Often overlooked, soup can be an excellent source of nutrients, hydration, and comfort as part of a regular healthy diet. Many people only think of soup as sustenance when sick, as they turn to the healing powers of chicken noodle soup, which is an age-old classic.
Hot Soup for Cold Weather Comfort
When the colder weather approaches, we often crave the warmth and comfort of consoling foods like soup. Many of us find ourselves experiencing a shift in the foods we are in the mood for as harsh weather conditions begin to creep in.
In contrast to the light flavours of summer, with the onslaught of sweater weather, we generally want to eat meals that make us feel cozy and comfortable. There are so many reasons soup is excellent for the body, and seniors can benefit in multiple ways by including a variety of delicious soups into their regular diets.
Soup is Great Anytime, Anywhere
Soup is a nourishing meal all year round but can be incredibly satisfying on chilly days. When structuring and planning meals for seniors, there are various factors to consider. Ideally, meals should be convenient, nutritious, delicious, and something seniors look forward to eating when meal times roll around. Soup is one menu item that ticks all these boxes and more.
Tremendous Health Benefits of Soup
The following are just some of the reasons why soup is such a hearty and wholesome meal for seniors:
- Easy to Make: Soup is an easy meal to prepare, which means it is something that many seniors can manage on their own at home. Even when they don’t have help from friends, loved ones, or caregivers, you can make soup from ingredients you already have in the kitchen.
- Nourishing: Having a nice steaming bowl of soup can help to increase body temperature on those frigid days when you are chilled and it seems impossible to get warm. Soup can also help to warm and soften the stomach before eating other foods to promote better digestion.
- Hydrating: Soup is made with large amounts of water and provides the bonus of hydration. Dehydration is a common problem for older adults as the natural volume of water in the body decreases with age. An extra source of H20 can help the body stave off illness and infection.
- Nutritious: The general nature of soup preparation makes it an excellent option for packing in abundant macro and micronutrients. Things like veggies, beans, grains, and other ingredients in one bowl can create a well-balanced meal. Cooking and consuming all the ingredients in the broth also means that none of the vitamins and minerals diminish in the cooking process, so all the goodness remains in every spoonful.
- Versatile: The variations and combinations of ingredients in a soup pot are endless, making soup an adaptable meal for any occasion. Adding a wide range of components allows soups to be tailored to individual needs and tastes. Soups can be geared towards a specific diet, lower or higher calorie intake, or certain vitamins and minerals that need to be ingested.
- Satiating: Soup often gets ignored as a potential meal because it is thought to be unfilling. However, densely packed soup with various ingredients, including protein and rice or pasta, can be extremely hearty. A side of fresh whole wheat bread can also add some fortified substance.
- Convenient: Typically stewed in a large pot, soup makes great leftovers and can provide multiple meals throughout the week. Soup can also be frozen, stretching further to be pulled out of the freezer when the craving strikes.
- Shareable: Soup is a great meal for sharing, which makes it a great social meal for houseguests and visitors. The focus can be on conversation and interaction without worrying about fussing around with complicated food preparation.
- Economical: Soup is a great way to use leftover ingredients from the fridge and pantry. It can significantly help reduce food waste by making a weekly pot of soup with vegetables that are getting a little older in the refrigerator.
Soups are typically an everyday staple, providing nourishment and comfort. Whether tucking into a nostalgic bowl of soup reminiscent of our childhood days or cooking up something specifically intended to address nutritional and dietary needs, soup is a versatile and accessible meal that can offer fantastic health benefits for seniors.