12 Dec Why Soups and Stews Are A Great Addition to Your Meal Rotation This Winter
Warming up with steaming hot soups and stews can keep you cozy when the weather gets chilly. Soups are a hassle-free way to quickly prepare dinner and take the edge off of a chilly night.
Whether it’s a light broth-based creation or a hearty stew, soups have numerous benefits:
They’re Easy to Prepare Ahead of Time.
Soups and stews don’t require a large amount of hands-on time. In fact, if you use a slow cooker or a pressure cooker, you can make a flavorful soup in as little as five minutes and let the cooker handle the rest of the job. Need some inspiration? Check out these 40 soups to try this winter here.
Stews Are High in Protein and Veggies.
Vegetables and meat come with a variety of good nutrients. The fiber in vegetables and protein in meat will help your dish to become more satisfying, keeping you fuller for longer. Consider soups as a way to take advantage of nature’s bounty as winter vegetables like pumpkin, butternut squash, carrots, and parsnips won’t wilt or get limp when cooked. Additionally, tossing produce that is close to going bad into a dish for soup can give it new life.
Broth-based Soups are Hydrating.
During the cold winter season, many people tend to drink less fluid than they need. But while you may not be hot and sweaty, you still lose fluid through daily activities. Since soups are mostly liquid, they’re a great way to stay hydrated, especially soups that are broth-based. Furthermore, the liquid in soups takes up a lot of volume in your stomach which fills you up with fewer calories.
Don’t have time to make your own soup or stew? Don’t worry, there are numerous canned varieties or sippable soups/broths available! However, it’s important to be cautious of the amount of sodium in canned soups. Try to aim for 360 – 600 milligrams of sodium per serving.
Note: The general recommendations for sodium is 1,500mg for those at risk for heart disease and 2,300mg for those who are generally healthy. However, per the American Heart Association, even those who are generally healthy should aim to move towards 1,500mg per day. While soups and stews are usually a bit higher in sodium, it really comes down to your diet as a whole. For example, if your breakfast, lunch, and snacks are balanced and are low in sodium then you would be fine with having a meal higher in sodium, such as soup, for dinner.
|Maryann Walsh, MFN, RD, CDE
Registered Dietitian/ Consultant