It's a fact that winter months will affect not only your mood, but also your energy levels, outfit choices, and even your food preferences. I have been watching weather forecasts from around the world, and wow, there is some incredibly chilly weather going on. In keeping warm and toasty spirits, I was reminded of a previous newsletter I did about the benefits of soup!
Did you know that warm soup has so many proven benefits for your body? Not only does it improve hydration (which we all know is super important, right? Rule #5, getting 8 glasses/64 oz. of water daily), but it also provides essential vitamins and minerals, promotes overall health, and helps with digestion. While we all love a good chicken soup, there are so many other delicious soup options out there that can provide even more benefits. So, let's take a look at some of these soup options again, and the benefits they offer!
Tip #1 - Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants
The base of soup is water and veggies, it's like a cup of water and salad in one. Most soups have key nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals and they may even have protein when the soup has beans or lentils, bone broth, or a meat base. Did you know soup-eaters get more servings of vegetables in a day than non-soup-eaters? Just watch the sodium level. (Tomato Soup)(Cabbage Soup)(Asparagus Soup)
Tip #2 - Hydration
During the winter months, it’s not surprising to drink less water than you need (8 cups of water/64 ounces daily is recommended). And, while you may not be hot and sweaty during chilly months, you still lose fluid through daily activities. Dehydration can feel flu-ish and makes you feel fatigued. Soups tend to be salty, and salt helps your body retain water, preventing dehydration. Soups are satisfying and a great way to stay hydrated. (All soups with liquid)
Tip #3 - Strengthen Immune Support and Cardiac Function
Soup can be made with a huge variety of immune-boosting ingredients. For instance, using bone broth or stock has been shown to support immune function. There are so many amazing ingredients you can add to soups: turmeric, sweet potato, pumpkin, lentils, beans, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, etc.- etc. you get the point. These ingredients help with inflammation and boost your immunity. If you are sensitive to one of them, leave that out. This is just a reminder that our diet plays a major role in our immune system and overall body health. Most soups contain vital nutrients that improve the function and production of immune cells and antibodies within our own body. (Chicken Soup)(Spinach Soup)
Tip #4 - Clearing Sinuses and Inflammation
Fun fact, hot soup vapors will help your sinuses when you lift the spoon towards your mouth. The salt content in the soup will also help relieve sore throat pain (the same principle behind gargling warm salt water), the heat helps inflammation, clear nasal congestion, and can relieve pain and sinus pressure, just as a hot towel can. The vitamins and minerals in nutrient-dense soups can also speed recovery if you are feeling unwell. (Chicken Soup)
Tip #5 - Good for Digestion
Using beans, lentils, and vegetables helps with digestion. We need a minimum of twenty-five grams of fiber a day to poop regularly, soups offer a great base to add in that fiber. (Pumpkin Soup)(Lentil Soup)
Soup is a versatile dish that can be prepared in a variety of ways, such as using a slow cooker, stove, or microwave. Not only is it delicious and comforting, but it's also an affordable and easy-to-make option for any meal. Whether you're feeling under the weather, or just craving something warm and nourishing, soup is an excellent choice. So, if you're looking for a quick and healthy meal idea, why not try making your own variety of soup at home? I would love to hear about your favorite soup recipe and any tips or tricks you have for making it extra special.