The first thing that comes to our mind when someone mentions soups or salads is the rich nutrient content and the fact that it is healthy for a weight loss journey. Filling up on fiber and water-rich foods are known to stop you from overeating later. With losing weight on your agenda, a cool crisp salad and hot soups can be the basis for a light and refreshing meal.
Research also shows that eating a first-course salad and soups can reduce overall calorie intake at a meal by up to 12 percent! Simply to get the most nutritional impacts from the salads and soups intake, let’s go through some of their benefits.
The Two S’s For Ultimate Health
The raw vegetables that constitute the salads and that also make up the ingredients of soup makes a substantial contribution to disease prevention, healthy weight, and youthful energy. It is only obvious that people tend to add such food choices to their daily routine that serves both the taste and health sides of the food coin.
When we talk about salads, apart from being fresh and ready to eat at any time of the day, they are also very easy to prepare with bare minimum resources of utensils and ingredients. After all, a long haul at work should not end with a sixty minutes preparation for a meal! You would rather spend as much as twenty minutes preparing a healthy salad instead.
On the contrary, when we talk about soups, they are known to be the healthiest alternatives for starters and evening suppers. Whether it is snack time or at the beginning of your big meals, soups serve as an appetizer that is both healthy and tasty at the same time. The peculiarity they have is the different flavors and textures they offer.
What’s more, you can make your soups and salads more impressive by giving it various types of garnishes and to make it look presentable and exciting.
The following are some of the benefits of superfoods – Soups and Salads:
Natural Source Of Fiber
Leafy greens and raw veggies contained in both the salads and soups are an excellent source of natural fiber and consuming the right amount of fiber each day has several health benefits.
- LDL or bad cholesterol is reduced with consuming fiber
- Proper control of blood sugar level
- Helps in healthy weight maintenance
- Ease in bowel movements and prevention of bowel disease
- Proper and adequate fiber intake helps in the prevention of a number of cancers that include colorectal, esophagus, breast, mouth and throat
Having fresh vegetables and fruits are essential to our good health and well-being, this statement is definitely not new and we all might have heard it before. But it’s always good to be reminded of it every now and then owing to the growing amount of junk food consumption that we have inculcated in our lives.
A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can amazingly help in lowering blood pressure, fighting the risk of heart diseases like stroke and also in keeping a check on appetite.
Having a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in different colors is also important. Adding them in salads is both easy and also healthy. Since they are loaded with vitamins and minerals and consuming them will also increase the level of powerful antioxidants in the blood.
Effective Weight Control
Having a fiber-rich salad before a meal generally helps to feel full faster, this way you end up consuming fewer calories in comparison to the day when the meal is served without an appetizer. You get to experience greater potential positive effects when you inculcate more raw vegetables into your salads.
When you add to your salads a couple of tablespoons of mixed raw or roasted seeds of pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and or chia, it boosts your daily intake of good fats. These seeds can also be used in the preparation of healthy soup for yourself. You can also experiment with different kinds of oils in the garnishing of your salads to make it more healthy.
For Various Parts Of The Body
Strong bones are essentially the core for an overall health boost since they make up most of the structure for performing various activities. Low bone mineral density in women is always linked with the low Vitamin K levels which can be essentially fulfilled by the intake of green leafy vegetables like watercress, radicchio or spinach.
The ingredients used while preparing soups and salads i.e. green leafies like spinach, romaine, and red lettuce contains carotenoids. Carotenoids help the eyes to adjust from bright to dark and to filter out high-intensity levels of light, thus it helps in protecting them from the formation of damaging free radicals.
The high levels of water that are generally found in the salad and other vegetables improve hydration in our bodies which is necessary for youthful skin tone and other basic bodily functions.
Some Of The Refreshing Salad Recipes
Talking about the various benefits of these super S’s cannot be complete without giving you some substantial examples. The following are some of the salads that make a good holistic meal or appetizer.
Cilantro Cucumber Lime Salad
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cucumbers, very finely sliced
- 4 tablespoons minced cilantro
Firstly, you need to dice jalapeno and garlic and put it into a medium-sized bowl. To this bowl, you need to add 3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, crushed red pepper, a pinch of salt and pepper. Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and set it aside. The next thing you need to do is to finely slice the cucumbers to the bowl. Then finely mince the cilantro and add this to the bowl of salad. Stir everything and give it a proper mix. You can either serve it immediately or let it marinate for a couple of hours in the fridge.
