As most people know, vegetables are necessary for a healthy diet— they provide many antioxidants and vitamins that play a pivotal role in the immune system. Also, a balanced diet is important with an active lifestyle, and veggies are an essential part of this. I love my veggies, and an easy way to get all the benefits of them is in a delicious soup recipe that I’ll share below.
First, here are some of the benefits of the ingredients in this soup:
Green peas. Peas have a unique assortment of health-protective phytonutrients with many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits like coumestrol that some research shows may prevent stomach cancer. Other phytonutrients in peas include catechin and epicatechin.
Green peas are a starchy vegetable, but are a low-fat food. Some research has shown that green peas are a reliable source alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). One cup has 30 milligrams of ALA. Peas also have vitamins like C and E.
Carrots. Carrots have beta-carotene that’s converted into vitamin A, which is important for eye health and vision. Some studies have shown that carrots may prevent some cancers. Carrots also have many beauty benefits because the high amounts of beta-carotene contain antioxidants that may slow down the aging of cells.
Green beans. Green beans are rich in source of dietary fiber and many antioxidants like lutein, beta-carotene, violaxanthin, chlorophyll (responsible for the green color) and neoxanthin. Green beans also have many benefits for our cardiovascular system as well as inflammatory properties.
Celery. Celery is a good vegetable choice for dieting and weight loss because one large stalk contains only 10 calories! Celery also helps to reduce inflammation in our joints, and is good for our digestion system because it is a high-water content food and has insoluble fiber. Celery contains sodium but is organic and it is a good choice for replacing electrolytes that we lose when we sweat during exercise. Two studies at the University of Illinois show that luteolin, a powerful flavonoid in celery, may inhibit the growth of cancer cells, especially in the pancreas.
Spinach. Many athletes include spinach in their diets because it is a very low-calorie food with many antioxidants and health benefits. Spinach is in vitamin C, vitamin E food source, potassium, and phytochemicals including lutein, which is important for eye health.
Organic grass-fed meat. This meat is rich in omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), vitamin A (as beta-carotene) and E. According to University of Wisconsin research, CLA may help prevent weight gain after weight loss.
Protein Vegetable Soup
40 grams (about 1.5 oz) green peas
45 grams (about 1.6 oz ) carrots, cut in small cubes
40 grams (about 1.5 oz) green beans
30 grams (about 1 oz) celery
1 cup spinach
4 cups of water
90 grams (about 3 oz) flank steak— organic grass fed
Pepper and salt (optional)
Put the water in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the carrots, peas, celery, meat and the salt/pepper, and stir occasionally. When the water boils, just turn the temperature to low, then add the spinach and the green beans and wait 5 minutes. Serve right away and enjoy this delicious soup.