Building the Perfect Soup

When made with the optimum ingredients, soup can provide carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants to improve your health, wellness and ultimately your performance. The good news is you can make nutritionally dense soup with whatever is in your kitchen and have it ready to consume within 30 minutes. Create your own power soup by following these five steps, choosing among the fresh, frozen, and leftover ingredients you have on hand from the list below:

Step 1: Aromatics

Optimum Choices: onion, garlic, celery, carrots, dried sage, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, rosemary, cumin, cinnamon, chili powder

Health Benefits: they add anti-inflammatory compounds that fight soreness.

Step 2: Liquids

Optimum Choices: vegetables, chicken, beef and fish stock; tomato puree and juice

Health Benefits: liquids keep you hydrated in the winter and relieve congestion

Step 3: Vegetables 

Optimum Choices: kale, carrots, peppers, bok choy, cabbage, tomatoes, mushrooms, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes

Health Benefits: vegetables are loaded in antioxidant vitamins and minerals

Step 4: Proteins

Optimum Choices: beans (any kind), chicken, beef, fish, shrimp, tofu, edamame, lentils

Health Benefits: lean protein repairs muscles and provides iron – an imperative mineral needed to carry hemoglobin (a carrier for oxygen in the blood)

Step 5: Carbohydrates

Optimum Choices: cooked whole grains (brown, black or wild rice, faro, quinoa and barley; whole-wheat pasta; potatoes

Health Benefits: carbohydrates replenish depleted stored sugar levels within your liver (to feed the brain) and the muscles (fuel movement), provide B vitamins which are imperative for the production of energy

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