• Ane from Boomerang

5 Healthy Soup Recipes for Senior Health

Updated: 6 days ago


Baby, it’s cold outside! The cold weather is here, and that means it’s time for all the seasonal favourites that bring us a cozy feeling of comfort. Winter is perfect for big sweaters, a roaring fire in the fireplace, and a bowl of delicious, nutritious, homemade soup. We’re heading into cold and flu season, so let’s choose soups that taste great, warm us up, and holistically improve our health. Hearty homemade soups are nutritious, nutrient-rich, and can boost your immune system for the winter season ahead. If you’re a senior who has dietary restrictions or trouble chewing, you can adapt a popular soup or stew recipe to suit your needs and bring needed vitamins and minerals into your diet. Are you new to making soups or stews? It’s also remarkably easy! Even a beginner chef can easily follow an affordable soup recipe to supply a week’s worth of nutritious dinners. In this article, we’ll share the best healthy soup recipes for seniors and explore the many benefits of homemade soups and stews.


Benefits of soups for seniors

Soups and stews have always been a popular meal choice; they’re affordable, healthy, hearty, and nutritious. But you might not know just how beneficial a bowl of soup can be in the heart of winter. Many of us reach for a bowl of chicken noodle soup when we get a cold or flu. But every soup has benefits to offer that make it the perfect meal for aging bodies and tired immune systems. Let’s explore the many benefits of soups and stews.


Nutritious and immune-boosting

When you make a vegetable dish or salad, it often includes one or two vegetables. But make your own stew or soup, and you can include a whole bunch of vegetables, herbs, spices, and seasonings. This gives us a chance to reap the nutritional benefits of multiple foods at once. Take time to look into the benefits of the ingredients you include in your soup. Adding fish to a soup can enhance omega-3 fatty acids, fresh vegetables can add a diverse group of vitamins and minerals, and additions like garlic or ginger can enhance the benefits of soup for seniors. Heating up certain vegetables also makes them even better for you; cooked carrots offer more readily absorbable beta-carotene when heated, while tomatoes, kale, and swiss chard keep more nutrients when heated in a broth or stew than when steamed or cooked.


Easy to chew and digest

Soups and stews are easily digested and well suited to those of us who have trouble chewing more dense foods. If you find it difficult to cook a healthy meal that’s easy to chew, soup is a rich, hearty dish that anyone can enjoy. A delicious bowl of soup is far from boring; try creating a new recipe every week to try new flavours and foods all winter long.


Cut calories, lose weight and feel more full

A hearty soup is filling, nutritious, and could help you lose weight. Research shows that regularly consuming soup can help lower body weight, combat obesity, and aid in a more balanced diet. The best part? Make your own healthy homemade soup and enjoy as much as you’d like, without the guilt, restrictions, or deprivation of a trendy diet.


Treat inflammation and improve the overall health

Enjoying a daily cup of soup can help keep you hydrated, which helps treat inflammation and can help soothe a sore body. The high vegetable content of many soups and stews may also improve your cardiovascular health and improve your risk of cardiovascular disease and quality of life. Vegetables like lentils which are high in fibre, potassium, and other important health benefits, make soup a great meal to improve heart health and lower your chance of a stroke. Choosing heart-healthy soups that are low in sodium can help lower blood pressure and improve your overall health.


Stay warm and feel good

Many of us associate soup with positive memories, times with family, and a feeling of comfort. Studies show that having a bowl of chicken soup can help shift you into a more positive mindset centered on comfort, relationship, and positive feelings. Cooking and sharing a delicious soup on a cold day is a healthy, affordable comfort that we can all indulge in over the coming winter months. If you’re a senior who doesn’t have the energy to cook as often, making a giant batch of soup can also be a great thoughtful gift to offer a neighbour.


How to enhance the nutritional benefits of soup

Looking to maximize the nutritional benefits of soup? If you’re a senior with specific dietary needs and restrictions, soup recipes are easy to modify for a blend of vegetables and spices that help you get the nutrients you need. Try adding some of these extras to your favourite soup recipe to enhance the benefits of your favourite soup recipe and add a delicious twist while you’re at it.

