The healing power of soup: something that both scientists and grandmothers can agree on. From helping you lose weight, warming you up from the inside out, and boosting your immunity, soup is a cold weather staple that you shouldn’t be without. Here's a closer look at what you can do to benefit from soup's amazing healing powers.
The healing power of soup
An ancient Chinese proverb states that a good doctor uses food first, then resorts to medicine. A healing soup can be your first step in maintaining your health and preventing illness. The therapeutic value of soup comes from the ease with which your body can assimilate the nutrients from the ingredients, which have been broken down by simmering. You do not loose the nutrients this way as you would with boiling vegetables, you consume the broth.
1. Lose weight with soup
Obesity is on the rise throughout the US, resulting in a startling increase in the rates of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. Nutritious low-salt soups will nourish you as they flush excess wastes from your body. It has been found that people who eat one serving of soup per day lose more weight than those who eat the same amount of calories, but don’t eat soup. Homemade soup is your best bet, because canned soups tend to be loaded with salt and chemicals. My advice is to use organic vegetables whenever possible. The herbicides and pesticides that can be present in conventional produce can be hard on the immune system and overload it with toxins.
2. Build your immunity
Your immune system needs a lot of minerals to function properly and the typical American diet does not always hit the mark. When you slowly simmer foods over low heat, you gently leach out the energetic and therapeutic properties of the foods, preserving the nutritional value of the foods. Keep in mind that boiling can destroy half of the vitamins found in vegetables, so cook soup over a low heat.
Simmer these ingredients for 30 minutes: cabbage, carrots, fresh ginger, onion, oregano, shiitake mushrooms (if dried, they must be soaked first), the seaweed of your choice, and any type of squash in chicken or vegetable stock. Cabbage can increase your body’s ability to fight infection, ginger supports healthy digestion, and seaweed cleanses the body. Shiitake mushrooms contain coumarin, polysaccharides, and sterols, as well as other vitamins and minerals that increase your immune function, and the remaining ingredients promote general health and well-being. Eat this soup every other day to build a strong and healthy immune system.
3. Detoxify your body
As a liquid, soup is already helping you flush waste from your body. When you choose detoxifying ingredients, such as the ones featured in the recipe below, you are really treating your body to an internal cleanse. The broth below boasts many benefits: it supports the liver in detoxification, increases circulation, reduces inflammation, and replenishes your body with essential minerals.
Super Detoxifying Broth
Simmer the following for 1–2 hours over a low flame: anise, brussels sprouts, cabbage, Swiss chard, cilantro, collards, dandelion, fennel, garlic, ginger, kale, leeks, shiitake mushrooms, mustard greens, daikon radish, seaweed, and watercress. Drink 8 to 12 ounces twice a day. You can keep this broth in your fridge for up to one week; however, it is always best to serve soups when fresh because each day, the therapeutic value decreases.
4. Warm up with a hearty soup
You always want to eat for the season. Soups provide something the body craves in cold weather. Warming foods to feature in your soups include: leeks, onions, turnips, spinach, kale, broccoli, quinoa, yams, squash, garlic, scallions, and parsley. As a spice, turmeric aids with circulation, a great boost against the cold weather.
5. Get well faster
As you mother may have instinctively known, when you are sick, there is no better healing food than soup. The reason for this is that soups and stews don’t require as much energy to digest, freeing your body up to fight the infection.
It would be impossible to talk about soup’s healing abilities without putting the spotlight on homemade chicken noodle soup. Studies have found that chicken noodle soup does seem to relieve the common cold by inhibiting inflammation -- helping to break up congestion and ease the flow of nasal secretions. While chicken soup may not cure a cold outright, it does help alleviate some of the symptoms and can help as a preventative measure.
Good places to stock up on Hot Ready Eat Soups:
2. Healthy Grocer
3. Ho Wah