Healthy Thoughts on Hearty Soups

As winter is approaching, we’re taking a stand against cold temperatures and seasonal illnesses by boosting our system with healthy nutrients all throughout November. To keep warm and enhance our body’s nutritional intake we have decided to share one yummy soup recipe each week of the month. Want to know why having soup is so important for your body? Read on and find out!

Maximize your nutritional intake.
Sugared hot drinks, chocolaty snacks, fatty warm dishes… winter is also holiday season with Christmas, New Years and, for us living in China, Chinese New Year. For many, cold temperatures and the holiday cheer might result in eating more and more often, with the risk of increasing only the calorie intake while disregarding the nutritional value of what we eat.
Our suggestion is to start your meal with a delicious soup. Containing much water and healthy fiber, vegetable soups help you feel satisfied and full sooner. Research has shown that eating soup at the beginning of your main meal, reduces the calorie intake by up to 20% without compromising on nutrition.

Better raw or cooked?
The answer is… it depends! On one hand, some nutrients in vegetables are heat sensitive and easily get destroyed when cooked or dissolved in water. It’s the case of vitamin C, a compound that can be found in many vegetables such as bell peppers, dark leafy greens and broccoli. On the other hand, boiling vegetables is proven to enhance the level of other nutrients such as beta-carotene and lycopene. These powerful antioxidants, which can be found especially in cooked tomatoes, are associated with a number of health benefits among which a reduced risk of cancer.

Comparing the health benefits of cooked versus raw vegetables is complicated. What we do suggest is that you eat plenty of both, according to your own taste. No doubts, a hearty and creamy soup is the perfect accompaniment to your winter meals.

Do It Yourself!
If you’ve lived in China for a while, you should already know that you can choose among a great variety of packaged or powdered instant soups. Obviously, DIY Soups are the best option to maximize all benefits of a healthy diet. Pre-made soups that you can find at any convenience store and supermarket are EXTREMELY high in sodium, low in protein and high in carbs as they are potato starch based.

It’s true, making soup out of fresh veggies might take a while and sometimes it’s hard to fit some cooking time into our busy schedule. But Natural is just Better! For efficiency purpose, we suggest you make big quantities of soup at once and consume it over the next few days or freeze it for a later use.

If you love your body and are ready to try some delicious soup recipes, visit our Recipe section here on Shanghaihabits and get started with cooking!

Happiness is many things and Home-Cooked Soup is definitely one of them!