When it’s not complimenting America’s favorite lunch (grilled cheese), tomato soup is the creamy main dish touted by mothers across the globe.
It’s the unofficial “remedy” to unrelenting colds and flus.
And it’s the perfect wintertime dinner to eat after returning from a cold, snowy adventure.
There’s no doubt that tomato soup is a classic, hearty, and tasty meal. But when prepared fresh, this delicious soup also boasts these seven health benefits!
What’s in a Bowl?: Tomato Soup Nutrients
Tomatoes are a “superfood” famous for adding a healthy spin to pizzas, pastas, and salsas across the globe.
But after dicing the onions, sprinkling in oregano, and bringing to a simmer, what nutrients does savory tomato soup bring to the table? Here’s a sneak-peak:
- Calories: 75
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- Sodium: 471mg
- Carbs: 16g
- Protein: 2g
- Potassium: 7%
- Iron: 7%
- Vitamin A: 9%
- Vitamin C: 26%
The sodium is undoubtedly a red flag. Yet, the remaining ingredients — and the nutrients that blend into the label — will satisfy even the most nitpicky health nuts!
It’s the perfect low-calorie and nutrient-dense side dish.
And here’s why:
Strengthen the Immune System
Antioxidants like vitamin C are DIY immune system boosters. Often found in fruits like tomatoes, peppers, and citrus, antioxidants have three essential duties:
- Fighting off cell-damaging free radicals (cancer)
- Protecting the body from invasive germs (cold and flu)
- Lessening inflammation within the body (infections)
A weakened immune system and a diet low in antioxidants is a nightmarish combo. It can lead you to feel under the weather, call out of work, or infect the entire family.
Not to worry!
Vitamin-rich tomato soup can lift your spirits when you’re ill, but it can also help your tissues, vessels, and bones repair themselves after a relentless week-long cold!
Lower the Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease claims the lives of over 665,000 Americans each year. And though there could be a genetic link, heart disease is mostly preventable with a healthy lifestyle.
The two heart-healthy stars in tomato soup are lycopene and carotenoids.
Lycopene is yet another antioxidant — and also the secret behind a tomato’s red tint. This nutrient can lower LDL (the bad) cholesterol by up to 10% in regular doses!
Carotenoids play a similar role but show a closer connection to blood pressure. Foods rich in carotenoids notoriously return blood pressure to healthy levels.
Combined, tomato soup can lessen the stress on the delicate artery, blood vessel, and chamber walls — all of which slashes the risk of heart disease.
Healthier and More Radiant Skin
Facial structure and luscious locks aside, the epitome of natural beauty is radiant skin. Anti-aging serum, sunscreen, and tomato soup now join your skincare routine.
A tomato’s beta-carotene is an undercover blessing. Its antioxidant-like qualities can reverse unsightly blemishes, defend against UV (sun) damage, and revive your youth.
But the skin benefits only continue!
Tomato soup’s vitamin C is a key collagen-producer. By strengthening skin-level collagen, you can smooth out wrinkles and regain hydrated, touchable skin.
Thicker, Stronger Bones
Growing older is certainly bittersweet. You’re one year closer to retiring, but your bone and muscle strength are on a steady decline.
Osteoporosis (severely weakened and fragile bones) makes aches, breaks, and tumbles non-fleeting daily concerns.
Trusty lycopene is tomato soup’s most valuable bone nutrient. It lowers the risk of bone loss while also helping to thicken and stabilize porous bones.
Together, you can confidently stay active without a broken femur or ankle!
Enhanced Visual Acuity
Rich tomato soup won’t render your glasses useless. But thanks to its carotenoid and antioxidant trifecta — beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein — this lunch delight can:
- Prevent UV and light damage in the retinas.
- Improve night vision (vitamin A).
- Lower the chances of developing macular degeneration.
- Decrease the risk of cataracts.
Today’s creamy tomato soup won’t suddenly give you superhuman vision. But as you enter your golden years, you’ll be grateful for those tomatoes, greens, and carrots!
An astonishing 50% of people attempt to lose weight each year, but it often feels like a distant and unreachable goal.
Tomato soup could be a weight loss secret.
Because soup is both delicious and filling, that 100-calorie soup can slash your daily intake and help you feel full until dinner. The less you eat, the more fat you’ll burn!
Lower Risks of Other Deadly Diseases
Ditching the ever-creamy mushroom soup for a tangy tomato won’t change your health overnight.
But this soup does carry some nutritional promise! Thanks to its incredible antioxidant, nutrient, and ingredient fusion, tomato soup could help fend off:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High cholesterol
- Cancer (particularly prostate and breast)
- Age-related macular degeneration (progressive vision loss)
- Strokes and brain disease
Who knew healthy could taste so good?
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room:
What happens when you reach tomato overload and want to spice up your diet but don’t want to sacrifice these benefits?
Tomatoes are only the beginning!
Any low-sodium, low-calorie soup can bolster your immune system and heart health even more. Think broccoli, carrot, veggies, kale, garlic, onions, and beans.
The soupy opportunities are endless!
As healthy as homemade tomato soup can be, it does have a few flaws.
Every seasoned bowl has nearly 500mg of sodium. So, slurping tomato soup daily could topple an already high-sodium diet over the edge, increasing the risk of:
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure (or heart disease)
- Kidney disease
In other words, if you’re at risk of any of these conditions, you may want to save the rich tomato soup for grilled cheese night and snow days! Add tomatoes into your diet elsewhere (roasted tomatoes, homemade salsa, or tomato salad).
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Paramount 3800 to help them with their online marketing.