soba noodle soup
1 / 10

Tastes Great, More Filling

Soup is a good choice as an appetizer, or your main meal if you’re trying to lose weight. The water in broth-based soups stretches the flavor of meats, veggies, spices, and other tasty morsels without adding calories. It fills your tank faster and satisfies hunger longer than other heavier foods. Plus, it’s hard to gulp or guzzle soup if it’s hot. Eating slowly gives your body enough time to signal the brain that you’ve had enough.

 

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bone soup
2 / 10

Waste Not

What’s left on the meat platter at the end of a meal may look like slim pickins. But chefs and home cooks alike prize skin and bones as soup fixings. They’re the main ingredients in rich broths. Boiling pulls collagen from these leftover bits. It’s an important protein that helps your own skin and bones.

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slow cooker
3 / 10

The Lowdown on Slow Soup

Want your soup ready when you get home at the end of the day? Try using a slow cooker. They’re great for soups made with meat. Slow-simmering soup boosts flavors, cuts prep time, and does the cooking while you’re away. It can trim your budget, too. The slow, low technique tenderizes tough, lean cuts, which cost less than prime. Always thaw meat before you put it in a slow cooker to be sure it cooks through.

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kid eating soup
4 / 10

Warm Up With Soup

If your kids turn up their noses at vegetables, turn up the heat under a pot of soup. Little ones like sweets better than bitters because that’s how their taste buds are set. To them, veggies may be tastier mixed with other flavors in a soup than served a la carte. If a veggie’s texture is the problem, puree it to smooth perfection.

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canned tomatoes
5 / 10

Can You Stand The Heat?

Many veggies lose nutrients when you boil them, but a few get better when the heat is on. Canned tomatoes can be more healthy than vine-ripe because cooking breaks them down, releasing lycopene and chemicals that are good for your heart. Processed corn and spinach have more lutein, an antioxidant that protects your eyes. Have these quick-start items in your pantry for your own homemade soup.

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chicken soup
6 / 10

Grandma Knows Best

Scientists have proven what grandmas knew all along: Chicken soup is a feel-good food when you’re down with a cold. The steamy, salty broth opens stuffy sinuses and thins mucus so it drains. It warms and soothes sore throats and quiets coughs. The chicken, onions, garlic, and other stuff in it can help fight inflammation. But be careful. Too much salt can cause water retention and contribute to swelling.

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miso soup
7 / 10

The Magic of Miso

Slurping your soup says “compliments to the chef” if you’re in Japan. Miso soup, a rich, cloudy broth made from fermented soybeans, is a favorite there. It’s high in salt, but it has a lot of healthy ingredients, too. It's full of good bacteria and chemicals that may help you digest your food, lower bad cholesterol, and cut the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. It’s even thought to help keep skin aglow with its rich antioxidant content.

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sodium label
8 / 10

Put the Pinch on Salt

Some soup makers go heavy on the salt so you’ll savor the flavor. That’s a problem if you have high blood pressure or other reasons to cut back. Try low- or no-salt brands and recipes. You’ll miss the salt at first, but spoon your way through it. After just a few weeks, your taste buds will physically change to become more sensitive. Soon soup with half the salt will taste just as good.

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woman reading food label
9 / 10

Read the Label Before You Ladle

Shopping for soup? It pays to be soup-savvy:

  • Do the math. A serving is one cup, but a can of soup holds more. Add up total calories and amounts before you fill your cart.
  • Read the label. “Sodium” means salt, and many soups have a lot. “Healthy” and “low-sodium” brands have less. Look for sugar, too. Choose soups with no more than 6 grams per serving. Fiber’s good. Lentil, vegetable, barley, and bean soups are full of it.

 

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woman eating soup
10 / 10

Take Stock

Do you have a favorite soup? Many of us do. Here’s the top 10 list: chicken noodle (the overall favorite), potato, beef stew, chili with beef, broccoli, vegetable, seafood chowder, seafood bisque, tomato, and mushroom. Women warm up to potato and broccoli, while men are big on beef.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 08/29/2017 Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, RD, LD on August 29, 2017

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SOURCES:

News release, University of Nebraska Medical Center.

UCLA Center for East-West Medicine: “An Inside Scoop on the Science Behind Chicken Soup and the Common Cold.”

Food & Nutrition: “How Pureed Soups Can Teach Kids to Love Vegetables.”

Cornell University Food & Brand Lab: “Mood and Gender Relate to the Selection & Intake of Comfort Foods.”

Association for Psychological Science: “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Comfort Food Fights Loneliness.”

Consumer Reports: “Is Miso Good for You?”

Organic Facts: “Health Benefits of Miso Soup.”

The Healthy Home Economist: “Research Reveals Little Calcium in Bone Broth.”

Nutrition Facts: “Sometimes the Enzyme Myth is True.”

Berkeley Wellness: “Supermarket Buying Guide: How to Buy Soups.”

Nutrition Facts: “Changing Our Taste Buds.”

Food & Nutrition: “Ring in the New Year With Nutritious and Delicious Soup.”

Harvard Medical School: “Why Eating Slowly May Help You Feel Full Faster.”

Technomic: “Soup & Salad Consumer: Left Side of the Menu Report.”

Emily Post: “Guide to Food and Drink.”

Food & Nutrition: “Turn Up the Slow Cooking Heat for Health.”

United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety & Inspection Service: “Slow Cookers and Food Safety.”

Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, RD, LD on August 29, 2017

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.