By Nutritionist Lily Soutter
With the change of season upon us, light summer salads no longer seem appealing!
It’s only natural to turn to foods which are more comforting, and with colder, darker days, there really is nothing better that a steaming bowl of soup. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at why soup is the perfect Autumnal meal we all should be eating…
A fast track way of reaching your 5 a day: come Winter, the desire for vibrant summer salads fall by the way side. Soups are the perfect way of incorporating rainbow coloured winter veg into the diet – try vitamin A rich carrots, vitamin C rich broccoli and antioxidant rich beetroot to support immunity.
Support digestive health: fibre is key for healthy gut yet on average we are only consuming 18g per day when our target is 30g! Soup can provide an efficient way of upping our fibre intake due to the common use of pulses and grains. One can of Baxters Hearty soup provides as much as much as 11.6g fibre, which is over a third of our daily-recommended intake.
Provides that Autumnal comfort food you crave – without the calories: when the clocks go back and darker days take hold, people tend to gravitate towards high calorie, stodgy comfort foods.
Often it’s the comforting carbs we crave to make us feel warm and cosy. However there’s no need to cut carbs during winter, the key is to choose carbs with health benefits.
Try soup with brown rice, beans, lentils, chickpeas, quinoa and barley – not only can they satisfy any carb craving, their fibre and protein rich nature can help to keep us fuller for longer.
An easy way to add seasonal veg into the diet: pumpkins aren’t just for pies! Pumpkin & squash soup is an Autumn classic and is full of vitamin A for immune support.
There’s soup for everyone - you’ll never get bored: there’s a big misconception that healthy food is boring, but when it comes to soup that couldn’t be farther from the truth…
Soups are versatile and variation is key to beating diet boredom. There is a soup for everyone – meaty soups for the gym bunnies, Autumnal pumpkin soups for those who like eating in season, vegan, vegetarian, chunky and smooth soups… the list is endless.
A chance to include seasonal spices into the diet: turmeric, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom not only add lovely seasonal flavours to soup but all come with unique health benefits. Turmeric, for eaxmple provides protective antioxidants and may have possible anti-inflammatory properties
Strapped for time? Why not try Baxter’s new Root Vegetable and Turmeric Super Good soup
Time and hassle free: not only is soup easy to cook (throw everything into a pan and simmer), but one batch can make several portions which can be frozen for a later date. A meal in minutes for those colder autumnal nights when you don’t feel like cooking!
Affordable to make (perfect for saving the pennies before Christmas): in fact, soup could possibly be one the cheapest yet most nutrient-dense meals on earth. What’s even better, is that most of the time you can throw any type of veg into a batch of soup and it will still taste great – so don’t ditch the left over vegetables lurking in the fridge, throw everything into a pan and simmer.
Chicken soup for the winter cold: whilst chicken soup may be a folk remedy for the common cold, there’s no doubting that we need to fuel our body with nourishing vitamin C rich vegetables and quality protein to help fight infection.
Chicken soup makes the perfect nutrient dense meal for when our appetite is poor and we’re feeling run down!
Soup may help prevent the winter weight gain: low in calories yet satisfying and extremely nourishing. One study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that soup eaters on average tend to weigh less and have smaller waists than those who don’t eat soup!
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2438221 - link to study
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