Eating soup can be good for your heart health. About 647,000 people in the U.S. die each year from heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the country for men and women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you’re looking for foods that can improve or maintain your heart health, consider soup, says Jack Bishop, chief creative officer of America’s Test Kitchen.
1. Bean And Lentil Soups
Soups that feature beans and lentils are the healthiest, says Kate Patton, a registered dietitian in the Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute. “Beans and lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein, and therefore have no saturated fat or cholesterol,” Patton says. They also have plenty of fiber and potassium, a mineral that’s in low supply in most Americans’ diets.
2. Broccoli-Potato Soup
For a heart-healthy version of broccoli-potato soup, make it without using high-fat cream, advises Denice Taylor, a registered dietitian with Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital in Arlington, Texas. Instead of using cream, consider adding pureed white beans and potatoes or tofu. “It will add a creamy texture without all the fat,” Taylor says.
3. Chicken And Wild Rice Soup
Traditionally creamy soups aren’t considered heart-healthy because they contain heavy cream, cheese and/or butter, says Kristen Frie, a registered dietitian nutritionist with the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program in Rochester, Minnesota. By not using heavy cream, this soup is healthier for your heart. “This is a great soup to squeeze plenty of vegetables in, including onions, carrots and celery,” Frie says. “Sauté them in the pan for added flavor, before adding in a small amount of flour to coat the vegetables and later thicken the soup. For the liquid, consider adding low-sodium chicken or vegetable soup broth to keep the sodium down, as well as skim milk for a dose of protein and calcium.”
4. Chicken Tortilla Soup
At many restaurants, chicken tortilla soup is loaded with high-fat, high-calorie toppings, including fried tortilla strips, cheese and sour cream, but the soup itself has great texture and flavors, Frie says. Skip the extras to make this soup a heart-healthy choice. Ingredients for this soup can include: Black beans. Garbanzo beans. A pureed can of tomatoes with no added salt. Frozen corn. Wheat orzo. Herbs and spices.
5. Creamy Cauliflower-Potato Soup
Craving a creamy and comforting soup that’s also heart-healthy? There are some easy substitutions that can make a creamy soup good for your heart, says Lisa Jones, a registered dietitian based in Philadelphia. Try making a delicious and heart-healthy potato soup by combining potatoes, cauliflower, low-sodium vegetable broth, brown rice flour and non-fat milk. “You could even top it with turkey bacon and low-fat shredded cheese,” Jones says.
6. Cream Of Mushroom Soup
Mushrooms are packed with potassium, which helps heart health by regulating blood pressure, Jones says. They also have plenty of fiber, which is also good for your heart. Use non-fat milk and corn starch to provide creaminess. Add mushrooms, garlic and onions for a tasty and heart-healthy soup. Place the ingredients in a pot on medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes.