soup - vegetable soup with chicken

Health Reasons to Add Soup to Your Diet

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Updated on January 12, 2024

Reviewed by Esraa Mahmoud

Soup is one of the good appetisers and side dishes served at the dining table. It can also be consumed as a main course for those who follow a diet to lose weight. It is characterised by being quick to prepare and by providing the body with many health benefits.

As a liquid food, soup is made by combining meat or vegetables with water or stock. It can be prepared from several different recipes. In this article, we will present the tastiest and most delicious healthy soups for you and your family to enjoy.

Types of Soup

The preparation of soup should not require high skills or complex techniques. There are varieties of soup recipes, each of which is different from the other, whether in how it is prepared or its ingredients. Before we explore the recipes, let’s find out the main types of soup:

  1. Transparent soup is a classic type that involves simmering the flavourings of the soup for a certain period of time.
  2. Thick soup is another type where the density of the soup is increased either by adding ingredients that help thicken it or by evaporating the liquid. Some types of thick soup contain cream that gives it a distinctive texture.
  3. Puree soup is characterised by its delicious taste and rich flavour. It is considered one of the healthy types of food, as it is rich in vitamins and nutrients. The best way to prepare this type is to cook starchy vegetables and legumes in broth or soup and then mash the resultant soup with its ingredients.

The Importance of Adding Soup to Your Diet

Soup is one of the most essential dishes that offer all the nutritional benefits found in vegetables and meat. It is the first option for those who suffer from digestive disorders. Due to the nutrients it has, it provides the body with multiple benefits, including the following:

  1. Source of vitamins and minerals: Soup that contains vegetables contributes to obtaining part of the vegetable rations and nutrients recommended for daily eating. These nutrients include vitamins A and C. Its nutritional value can be increased by adding a large number of vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes.
  2. Moisturiser of the body: Soup contains a high percentage of fluids that contribute to moisturising the body. This is because the main ingredient is water, which constitutes 92% of it.
  3. Relief from stomach infections and acute diarrhoea: Broth is one of the foods that are recommended to be given to those who suffer from stomach and intestinal infections. This is due to its easy digestion and its role in maintaining the level of fluids in the body. Malnourished patients always consider it after a long period of interruption from food.
  4. Reduction of constipation: Dietary fibre is the most important element that helps relieve constipation. It is available in legumes and vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage, zucchini, pumpkin, brown rice, bulgur, oats, whole wheat, and cultivated rye. When added to soup, the human body can benefit from the vegetables with the fibre they contain.

The Benefits of Chicken Soup

One of the tasty dishes that is common around the world is chicken soup. Consuming chicken soup is associated with some benefits, as follows:

  1. Source of collagen: The soup made from chicken bone provides the body with collagen, resulting from the transformation of gelatin in the soup. Collagen is useful for maintaining joint health.
  2. Relief of some symptoms of upper respiratory infection: Chicken soup may contain beneficial substances for the body that help reduce inflammation. It reduces the symptoms of upper respiratory infection.
  3. Increase of the movement of nasal fluids: Excelling hot water, chicken soup increases the movement of nasal mucus, cleanses the airways, and relieves nasal congestion.

The Benefits of Soup for Those Who Go on A Diet

soup - carrot soup

Soup may contribute to weight loss when added to the diet for several reasons, including the following:

Low in Calories

Eating two servings a day of low-energy soup decreases the amount of calories in the given volume, as one cup of soup or tomato broth contains 75 to 125 calories, depending on the method and type of preparation. This weight-loss diet leads to 50% more weight loss than the same amount of high-energy snacks. So, eating nutrient-dense, low-energy meals regularly may lead to weight control.

Increase the Feeling of Satiety

It is recommended to avoid creamy or high-fat soup and to include vegetables rich in dietary fibre and low in calories. Eating vegetable soup or broth, whether cold or hot, at the beginning of your meal helps reduce the number of eaten calories. The high percentage of water in the vegetables activates the receptors responsible for the expansion of the stomach. These receptors send messages to the brain, thus giving a feeling of satiety.

Is it Healthy to Follow the Soup Diet?