Thai Salad With Peanut Sauce
For the peanut sauce:
- 1/3 cup creamy, natural peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoons sriracha
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup water
For the salad:
- 1/4 box rice noodles, cooked and rinse to keep from sticking
- 5 asparagus stalks, blanched and cut into thirds
- 2 medium carrots, cut into sticks
- 1 medium zucchini, spiralized or thinly cut on a mandoline
- 1 cup snap peas, blanched and halved
- 1/2 English cucumber, seeds removed, cut into sticks
- 1 bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange), cut into thin strips
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup peanuts to top
Take a small bowl and mix it in together the peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and sriracha. Water is to be added to the peanut butter not at a time but ¼ cup at a time until the peanut butter thins out and gets the consistency of salad dressing.
Take another salad bowl to add to it the cooked rice noodles and zucchini noodles and simply toss it. Then you need to arrange the asparagus, carrots, snap peas, cucumber and bell pepper on top. Drizzle the peanut sauce over the top and garnish it with chopped cilantro and peanuts before serving.
Southwest Bean Salad
For the Bean Salad:
- A can of garbanzo beans. drained and rinsed
- Can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1/2 bunch of green onions, diced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 red or yellow pepper, chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
For the Dressing:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1-2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp. cumin
Rinse well and drain the garbanzo beans and black beans and place it in a bowl. Add to bowl some diced tomatoes and green onions. Next, you need to add some fresh chopped cilantro. To make it colorful, you can also add chopped red and yellow peppers. Lastly, sprinkle some salt and pepper. For dressing mix one tablespoon of olive oil, fresh lime juice, some minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of cumin. Mix all the ingredients well and toss it well to coat the salad with all ingredients proportionately.
Mango Salad Rolls
- 1 Carrot
- 1/2 of a Red Onion
- 1/2 of a Red Pepper
- 1/4 of a Head of Purple Cabbage
- 1/4 of a Head of Lettuce
- 1/2 of a Package of Sprouts
- 1 Mango8-10 Rice Paper Wrappers
For the Mango Gluten Rolls, you need to peel and thinly slice the carrot, red onions, red pepper, cabbage, lettuce, and mango. Meanwhile, soak the rice paper wrappers in water 1 at a time for 1 min or until they are soft enough to work with.
Place a small amount of each of the ingredients in the middle of the paper wrapper. Then tightly roll up from the bottom first thereafter the sides and you are done. For making it a bit different and equally tasty you can add some cooked shrimp with a splash of lime juice.
Some Lip Smacking Soup Recipes
Widely known for their taste, texture and high levels of water, below are some soup recipes that improve hydration in our bodies which is necessary for youthful skin tone and other basic bodily functions.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot
- Smoked pancetta
- 1 large Savoy cabbage, shredded
- 2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 heaped tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- Vegetable stock
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook it for 5 mins. To this toss some onions, celery, carrots, peppers, garlic and cook and stir until they turn brown. After this add some soy sauce, onion powder, pepper and salt as per your taste. After this, add to it some cabbage and cook for 2 minutes until it begins to wilt. Pour to it some crushed tomatoes, chicken broth and a cup of water. Stir well the mixture and bring it to boil then wait till it reduces to a simmer.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 300g celery sliced, with tough strings removed
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 200g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 100ml milk
- crusty bread, to serve
Take a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. To this pan tip in the celery, garlic, potatoes, and coat it completely in the oil. Splash some water along with a big pinch of salt and cook it for 15 mins, stirring it regularly. While you need to keep adding more water if the veg begins to stick. Next, you need to pour in the vegetable stock and bring it to boil. Cook until the celery turns soft and then pour in the milk and blitz again.
Cucumber, Lettuce and Peas Soup
- 1 tsp rapeseed oil
- small bunch spring onions, roughly chopped
- 1 cucumber, roughly chopped
- 1 large round lettuce, roughly chopped
- Frozen peas
- 4 tsp vegetable bouillon
- 4 tbsp yogurt
- 4 slices rye bread
Take a large non-stick frying pan and cook the spring onions for 5 mins until softened. Take another pan and keep water to boil. Then in the pan, you need to add cucumber, lettuce, peas and lastly pour in it the boiled water.
Continuously stir the mixture, cover and simmer for 10 mins so that they are still bright green and soft at the same time. Once it’s done than grind the mixture with a hand blender until smooth. You can serve it hot or cold by topping it with yogurt and rye bread alongside.
- 2 liters veg or ham stock
- Red lentils
- 6 carrots finely chopped
- 2 medium leeks sliced
- small handful chopped parsley to serve
Take vegetable stock in a large pan and heat it. Add some lentils into the stock and bring it to boil and cook it for few minutes or until lentils are soft. Once you feel the lentils are softened add to it carrots and leeks and also add some seasoning of salt and pepper. Bring this to boil again and then cover and simmer for 45-60 mins till the lentils break down. Serve it hot by scattering over the parsley and buttered bread.
These are quite easy to make at home and even order in a restaurant while you are dining out. They consist of with their multiple health benefits, consuming leafy green vegetables and making it a routine can be simply one of the best habits to get into.