The Nourishing Power of Soup
I can’t remember how long it’s been since my car was layered in ice and snow. Having lived in California for the last 10 years, I wasn’t prepared for the cold that hit Nashville 2 days ago followed by the precipitation that left my car completely covered. Luckily I found an old plastic CD case under my seat and was able to slowly chip away at the layers, so I could make it to my first appointment.
I have never been fond of cold weather or cold temperatures in general. Cold weather has a contracting effect on our bodies, meaning that we become tight, more closed, and in macrobiotic terms, more yang–unlike the warm temperatures of a tropical beach where we become loose, more open, more yin.
So after a morning of errands in the cold, I sat down to a lunch of lentil soup, fried rice and blanched vegetables. I had taken the soup to work with me in a thermos, so it was nice and hot. As I began eating, I could feel it as it warmed me deep in my core, and then the warmth extended to my hands and feet. For the first time today, I felt my body begin to warm and start to relax.
I recommend most of my patients eat 1-2 bowls of soup per day. Not only is soup great for hydration, but also, when eaten at the beginning of the meal, a savory soup like vegetable miso relaxes the intestines and primes your digestive tract allowing for better absorption of nutrients. When made with sea vegetables such as kombu or wakame, soup broth is loaded with minerals to support blood quality and alkalinity in the body. The warm quality of soup relaxes the body on cold days, and by making a sweet soup like pureed squash soup, this relaxing effect is amplified. It’s no wonder people gravitate to soup when they aren’t feeling well!
This is the perfect time of the year to incorporate soups and stews into your diet. Add 1-2 bowls of soup today and see how you feel!
Visit my soup recipe page for some great soup recipes – including the lentil soup I enjoyed today.