Drinking eight glasses of water seems daunting for many, especially during winter. To keep up with hydration, besides knocking back eight glasses of non-caffeinated beverages, getting fluid through food such as fruits, vegetables and soups is an easy way to keep hydrated.
Whether it is Spanish chilled Gazpacho, French onion soup, Vietnamese Pho noodle soup or classic Minestrone, soups offer many benefits including being a source of fuel, recovery meal after exercise and the obvious one – hydration.
Food historians believe that the history of soup is probably as old as the history of cooking, with the first soup being documented around 10,000BC. You will find soup in almost all cultures, and it plays an important role in all cuisines.
Over winter everyone craves soul warming foods and soup is one that comes up in most people’s minds. Besides the warmth, here are three reasons why soups play a role in keeping your skin and body healthy and hydrated this winter.
When water isn’t always on our mind
In winter, we don’t sweat as much so we don’t think much about thirst as much compared to those sun scorching summer months. Regardless of how much we sweat, it isn’t an accurate reflection of how much fluid we’ve loss through the day. Soups are therefore a perfect opportunity to replenish fluid loss as a main meal, snack or side dish. Try to deliberately plan soup dishes at least a couple of times a week.
Soups are not just water
Many people believe that soups don’t fill you up as much or for as long as other dishes, or they’re simply not as nutritious. When carefully selecting ingredients from all food groups, soups can be a perfectly balanced meal. For example, selecting at least 3 kinds of vegetables as the base of your soup to boost overall nutrition, dietary fibre and antioxidants, followed by a source of protein whether that be chicken, beef or tofu to help increase satiety. Adding anti-inflammatory healthy fats such as olive oil, fish or you can even blend soaked cashews to increase creaminess. Lastly, noodles, pasta, sweet potato, potato, risoni and rice are also great options as a source of carbohydrate. Don’t forget to boost the flavour with herbs and spices!
Does bone broth really work?
There is currently not enough evidence to prove how effective bone broth is for our skin specifically. However, broth cooked with bones that has simmered over a long time does contain collagen which is a structural protein found in connective tissues. When ingested, collagen will be broken down into amino acids that get used by the body such as repairing and rebuilding, including for the skin.
All nerdy science and benefits aside, after all soups are so delicious and it’s worth the slurp!
Sarah’s top pick of winter soups
- Homemade Cantonese style soup – no matter what weather, we always start or finish off a meal with soups. Ingredients vary but my favourite and most basic ones are pork bone, carrot, sweet corn, apricot kernels and snow fungus. Wash all ingredients and cook it in a pressure cooker for an hour and add a pinch of salt before serving.
- A tomato based, shredded chicken, vegetable soup with risoni. I love making this simple and nutritionally balanced soup. Quite often with leftover vegetables and I will add a can of red kidney beans for the extra fibre, protein and texture!
- When I am out and about, I’d look for my closest Roll’d Vietnamese outlet. From authentic Pho noodle soup, spicy beef noodle to coconut-based chicken curry noodle soup, I could always find one to curb my soup cravings.
About the author:
Sarah Leung is the nutrition ambassador for Roll’d Vietnamese.