  • Garlic has been popular for centuries for its health benefits. The benefits of garlic could boost your immune system, improve cardiovascular health, treat arthritis, and even prevent some forms of cancer. It’s worth noting that garlic loses some of its medicinal benefits when heated, so you may even consider adding some freshly chopped garlic to your soup once it’s already been cooked.

  • Cayenne Pepper is a popular medicinal herb. This small but mighty spice can help with pain relief, lower blood pressure, and aid in digestion. Adding a dash of cayenne could also enhance a feeling of fullness, so you won’t feel hungry so soon after eating. Do be careful when adding cayenne–soup or stew can get spicy quickly when this hot commodity is added.

  • Be watchful of how much sodium is in your soup. Although our bodies need salt, some store-bought stews or soups have high levels of sodium which aren’t suitable for those with high blood pressure. Make your own soup at home from a low-sodium broth or make your own broth. Start with a small amount of salt and only add more when you’re sure it’s needed.

  • Ask your doctor which nutrients your body could use more of, and choose a recipe that maximizes what you’re missing. For example, if your blood tests demonstrate that you’re low in iron or B vitamins, look for proteins and vegetables that help supplement what you’re missing.

  • Ginger is a great secret weapon, especially if you’re elderly and looking to maximize the health benefits of soup. Ginger can help ease nausea, treat arthritis, ease inflammation, aid in healing, and reduce your risk of cancer or other conditions. It’s also delicious and can refresh a simple soup recipe.

5 healthy soup recipes for seniors

The best soup recipes for seniors are easy to chew and digest, high in nutrients, and aid in healthy digestion for a cozy winter meal. Explore the benefits of these delicious recipes and warm up to a meal that’s healthy and tasty too.


1. Tuscan bean soup

This recipe is high in fibre and includes nutrient-rich carrots, celery, onions, and tomatoes. Ham and beans also give you a protein fix, so you feel full and can easily enjoy this as a substantial meal. Try adding extra garlic, greens, or several kinds of beans to enhance the flavour and health benefits.


2. Butternut squash soup

This soup is creamy and delicious, and it’s a great classic soup recipe to cozy up with. This recipe is for a pureed soup, so it’s suitable for seniors with trouble chewing or more sensitive stomachs. It’s also naturally vegan and gluten-free, so it’s a good fit for all diets. Butternut squash is high in B vitamins, potassium, and thiamine, so it can help keep you in great health all winter long.


3. Hearty chicken noodle soup

You can’t go wrong with this deeply comforting winter classic. Perfect this recipe for the cold and flu season, and you’ll have the perfect thoughtful gift to drop off if a friend is sick or if you’re feeling in need of some extra comfort. This soup will keep you well hydrated, and it offers protein and vegetables to round out a healthy diet.


4. Healthy lentil soup

This lentil soup recipe offers a rich flavour profile. Lentils are high in potassium, folic acid, and fibre. They’re also a healthy protein, so this soup will fill you up and can act as a replacement for meat if you are considering a vegetarian diet. Looking to add a twist to this healthy classic? Try out a lemony lentil soup recipe for a surprising, innovative soup featuring lemon and saffron.


5. Creamy seafood chowder

This chowder is a more indulgent classic well suited to special occasions or a day when you feel like enjoying a special treat. This chowder recipe is versatile, and the potatoes make it creamy and rich. Try adding salmon, clams, scallops, or other seafood favourites to make it your own. Try a low-sodium broth or a cauliflower chowder recipe to up the health factor. Now close your eyes and imagine you’re sitting by the seaside on a blustery winter day. Perfect.


Try more great recipes with Boomerang’s online classes

Our online community at Boomerang is a great place to source inspiration for your next great adventure from the comfort of your home. Our community members love to share cooking tips, information, insights, and ideas. Whether you’re looking to try something new or develop skills you already have, our community learns by doing.

Are you looking for more cozy winter inspiration? Take a minute to sign up for Boomerang and learn to make festive holiday appetizers or the best pancakes ever. Cozy up with a book, and chat about it with an online club or learn more about health and mindfulness. Boomerang is a great place to learn, make friends and get inspired for a cozy, fulfilling winter season. It’s a soup-er place to get connected.

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

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