A soup diet, such as cabbage soup, is common among people. It is, in fact, one of the Fad diets which promotes fast weight loss. However, it depends on excluding certain groups of foods that contain the essential nutrients that the body needs. Although those who eat cabbage soup may lose weight, they may have serious health problems, as eating large amounts of cabbage increases the symptoms of flatulence.

Cabbage soup may also contain a large amount of sodium, according to the used recipe. In addition, it has the possibility of increasing the feeling of fatigue due to not consuming nutrients in sufficient quantities. Therefore, such a diet is associated with regaining lost weight quickly when you stop following it. So you should consult a doctor before following such diets.

Tips to Prepare A Healthy Soup

Soup is one of the most essential meals that can be prepared in summer or winter without contributing to weight gain. Here are some tips that can be followed while preparing healthy soup to reduce calorie intake:

  1. Use fresh ingredients and a minimum amount of salt and fat.
  2. Choose the pieces of meat that contain the lowest fat content. For example, chicken should be cooked without skin or turkey breast. On top of that, remove the fat you notice on the meat pieces.
  3. Reduce the use of oils. It is recommended to add a spoonful of olive or canola oil when preparing sauté. Then, add an amount of water or broth to obtain more moisture for vegetables when they turn brown.
  4. Add more beans and whole grains, such as barley, brown and wild rice, and whole-wheat pasta instead of refined grains.
  5. Use milk instead of cooking cream because whole milk gives a creamy taste and texture without adding fat and calories.

4 Great Soup Recipes

Soup is considered one of the best dishes that a person can serve on the table, especially on cold days, as it gives the human body energy and warmth. No matter how different the type is, it is necessary because it is easy to prepare, quick to mature, and delicious in taste. Here are some healthy and delicious recipes that will help improve your digestion and uplift your mood:

1. Grilled Cauliflower Soup

soup - Grilled Cauliflower Soup

Cooking time: 45 minutes.

Enough for: 3 people.

Ingredients

  • Cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 glasses milk
  • 2 glasses broth
  • ½ cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to medium heat.
  2. Bring a wide tray and place the butter in it.
  3. Chop the cabbage into very small pieces.
  4. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  5. Distribute the cabbage on the tray so they layer on each other.
  6. Place the tray in the oven for about 20 minutes or until toasted.
  7. Leave the tray to cool slightly.
  8. Place the butter in a wide saucepan and heat it over medium heat.
  9. Add the onion and garlic, then sauté until the onion is wilted.
  10. Add flour to the onion and stir for a minute.
  11. Add the milk, then stir the mixture until slightly firm.
  12. Add cabbage and a little broth to the pot and let it boil.
  13. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
  14. Grind it finely using an electric blender.
  15. Add more broth depending on the desired density.
  16. Add the cream and let it boil for a minute.
  17. Put it on a serving dish.
  18. Sprinkle parsley over the soup and serve hot.

2. Spinach and Barley Soup

Cooking time: 15 minutes.

Enough for: 6 people.

Ingredients  

  • A large handful of barley, washed and cooked
  • A pack spinach
  • 2 packets tomatoes, cut into cubes
  • 3 packets chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup onions, cut into cubes
  • A pinch salt and black pepper
  • A little olive oil

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan.
  2. Add the garlic and onion and then cook them over medium heat until the onion browns.
  3. Add chicken broth, tomato, and spinach to the pot.
  4. Heat the mixture until the spinach dissolves.
  5. Add barley, salt, and pepper.
  6. Boil the soup and serve hot.

3. Chicken and Carrot Soup

soup - chicken and carrot soup

Cooking time: 40 minutes.

Enough for: 4 people.

