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Soup's On!

The Science Behind the Trend of “Souping”

For the past few years, “juicing” has been one of the biggest trends among healthy eating enthusiasts around the country. In 2016, make way for “souping” as the newest movement to sweep the nation. But what’s the science behind this trend and is it worth the hype?

Longtime readers of the Dole Nutrition News know there is no shortage of soup recipes in our repertoire. We have always recommended soups as part of a nutritious diet.   David H. Murdock, Chairman and owner of Dole Food Company, may be the world’s biggest fan of wholesome soups. At 92 years of age, soup is a convenient way for this business mogul to the get the vital nutrients he needs during a busy day.  When made with the right ingredients, soup can provide vitamins, minerals, lean protein, healthy fat, and whole grain carbohydrate in just one bowl.

The formula for a well-rounded, entrée soup is simple: use a low-sodium broth base, add lots of colorful vegetables, include a lean protein like fish or beans, and add a healthful carbohydrate such as wild rice or barley. Canned soups are often high in sodium, so we suggest making your own from scratch. A few favorite recipes include Wild Salmon, Vegetable and Bean Soup, Turkey Vegetable Soup with Red Pesto and Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup.

Freshly pressed juices can be an efficient source of vitamins and minerals, but they lack the fiber, protein and healthy fats needed to support overall health. Store-bought juices can also be quite high in sugar, which may cause blood sugar spikes when not accompanied by the fiber of whole fruits and vegetables. You can also lose out on powerful antioxidants found in the skins. There is a place for fresh juice in the diet, but pair the drink with a handful of almonds or a piece of whole grain toast if it is acting as a meal.

Whether you prefer juices or soups, be weary of companies selling expensive cleanse diets or low-calorie weight-loss plans that are comprised of just juice or clear broth. Though “detox diets” have been popularized in the media, it is a misconception that either trend will cleanse the body of “toxins”. The human body is equipped with a liver, kidneys and colon with innate mechanisms to remove any toxic substances from the body. Eating a balanced, nutrient-dense diet to support these organs is a better option than sustaining your body on liquids alone.

Published March 1, 2016

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