Slurp, sip, swig! Warm, lovely, and smooth...we're talking about SOUP! This delicious food is packed full of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that your body needs, plus it's easy to digest. When there are an endless amount of soups to enjoy, why not add this meal to your weekly routines?
According to Iowa State University, "researchers found that people who ate soup had higher diet‐quality scores than people who didn't. Soup‐eaters had higher intakes of fiber, vitamin A, magnesium, iron and potassium. And overall, they got more servings of vegetables (notably, more dark greens, orange veggies and legumes)."
Let's dig more into those benefits:
Packed full of nutrients
The way soup is prepared helps preserve the nutritional value in the broth even after cooking, making it high in vitamins, minerals and proteins. Soups made with beans and lean meats such as fish provide lean protein. Beans give you fiber. Tomatoes are a good source of lycopene, an antioxidant that may help reduce the risk of cancer, particularly prostate cancer, according to Penn State University. Vegetables in soup contain many vitamins, such as A and C. And lastly, cream soups supply calcium and vitamin D.
It's great for digestion
Unless you go for a soup laden with heavy cream, most recipes include fibrous vegetables, beans, lentils and meats that all ensure a healthy digestion. Eating a fiber-rich diet aids in smooth digestion and also increases insulin sensitivity. The bone broth in most soups also help heal and seal the gut, making digestions easier.
You can eat more for fewer calories
When you include soup in your meal, you're likely to eat a larger portion of food that's also lower in calories. Research shows that diets rich in foods that fill you up with fewer calories, like soup, are associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Soup makes for a hearty meal by itself to provide high satiety with fewer calories than most other regular meals. Researchers from Oxford Brookes University, UK, found that smooth soup induces greater fullness compared with the solid meal. Soup provides a rapid accessibility of nutrients, causing a greater glycemic response. In short, soup will keep you full for longer, keep your tummy happy and keep your blood sugar levels stable.
It's great for the immune system
Soups can help you fight off cold and flu, and they’re even great for those times when you are actually sick! Most soups are packed full of disease-fighting nutrients. Chicken soup in particular can help prevent the common cold, especially if you load it up with fresh garlic, onions, celery and carrots. (They all contain powerful immune-boosting chemicals.) "Studies have found that hot chicken soup is superior to other hot or cold liquids in the management of fluids in upper respiratory tract infections. The nutrition-filled broth boosts immunity with essential vitamins and minerals and rehydrates your body. Also, it is easy to digest which makes it perfect for when you have a sore throat or poor appetite. Plus if you have a nasty cold, the hot vapors warm you up and helps in clearing nasal passages."
Soups are inexpensive AND easy to prepare
We love that soups don't require much hands-on time in the kitchen! If you use a slow cooker or a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot, you can prepare a savory soup in five minutes flat, and let the cooker do the rest of the work. If you add more of the liquid and vegetables, you can use smaller amounts of expensive ingredients, such as chicken, fish and beef. Then, make it a meal with whole-grain bread on the side and a small salad if you like.
Soups are easy to freeze
For the meal prepping family, soups are a perfect choice! You can whip up a large batch on the weekend and stash it in the freezer to enjoy later. Who doesn't love having a healthy, homemade soup at the ready when you’re busy, under the weather or too tired to cook?
There you have it. A list chock full of incredible soupy benefits! Now it's time head to your kitchen and start cookin'.