(Health Secrets) Homemade soups are great for a number of reasons. A handful of leftover ingredients that are about to expire can be quickly combined into a broth that is both nutritious and delicious, and no two batches are ever quite the same. Specific vegetables can be added to address specific health concerns. This article will cover the health benefits of the 10 vegetables that are perhaps most commonly used (in various combinations) to make home cooked soup.
The top ten soup vegetables
1) Beet contain vitamins A, B (niacin) and C along with biotin, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Beets also contain folate, known to lower the risk of neural tube birth defects. Especially beneficial when consumed raw, beets stimulate liver cells, protect bile ducts, prevent heart disease, detoxify the blood and balance blood sugar levels.
2) Carrot contains the antioxidant volatile oils asarone, asparagines, carotol, carotene, limonene, and pinene. Consuming carrots can help stimulate the release of hormones via the pituitary gland. Carrots help maintain good vision. Carrot juice is highly detoxifying and cleanses the liver. Carrots have strong diuretic properties.
3) Celery contains the antioxidant volatile oil limonene. Celery has been cultivated for 3000 years, mostly as a food but as medicine as well. Celery helps detoxify the body and improve circulation of blood to muscles and joints. Celery reduces blood pressure and is used to relieve the bladder, kidneys and lungs.
4) Garlic contains the antioxidant allicin, which is formed from allin and allinase when the cloves are crushed. Garlic helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol while cleansing the liver. Offering unique health benefits when consumed raw versus cooked or aged, garlic kills parasites and has antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
5) Onion contains the antioxidant quercetin along with Vitamins C and E, folic acid and potassium. Onion relieves allergy symptoms and congestion along with reducing cholesterol. Onions can treat and prevent cataracts, atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease and help remove heavy metals from the body. Onion has antimicrobial properties.
6) Parsnip contains B vitamins, copper, fiber, and potassium. Parsnips also contain folate which has been shown to reduce the risk of certain birth defects and slow cognitive decline. Though sweet tasting, parsnips are low in calories and help balance blood sugar.
7) Green peas (dried) contain the antioxidant carotenoid lutein, along with Vitamin C, iron and protein. Peas help maintain good vision and treat macular degeneration and cataracts. Peas help lower cholesterol and detoxify the liver. Like other legumes such as lentils, peas contain a certain type of acid that can cause upset stomach. This acid can be removed by adding whey to the water and soaking the peas overnight. This ferments the peas slightly and makes them more digestible.
8) Potato is a good source of protein and potassium. Potato contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, C and K. Potato contains alkaloids that aid in the reduction of stomach acid. Used to treat peptic ulcers, joint pain, headaches, back pain, skin disorders, burns and infections, potato also contains the phytonutrient kukoamine that helps lower blood pressure. All parts of the potato plant are poisonous except the tuber, as is potato juice in large amounts. Potato has anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.
9) Squash are high in Vitamins A and C and contain high amounts of beta-carotene, potassium, folate, and manganese. Varieties that include Acorn, Butternut, Hubbard and Pumpkin, squash are useful to treat lung inflammation. Squash provide anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
10) Turnip is member of the broccoli family. Turnip is a good source of Vitamin C and iron. Turnips (particularly turnip greens) contain lutein, a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent cataracts and improves circulation. Turnip can be used to treat diabetes and high blood pressure, and to reduce cancer of the lung and stomach.
For more information:
Beets for Iron
Health Benefits of Parsnips
Health Benefits of Squash