5 Reasons Why Soup for Breakfast is the New Green Smoothie
When you’re doing your weekly meal prep, have you ever thought of preparing a big batch of soup…for breakfast?
Sure, soup may not be a typical morning meal in the U.S., but having it for breakfast can improve your digestion, boost your energy levels, and increase your nutrient intake (with minimal effort). It’s like the winter version of a green smoothie. Besides, there are few things more comforting on a cold winter morning than having something warm to sip on, are we right?
Having soup for breakfast may sound strange, but it is popular in other cultures. For example, changua—also known as “egg soup” or “hangover soup”—is a traditional Colombian breakfast food, made with only a few simple ingredients: cheese, eggs, milk, toasted bread, and cilantro. Pho is a traditional rice noodle soup in Asia, but in America, we typically think of pho as a lunch or dinner meal.
While traditional meals differ between cultures, there may just be something to be said for having soup as your first meal of the day. Let’s look closer at the health benefits you can experience by trading your scrambled eggs and bacon for a delicious, savory broth.
5 Reasons to Have Soup for Breakfast
1. Effortlessly Boost Your Nutrient Intake
One of the biggest struggles of the chaotic, modern-day lifestyle is getting good nutrition, and enough of it. When we’re constantly in a rush, trying to juggle a million tasks at once, preparing (and taking time to thoroughly chew) a nourishing breakfast, or prioritizing the recommended eight servings of vegetables per day takes a back seat. And we get it—it’s the way our society operates.
Unfortunately, a lack of nutrients in your diet can quickly take a toll on your energy levels, digestion, quality of sleep, and even your mood, focus, and productivity—which is why it’s crucial to find a better way to fuel yourself with essential nutrients first thing in the morning (and no, we’re not talking about a multivitamin).
Making a big pot of soup loaded with leafy greens, broth, and vegetables is the easiest way to increase the amounts of vitamins and minerals in your diet. In fact, soup may even be richer in bioavailable nutrients than a green smoothie, since the veggies have a longer period of time to soak in the liquid, which allows more nutrients to be released. If you use bone broth as your base instead of a regular stock, you also get the added benefits of collagen, gelatin, and several anti-inflammatory amino acids that contribute to restful sleep, gut repair, and glowing skin.
If you’re thinking a liquid breakfast couldn’t possibly keep you full until lunch, you may be surprised. You can add healthy fats to your soup recipes to sustain you, like olive oil or ghee. As mentioned above, if you use bone broth, you’ll also add extra protein to your soup recipes, since it’s rich in collagen and gelatin.
2. Can Be Customized to Fit with ANY Diet (Ketogenic, GAPs, AIP Leaky Gut, Low FODMAP)
If you’re following a special diet, you know the struggle is real when it comes to getting creative with your meals—especially when most food groups are off limits. If you’re trying to heal leaky gut or following the Low FODMAP diet, grains, dairy, and gluten are the first foods to go. On the ketogenic diet, the majority of carbs are blacklisted.
Luckily, there are no “rules” when it comes to making soup. You can throw all the ingredients that suit your diet into one pot, simmer, customize the flavor with your favorite herbs and spices, and voila! You get a wider variety of nutrients, and it’s an easy way to eat more of the recommended foods that can help you get the results you’re after.
3. Promotes Better Digestion Throughout the Day
One of the biggest factors that can hinder digestion is not chewing your food thoroughly, which can lead to bloating, gas, and other painful digestive symptoms. Undigested food in your GI tract can also worsen conditions such as gut dysbiosis, candida, and leaky gut syndrome by attracting unhealthy bacteria that ferments and breaks down the solids.
A breakfast soup is the perfect antidote to this. It requires minimal chewing. It is packed full of vitamins and minerals that are easy for your body to digest and absorb. You can also sneak plenty of fiber into your soup recipes (one of the most important components of keeping your digestion regular and your GI tract “squeaky clean”)—just add leafy greens and vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, and zucchini to a broth, then simmer and blend.
Having a warming beverage (or soup) is also recommended in certain cultures to optimize digestion throughout the day. In traditional Chinese medicine, it’s believed that cold beverages can paralyze your digestive enzymes, which can slow down digestion and absorption of nutrients.
4. Helps You Save Big on Time and Money
Preparing a big batch of soup to last you throughout the week is one of the easiest ways to save time and money. Not only does it make the perfect grab ‘n’ go breakfast for busy mornings (you can even drink it on your way to work in a thermos), most recipes call for only a few basic, inexpensive ingredients, such as produce and broth. The average prep time for a simple recipe is less than 10 minutes before you to leave your soup on the stove to simmer while you get other things done around the house.
You can also prepare a few batches of soup at once and freeze them as single servings to defrost on busier days.
Making a big batch of soup is also a great way to clean out your fridge and use up all of your ingredients that might otherwise go to waste (a nice plus for your wallet).
5. Never Gets Boring
We believe one of the tricks to sticking to a healthy diet and lifestyle is variety—especially if you’re following a special diet. With a limited selection of “approved” foods, you may end up having the same foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.
Soup is an easy way to keep your meals interesting. You can experiment with different herbs, spices, broths (personally, we love rotating between beef bone broth, chicken bone broth, and mushroom chicken bone broth when we make our soup recipes) and vegetables.
Having soup for breakfast may seem like a great idea for the winter, but you can also have soup for breakfast in the summer too! If you don’t feel like hot soup in the summer months, you can try refreshing chilled soup recipes like creamy cucumber dill, pineapple cucumber gazpacho, and cucumber watermelon mint. (Pinterest has it all!)
As you can see, adding a few delicious soup recipes to your diet is one of the easiest ways to improve your health year-round. If you’re looking for some soup recipe inspiration, here are a few of our favorites that pack a massive punch in flavor and nutrition:
And hey— if you want to keep things simple, you can also heat up a mug of bone broth first thing in the morning, too!