During 2017 the American weight-loss market had an estimated net- worth of approximately $66 billion. Around 50 million Americans go on a diet every year with only about 5% managing to keep the weight off, according to Colorado State University. People tend to opt for quick-fix weight-loss programs instead of more realistic, and sustainable, healthy eating plans and quickly become discouraged when the weight doesn’t fall off as fast as anticipated. Following a balanced diet filled with nutritious food is a far healthier way to lose and keep off any unwanted pounds.
Watery foods such as soup can be a great addition to any weight-loss diet due to their low-calorie density. Individuals who stick to clear or broth-based soups may have a better chance at losing weight according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. To simply lose weight, or to sustain it as part of an exercise or body transformation program eat soup at meal times instead of calorie-dense foods and meals. If you want to both lose weight and boost your fitness levels aim to incorporate the following vegetables into your next cup of soup.
Fitness-boosting soup ingredients
Squash & sugar snap peas
Squash is full of manganese, the mineral responsible for the metabolism of carbs and proteins. It is also packed with immune-boosting antioxidants and is low on calories to boot - a single cup contains only 36 calories. Squash can be paired with lentils, garlic, onions and your other favorite healthy ingredients to make a delicious yet nutritious soup. Sugar snap peas have an edible shell and are both crisp and flavourful. One of their biggest health benefits is that they are exceptionally high in B Vitamins which aid carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. Sugar snap peas pair exceptionally well with carrots and leeks for a soup that is both low in calories and very filling.
Hot peppers & corn
If you enjoy a soup with a bit of a bite don’t be shy to add hot peppers to the mix. The hot pepper family contains diverse amounts of carotenoids, Vitamin C and B Vitamins with those peppers displaying the brightest red color containing the most nutrients. Vitamin C is known to increase energy levels and immune function due to its ability to help the body absorb iron. The amount of peppers you can add to your soup is limited only by your own tolerance for heat. Corn often has a bad reputation due to its high carb content but when eaten in moderation as part of an active lifestyle, the carbs found in corn can become your friends. Corn is also rich in fibre and antioxidants and contains large amounts of healthy folate and B Vitamins. Surprisingly enough, hot peppers and corn combine very well when blended together into a healthy, hearty soup.
Mushrooms & tomatoes
Mushrooms, especially the Porcini variety, are great for soups and contain substantial amounts of ergosterol which is a precursor to Vitamin D, making is a great source of the vitamin especially for vegetarians and vegans. Tomatoes that are deep and even in color boast the highest nutritional value. Tomatoes contain lycopene, potassium, fibre, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6 – all of which have excellent health benefits such as offering protection against heart disease.
Consuming soup as part of a healthy, balanced diet can be extremely beneficial to your health. Combined with a positive mindset and regular exercise there is no reason at all why you should not have your dream physique by the time summer rolls in in a couple of months.