How will you make the soup healthier?
In the winter months most of us tend to eat more, and not just because we are much more at home, with a light hand on the fridge. The low temperatures may also affect the balance of some of the hormones that control hunger and appetite, as well as biological changes that occur as a result of the changing seasons that trigger hunger.The significant reduction in daylight hours also contributes to feelings of hunger. Sunlight is one of the triggers for the release of the hormone serotonin, a neurotransmitter that significantly increases mood. Carbohydrate intake (thanks to the insulin that is released as a result) increases serotonin levels, so on sunless days the need for caloric replacement increases to provide the daily dose of serotonin.

Every hunger has its solution and every winter has the soups that accompany it with lots of comforting warmth and padding. Regular eating of soups is a great way to get through the cold season with a minimum of calories and a maximum of fortifying nutritional values. What is important to note that we will have in the pot of soup and what is better to avoid?

How to make the healthiest chicken soup?

Caution with salt

The prevailing recommendation is to consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. One teaspoon of table salt contains about 2,325 mg of sodium, so it is important to be careful with the amounts we throw into the pot. For example, one cup of ready-to-serve chicken soup contains 860 mg of sodium.

Salt is an important nutrient, it helps the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, maintains body moisture and prevents low blood pressure, but an excess of salt produces a sodium load that can harm heart health. In addition, an excessive amount of sodium in the body causes calcium to be lost through urination, which increases the risk of bone problems, such as osteoporosis.

Why should you reduce the amounts of salt?

Healthy fats

Some protein-rich foods are also rich in saturated fat which can increase the risk of heart disease and raise blood cholesterol levels. Many foods that are rich in saturated fats are also high in calories, so they may contribute to being overweight or obese.

Vegan bean soup with tofu

There are quite a few alternative options to consume protein through healthy and unsaturated fats. Beans can be a great addition, as it offers protein along with healthy fiber and minerals. Legumes are generally considered a plant-based lean protein, cholesterol-free and rich in fiber, folic acid and fats. Fancy some meat soup? Go for “lean” meat like chicken or turkey.

From the good to the bad: Rating the recommended fats

Bean soup (Photo: Udi Asraf, PR)
A source of lean protein. Bean Soup | Photo: Udi Asraf, PR

Pumpkin in soup

Vegetables are the backbone of any healthy dish in general and of soups in particular. They provide respectable amounts of fiber and help with a feeling of satiety over time, with a relatively small addition of calories. Carrots, onions and potatoes are an obvious choice, but do not feel obligated. There are more vegetables with great added value. Like for example pumpkin:

One cup of pumpkin has 1.8 grams (grams) of protein, 12 grams of carbohydrates and 2.7 grams of dietary fiber. Along with vitamins and minerals, it has an impressive amount of vitamin A, with 703 mg per cup, 78 percent of the recommended daily value of the vitamin, which supports immune health, vision and cell growth. Pumpkin is also a good source of vitamin C, potassium and zinc that helps metabolism and function. The immune system Zinc in general helps the body to grow and develop, which is why it is especially important for pregnant women and children.

By Editor

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