World Health Day and the Unsung Benefits of Soup

The Unsung Health Benefits of Soup

In the celebration of World Health Day on April 7, we turn our attention to foods that will fortify our bodies. When looking for foods that are quick to prepare and yet loaded with nutrition, soup is the answer. You can put a pot of soup together in very little time. Simply put your ingredients into the slow cooker before you leave for work in the morning, and a delicious meal will await your return in the evening.

You can make your soup extra healthy by including fresh, nutritious vegetables and lean meats and limiting high-fat ingredients. Soup can be good for your pocketbook, too. Instead of throwing away your leftovers from the previous day, you can use them in your soup. You can follow a strict recipe or punt—soup is very forgiving.

Soup provides an easy way to get your requisite servings of vegetables for the day. You can use almost any type of vegetable, from asparagus to zucchini. Use fresh veggies if you have them on hand, but the frozen alternative works fine, too.

Soup can provide a motherlode of nutrients in just one bowl. When added to soup, lean meats, fish, and other seafood can lend protein that is essential for muscle growth. Beans contribute both protein and fiber. Adding tomato to your soup provides lycopene, a type of antioxidant that is known to reduce the risk of many serious diseases such as cancer. Milk or cream can add vitamin D and calcium.

To cut down on fat in your soup, opt for lean meats such as chicken or 90 percent lean ground beef. Use fat-free broth and skim milk instead of whole milk or cream. If you want to thicken your soup, you can use pureed beans as a healthy, fibrous alternative to cream.

Soup is a great choice for people who are on a diet. Eating soup will make you feel full without taking in so many calories. Celebrate your World Health Day with a pot of delicious, nutritious soup.