Ingredients  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • ½ cup barley bulgur
  • 1 onion, brown, medium, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cilantro, ground
  • Leaf of laurel, dried
  • 1 medium red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin, ground
  • 2 packets filtered and washed acid, weighing 400 grams
  • A whole chicken, 1600 grams
  • Leaves of coriander for decoration

Directions

  1. Place the oil in a large saucepan with a thick base and raise over medium to high heat.
  2. Add the pepper, carrot, onion, and celery to the pot and stir. Then, cook for five minutes or until the onion is tender.
  3. Add the laurel leaf, cumin, and coriander, and cook well. Stir for a minute or until spices smell cooked.
  4. Wash the chicken well with cold water and dry it with paper napkins. Then, get rid of its excess fat.
  5. Add the chicken with its chest facing down. Then, add the vermicelli and eight cups of cold water.
  6. Cover the pot and leave it on the fire until the ingredients boil.
  7. Reduce the temperature, and cook slowly until the chicken is cooked.
  8. Let the pot cool down, and remove the lid after half an hour.
  9. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and leave it to cool for a third of an hour.
  10. Remove the bones and skin.
  11. Place the pot on the fire for a second time and get rid of the froth that floats on the surface.
  12. Cover the pot until the ingredients boil, then reduce the heat between low and medium.
  13. Add boneless and shredded chicken meat, then add chickpeas.
  14. Cook it for five minutes or until hot, and season with black pepper and salt.
  15. Serve with harissa and coriander leaves.

4. Broccoli Soup

Soup - Broccoli Soup

Cooking time: 25 minutes.

Enough for: 4 people.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups broccoli, cut into florets
  • ½ stick celery, chopped
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 glass milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter
  • Soft black pepper to taste
  • Fresh mint leaves for decoration
  • Crushed croutons for garnish

Directions

  1. Melt a little butter in a pot, then place the flour on top of it while stirring.
  2. Add milk and keep stirring the mixture until it thickens and bubbles appear on its surface.
  3. Melt the remaining butter in another pot, then put the celery and onion. Stir until tender.
  4. Add broccoli and chicken stock and stir.
  5. Cook for ten minutes over low heat.
  6. Mix the broccoli mixture using an electric hand whisk until you get a purée.
  7. Put the broccoli purée over the flour mixture and cook for three minutes.
  8. Season with black pepper.
  9. Serve the soup with mint and crushed bread.

The Best Soup for the Colon

Soup is one of the good options to be introduced into the diet of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Still, they should avoid the ones that contain a high percentage of fat or any ingredients that may increase colon symptoms. The types that are good for the colon are the following:

1. Low-fat Soup

The muscles and nerves of the digestive system are sensitive to food stimuli in people with IBS. So, it is preferable to reduce fat intake because it stimulates the intestines. Low-fat meat, such as chicken or turkey, should be used in the soup for colon patients. It is also recommended to remove all noticeable fat from the meat and avoid putting cream or butter on the soup.

2. Rich in Fibre

It is preferable for people with IBS to eat more dietary fibre, ranging between 20 to 35 grams per day. Adding fibre-rich leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, chopped carrots, and celery, to the soup is good for softening them and facilitating their digestion. On top of that, vegetables and grains rich in soluble fibre absorb water, thus relieving constipation and diarrhoea.

3. Rich in Broth

Adding spices or garlic to your soup is not recommended, as they can increase IBS. Colon patients should drink eight glasses of water and fluids a day, as this can prevent or relieve IBS. If the soup is rich in vegetable stock and low-fat or fat-free meat, then it can help achieve great results. Whole-grain pasta or brown rice can also be added to increase fibre and nutrients in the broth while constantly increasing the fluid intake.

What is the Best Soup for People with Diabetes?

People with diabetes are advised to follow a diet that contains vegetables in larger quantities because they have multiple benefits. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre, and many types of vegetables are low in calories.

It is recommended that the type of consumed vegetables be non-starchy. The most important of which are leafy vegetables, green beans, mushrooms, eggplants, and peppers. It is also recommended to reduce the starchy vegetable intake, such as potatoes, corn, and peas, that are high in carbohydrates.

Beans and lentils are good choices for people with diabetes because they contain high fibre, are slow to digest, and have little effect on raising blood sugar levels compared to other sources of carbohydrates.

To Conclude

Combining meat or vegetables with water or stock, soup is one of the most essential dishes that offer all the nutritional benefits found in vegetables and meat. It’s one of the dishes that nutritionists recommend eating when having a healthy diet because it gives the body the healthy calories it needs to produce energy.

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