Superstar soups

Soups help maintain healthy weight, stretch grocery budgets and increase vegetable consumption.

Trying to get enough vegetables into your daily diet? The recommended amount of vegetables for a daily 2,000 calorie diet is three cups. Vegetables provide a multiple of health benefits. One of the easiest and most economic means to get your daily recommended amount of vegetables is to make soup. Canned soups are good in a pinch but many have high levels of sodium. Making your own soups can help one lose weight, reduce levels of sodium and increase food budget and vegetable consumption.

Vegetables provide necessary vitamins and minerals to help keep our bodies healthy and energized. Vegetables provide fiber, vitamins and minerals. Folic acid (vitamin B) and other vitamins help in the development of new cells, has been known to lower blood pressure, protects the heart and the brain and aids in kidney function and hormonal balance. Fatigue, irritability and hypertension all could be side effects from not getting enough vitamin-rich vegetables.

Eating more vegetables will assist those who are trying to lose weight. Vegetables are lower in saturated fat and calories than other foods and helps restore water balance that keeps blood pressure under control. Vegetable soup bases are easy to make. Keep in mind creamed based soups have a higher fat content. Unlike what happens during stewing and frying, vegetables, meat and poultry cooked directly in soups conserve much more of their natural nutrients, vitamins and general essence. And despite the fact that soups usually contain a lot less calories than the main dish, they aren’t any less nutritious or filling.

Michigan Statae University Extension reminds that besides soups being nutritious and filling, they also are less expensive to make! Leftover vegetables and proteins such as meats fish and beans make great soups! To make your own broth, boil bones in water or make a base from tomato sauce or other vegetables. Fresh, canned or frozen vegetables can also be used. Dried beans are very inexpensive and low in fat and add lean protein to soups.

If you are trying in increase your vegetable consumption, lose weight, reduce sodium intake or stretch your food budget, soups are superstars in each category!

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