frozen and store in a cup of desirable portions. It only takes a few minutes to reheat in a microwave, by steaming, or in a cooking pan. Soups can also be stored in the refrigerator for one or two days before consumption. Blended warm soups are also excellent for eating at the office because they are easy to carry in a thermos and do not require the use of extra cutlery. It is possible to cook two different pots of soups the same day and have enough to eat for a week.
13. Soups help to eat more veggies and fiber
It is more convenient to eat the same quantity of veggies in a soup than in a raw salad. Raw vegetables are usually harder to chew and to digest than cooked ones. Which makes soup an easy-to-digest meal full of fiber that is excellent for gut health. Fiber takes longer to digest which makes one feel full for a longer period. Some types of fiber may enhance the action of good gut bacteria and are known to cure functional constipation. Many claims that the daily intake of vegetables should include half raw and half cooked veggies.
14. A good way to eat more plant-based protein
It is not always easy to get your daily amount of protein without consuming nonhealthy nutrients at the same time. Meat may contain a significant amount of saturated fat and other compounds that affect negatively health. It is possible to prepare soups with healthy plant-based protein such as grains, legumes, beans, peas, microalgae, seaweed, and other vegetables. This is highly important for vegan, but anyone can benefit from these sources of protein.
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