A warm and delicious bowl of soup provides an extreme sense of comfort and solace during winters. As the temperature starts to drop, all of us crave for a soulful bowl of our favorite soup.
Also, since soups are mostly liquid, they are a great way to stay hydrated and full. They give our immune system a boost. Soups can help you stay away from cold and flu, and most of them are loaded with disease-fighting nutrients .
One of the most popular varieties of soup is Tomato Soup. Its sweet and tangy flavor, along with creamy texture, is an absolute delight. Moreover, the soup has various health benefits as well.
Health Benefits of Tomato Soup
Weight loss: Finding it tough to shed those extra pounds? Well, it has been observed that a diet rich in tomatoes can actually keep us all in tip-top shape. This is particularly true for tomato dishes combined with olive oil.
So add a dash of olive oil to your tomato soup for maximum benefits. Tomatoes are full of fiber and water, and that helps you feel satiated for longer. Drink up plenty of homemade tomato soup to cut calories and burn fat.
1. Highly Nutritious
Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomatoes) have relatively few calories, but they are packed with beneficial plant compounds and nutrients .
Here is the nutrient profile of one big (182-gram) raw tomato:
- Carbs: 7 grams
- Calories: 33
- Protein: 1.6 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Vitamin C: 28% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Fat: 0.4 grams
- Vitamin A: 8% of the DV
- Potassium: 9% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 12% of the DV
Tomatoes are also loaded with carotenoids — namely lycopene — providing about 80% of the Daily Value for lycopene.
Lycopene is the pigment that provides tomatoes their characteristic bright red color. It can also be responsible for several of their health benefits, given its potential preventive effect on several chronic diseases.
Interestingly, studies suggest that the body absorbs lycopene well when it is cooked. Heat can increase its absorption rate or bioavailability. Because tomato soup is prepared with cooked tomatoes, it is an excellent source of this compound.
2. Rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that help neutralize the detrimental effects of oxidative stress (When cell-damaging molecules called free are radicals accumulating in the body) .
Tomato soup is a great source of antioxidants, including flavonoids, lycopene, and vitamins E and C, among many others.
Consuming antioxidants has been associated with a lower risk of cancer and inflammation-related diseases, such as heart disease and obesity.
Research has also shown that vitamin C and flavonoids’ antioxidant action can help protect against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and brain diseases. Vitamin E helps boost vitamin C’s antioxidant properties.
3. Disease-Fighting Lycopene
As mentioned earlier, tomato soup comes loaded with lycopene, the pigment that provides the fruit its bright color. Processed tomatoes have more lycopene than raw tomatoes. Lycopene neutralizes the oxidative deterioration caused by free radicals, a molecule that causes aging .
A diet plentiful in lycopene can also help fight stroke and chronic diseases. A cup of tomato soup offers 13.3 milligrams of lycopene. That’s enough to keep the body fighting fit!
4. Male Fertility
Experts have claimed that a bowl of tomato soup daily can boost fertility in men. Lycopene in tomato soup can transform sperm into super-sperm! In studies conducted by a university in Portsmouth, 6 healthy men were asked to take tomato soup daily for 2 weeks.
The results showed a remarkable increase in their sperm count. Tomato soup also supports scavenging free radicals, which may cause infertility in men. So, if you are seeking to conceive, add tomato soup to the diet!
5. May have cancer-fighting abilities
Tomatoes are extensively researched for their cancer-fighting properties due to their rich lycopene content. They may be particularly effective against breast and prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the 5th leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide and the 2nd most diagnosed cancer among men. Numerous studies have confirmed a direct link between high lycopene intake, specifically from cooked tomatoes, and a reduced prostate cancer risk.
Studies suggest that lycopene can induce cancer cell death. It can also slow tumor growth in a process known as anti-angiogenesis.
Taking higher levels of carotenoids is linked with an up to 28% reduction in breast cancer risk. These carotenoids include beta carotene, alpha-carotene, and lycopene.
While these results are encouraging, evidence indicates that lycopene is not powerful enough for people to use it as an anticancer drug by itself. Studies indicate that lycopene’s antioxidant capacity can also interfere with radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
6. Improves bone health
Osteoporosis is a chronic condition characterized by increased bone fragility and fracture. It is seen as one of the most critical complications of post-menopause.
Research shows that lycopene plays an essential role in regulating bone metabolism by increasing bone mineral density, reducing fracture risk.
Other facets of bone metabolism include the balance between cells called osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Osteoclasts are answerable for bone breakdown and resorption, while osteoblasts are in charge of building bone.
Animal trials confirm that lycopene also influences bone metabolism by stimulating osteoblast activity to build bones while reducing osteoclasts’ breakdown activity.
A Word of Caution:
The only disadvantage of tomato soup is its high sodium content. A bowl of tomato soup contains 1/3rd of the daily limit. Too much sodium consumption increases blood pressure, damaging the heart, kidney, and blood vessels. If you are buying packaged tomato soup, pick the one with lower sodium content.
Tomato soup can offer several health benefits, including improved fertility in men and cancer-fighting properties. It can also benefit skin, heart, and bone health, among others. These benefits are primarily due to the numerous plant compounds in tomatoes.
However, there’s no proof to back up the claims that tomato soup eliminates fat and promotes hair growth. Tomato soup may not be a brilliant choice if you have Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
You may try making a homemade version of your favorite tomato soup to manage the fat and salt content while making the most of all the beneficial nutrients in this tasty dish.