Eat your soup

Too busy to grab a healthy beverage? Give soups and broths some thought, tell experts

Over the last few years, we’ve developed a great affinity for certain kitchen gadgets including but not limited to the soup maker, the mixer grinder, the juicer, et al. We keep going back and forth to these gadgets, with the hope to find newer ways to eat healthier, rather drink healthier. Juices have led the popularity charts for a bit, but lately, we’ve become huge fans of having soup for lunch, dinner and in between and beyond. And numbers prove so, according to a 2021 study by tastewise.io, soup popularity changed by 22.12% over the past year. On average, soup is consumed 2.61 times every year, and the market adoption for soup in restaurants is 48.13% and it is 2.85% of recipes. Rewind a bit and you’d learn that commercial soup became popular with the invention of canning in the 19th century, and today a great variety of canned and dried soups are on the market. Also, the broths are giving the soups a tough competition. We dig deeper as we get our soup and broth spoons ready.


Soup vs. broth

Nicci Clark, CEO and founder, Re:Nourish, a brand that offers microwaveable grab-and-go soup bottles with health benefits, says, “The benefits of consuming soups are that it reduces bloating, reduces portion intake which in turn reduces calorie intake leading to weight loss and eases digestive issues.” Their fresh soups are sans additives, preservatives, and allergens, and have no added sugar. Interestingly, it’s not just soups that are on the healthy beverage menu, its counterpart, the broth is there too. “The recommendation of incorporating broth in one’s diet lies in its ability to enhance the body’s ability to detoxify, particularly the liver, by providing it with an amino acid called glycine (from collagen content and in abundance in bone broth). It is generally made by the liver, but due to today’s lifestyle and hectic daily routines, we do not produce enough at all; hence any extra you get through incorporating broth in your diet gives your liver something it needs to naturally clean itself. The whole world has gone sluggish if you ask me. Hence incorporating this liquid gold as a mug-a-day has a tremendous impact on the body simply by cooking with it or incorporating it as a liquid snack between the solid regular meals,” said Hadil Al-Khatib, founder, The Broth Lab and co-owner, The Roost Rotisserie. Hadil, who is also an IIN (Institute of Integrative Nutrition) certified gut health coach, recommends enthusiasts to give the one-week cleanse by The Broth Lab a try, which is mainly solid meals that incorporate liquids in the form of broths to enable the body to detoxify and lose weight the healthy way.

Eating soups is a great way of getting the essential fibre and vitamins and keeping to a low-fat diet.

Nicci Clark, CEO and founder, Re:Nourish

So, what’s a full-on liquid diet?

The Mayo Clinic defines a liquid diet as a diet consisting of clear liquids — such as water, juices, broth, and plain gelatin — that are easily digested and leave no undigested residue in the intestinal tract. A few of us, especially weightwatchers, have found ourselves tempted to go on a liquid diet, with the hope to lose kilos and inches faster via shortcuts. “I would not recommend a completely liquid diet for more than five days, as you will end up missing important nutrients including fat, fibre and protein. This is especially true with juice-only cleanses,” advised Nicci. “Having differentiated the two types of liquid meal plans, the full liquid meal plan (with no solids) is not suitable long-term unless the benefits outweigh the risks of being on it for more than one month as only if under strict doctor's or dietitian's supervision,” advised Hadil.

New research and advancements in nutrition today have shed promising factual benefits of incorporating broth into one’s diet, particularly gut health and immunity.

Hadil Al-Khatib, founder, The Broth Lab and co-owner, The Roost Rotisserie


A mug a day keeps the doctor away

Incorporate a pouch of broth a day, which is two mug servings in one’s daily routine. This can be done for any duration; the challenge is a week, but you can do it longer without any risks or side effects. I personally have been doing it for over nine years. My family for over eight and we will continue to do so. It has also been shown to be beneficial for treating low ferritin levels and other nutritional deficiencies, healing leaky gut, balancing lost electrolytes and cellular dehydration as well as boosting the immune system; something we all should be doing in this era of corona! This is how you safely and effectively incorporate a full-liquid meal diet daily – as I always say: a mug a day keeps the doctor away!

(As told by Hadil Al-Khatib, founder, The Broth Lab and co-owner, The Roost Rotisserie)


I don't want to lose weight; shall I still go in for soup?

Hadil said, “Incorporating broth in one’s diet should be mainly for its delicious flavours (hello gourmet food at home!) and for its profound health benefits. It should not be aimed for weight-loss solely.” “Swapping a sandwich of white bread with processed meat for a healthy soup that is packed with fibre and vitamins helps the body,” agreed Nicci. “Yes, weight loss is a positive consequence of eating clean and healthy, it is obvious, but also because the broth is low in calories – 50 calories only in a broth serving which is the recommended snack between the meals. Further, it is also rich in amino acids and high in protein, so it gives one the feeling of being full — hence the weight loss,” added Hadil. “They are light on the stomach and great for the digestive system as well,” remarked Juan Pablo Rey Nores, executive chef, Weslodge Saloon City Walk and Business Bay.


Soups and broths are loaded with vitamins and essential nutrients and are super easy to prepare and serve, which makes them a popular addition to multi-course meals.

Juan Pablo Rey Nores, executive chef, Weslodge Saloon City Walk and Business Bay


Isn't it better to eat vegetables and fruits vs. liquid-ifying them?

Juan added, “The vegetables in this liquid food are easily assimilated into the body, and vegetables don’t lose nutrients in this kind of preparation.” One bottle of Re:Nourish digest carrot and ginger soup has half your daily fibre intake needs and all the vitamin A you need, which is essential for the immune system and eye health. Beetroot, cranberry, cucumber, spinach, tomato, and celery are best used when juiced out, suggested Hadil. “Absolutely. Our brothies, smoothies that are blended and broth infused, so the fibre is still in. Similarly, with broth-infused soups, they contain blended veggies such as spinach and beetroot which when liquified, allow for their enzymes and minerals to be easily absorbed by the gut,” said Hadil. “It’s all about the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, with juices rather than eating fruits. The sugars (glucose and fructose) in the juice will cross the intestinal wall far quicker without soluble fibre present in whole fruit because the barrier will be missing. Vitamins A, D, E & K require fat absorption. Hence soups have a lower sugar content than juices making them healthier and less of a sugar spike in the blood,” added Nicci.


In your shopping cart

  • Kale is the queen of vegetables and contains more vitamin C than an orange per 100g.

  • Red bell peppers are not a vegetable, but fruit. 1 bell pepper contains B vitamins for immunity and vitamin C. This is certainly a super fruit!

  • Carrots are a great source of fibre, beta carotene (the body converts it to Vitamin A) and Vitamin K. Studies show that carotene has been linked to reducing the risk of cancer.

(As told by Nicci Clark, CEO and founder, Re:Nourish)

This piece was first published in Khaleej Times.

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