Dieticians have repeatedly buzzed about the health benefits of tomato soup. The berry plant, mashed into a tasty bowl of hot soup, is rich in minerals and many vitamins, including vitamin C and B complex. It has also been stated to be an excellent antioxidant recipe that helps reduce the risk of specific ailments and terminal diseases. But even so, it has also been recorded that most tomato soups have added sugar, which can contribute to weight gain, and on top of this, the sodium content might increase the risk of high blood pressure. So then comes the question: Is tomato soup good for you? In this article, we'll look into berry plant soup's benefits, risks, variations, and nutritional constituents to see if you should eat tomato soup.
Before delving deep into the serious aspects of this content, let's look into the different ways to have tomato soup. The unique preparation methods might also have something to do with the mentioned risks. So, look at these variations and mentally note the ones that are great for consumption.
The Classic Tomato Soup
The classic method is the go-to recipe for most people. It involves a savory blend of tomatoes, onions, garlic, and basic seasonings like salt, pepper, and basil. Some people might garnish this liquid deliciousness with croutons or a dollop of sour cream, but at the end of the day, it's still the classic form.
Creamy Tomato Soup
This red berry soup version is heavier than the cream or milk. Usually rich and velvety in texture, it is also a fatty form of the soup. While some people could use more milk, others could pour in loads of cream, which usually adds to the higher calorie count of the stew. Creamy tomato soup is mainly served with tortillas or a crisp sandwich.
Add some drops of wine for a deep flavor note, and you've got some tomato bisque. More elegant than the last two variations, tomato bisque is still heavy on cream. But instead of milk, the added ingredient is usually butter. People typically have tomato bisque with grilled cheese or potato chips.
Spicy Tomato Soup
Shifting from the cream, this variation is for those who enjoy more heat in their soup. This recipe usually contains more chili flakes, hot sauce, or jalapeños, which add a fiery kick to the stew.
Mediterranean Tomato Soup
The Mediterranean dish inspires this recipe, and it can take on different forms. However, you can expect a light consistency with more herbs like oregano and thyme. Mediterranean tomato soup also usually contains olive oil and roasted red peppers.
Vegan Tomato Soup
Even though vegetarians can have the classic and Mediterranean style of the soup, the vegan variation is more creamy but with a strict, plant-based recipe. For instance, dairy products are switched to cashew cream or coconut milk.
Now that you know the six (6) primary forms of tomato soup, let's look into the nutritional facts to see if there's anything that's not good for you.
The nutritional content of tomato soup varies based on the type of soup you're making, the ingredients you use, and the serving size. However, we can examine the essential ingredients used in all the classic soups we explained above. Then, later, we'll look into the nutritional facts. For this overview, we're examining the traditional tomato soup in approximately 1 cup, or 240 ml.
The essential ingredients that go into the classic tomato soup are:
- Tomatoes: Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, tomatoes are the primary ingredient in tomato soup. They provide vitamin C, potassium, folate, and the antioxidant lycopene.
- Onions and garlic: These ingredients add to the flavor of the soup. They may also contain compounds with potential health benefits (such as allicin in garlic).
- Olive Oil: Often used for sautéing onions and garlic, olive oil provides healthy monounsaturated fats.
- Salt and pepper: These are just used for seasoning. However, since they are the primary source of sodium in the soup, they should be used in moderation.
- Basil or Other Herbs: Herbs like basil can enhance the soup's flavor and offer additional nutrients.
- Stock or Broth: Depending on the recipe, vegetable or chicken stock may be used as a base.
In a simple, classic tomato soup, these are the nutritional facts:
- Calories: Approximately 80-100 calories
- Total Fat: 4-6 grams
- Carbohydrates: 10–12 grams
- Dietary Fiber: 2-3 grams
- Protein: 2-3 grams
- Vitamin C: About 20–30% of the recommended daily intake (RDI)
- Potassium: Around 10–15% of the RDI
- Lycopene is a potent antioxidant primarily found in tomatoes with potential health benefits.
With all the above numbers, you can see that tomato soup is a healthy choice. Nonetheless, here are the specific health benefits of berry soup:
Maybe the soup cannot do that, but tomatoes are rich in antioxidants. For instance, lycopene, in particular, has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including certain cancers and heart disease.
Classic or Mediterranean tomato soup is an excellent option if you're into weight management. Easily matched with zucchini noodles or cucumber sandwiches, the soup is also naturally filled with herbs and essential nutrients for a balanced WW meal.
Unlike most soups, tomato soup has a vast liquid content (even in the berry). This content contributes to hydration, especially when consumed as a hot broth.
Given that tomato soup is rich in essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and potassium, it's only likely for your immune system to develop. Also, the vitamin content helps with blood pressure regulation and overall well-being.
A bowl of tomato soup (especially when served hot) reduces stress and promotes relaxation. Easier to prepare, it is also a base for various add-ins, including vegetables, legumes, or lean proteins, allowing for a balanced and customizable meal.
So what are the things to look out for?
Since tomato soup is made delicious by seasonings, it's possible to have too many spices. Therefore, when preparing your tomato soup at home, be mindful of the salt, pepper, and other seasonings.
Again, canned tomato soups or those that are commercially prepared stand the risk of being artificially sweetened with added sugar. Though delicious, continuous consumption of this soup can contribute to weight gain.
In creamy tomato soups, there could be more calories and saturated fat, raising cholesterol levels and increasing the risk of heart disease. Also, the soup may contain common allergens such as dairy, wheat (in croutons), or soy (in some store-bought varieties). So, be mindful of your dietary restrictions and check labels for allergen information.
Some people may find the soup acidic, leading to gastrointestinal discomfort or heartburn. So, if you have acid reflux or a sensitive stomach, consider moderation or opt for lower-acid varieties.
In general, tomato soups are suitable for everyone. However, you need to be mindful of the specific ingredients you use. If you have acid reflux, switch to a different soup type, and if you have an allergic reaction to diaries, convert to other plant-based cream products. All in all, tomato soup, when prepared correctly, has multiple health benefits (not to mention that it is tasty).