A Hearty Pot of Soup and Its Health Benefits As we head into the winter months and hunker down in our homes I always for comfort in a hearty, warm soup. I find that there is nothing better than a nice warm soup to warm you up in these dark, cold nights. There are many health benefits to some soups and their ingredients. One of my favorite soups to make and eat is a Barley and Lentil soup. Take a look at the great benefits of this soup and see how easy it is to make by following the recipe at the bottom of this article. Have a healthy winter and stay warm!
Lentils and Barley are rated as being two of the healthiest foods to consume. Here are some health benefits of consuming both Barley and Lentils on a daily basis.
Barley and Lentil have proven to be great sources of fiber, which in turn helps to prevent certain cancers, one being Breast Cancer. Studies have shown women who are consuming fiber; especially a cereal fiber had a 50% reduction in their risk of breast cancer, compared to those who did not consume any or a small amount each day.
Barley makes a great alternative to oatmeal as a hot cereal for breakfast. A cup of cooked barley provides more than ½ the daily value of selenium. Selenium is fundamental for a women’s health. Selenium has proven to have cancer-preventatives and also works with Vitamin E in numerous other vital antioxidants throughout our bodies. These antioxidants make selenium helpful for the prevention not only for cancer, but as well as heart disease.
A diet rich in fiber from whole grains, such as barley offered significant protection against breast cancer for premenopausal women (Cade JE, Burley VJ, et al., International Journal of Epidemiology). Fiber supplied by whole grains offered the most protection. Pre-menopausal women eating the most whole grain fiber had a 41% reduced risk of breast cancer, compared to those with the lowest intake (4g or less per day). 1 cup of Barley has 13.6 grams of fiber; this is the recommended daily amount of fiber to stay healthy.
Lentils are a good source of dietary fiber and manganese and a good source of iron, protein, phosphorus, copper, thiamin and potassium. Lentils, a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family, are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they are of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal.
In addition to its beneficial effects on the digestive system and the heart, soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels. If you have hypoglycemia or diabetes, lentils can really help you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy.
In addition to providing slow burning complex carbohydrates, lentils can increase your energy by replenishing your iron. Particularly for menstruating women, who are more at risk for iron deficiency, boosting iron with lentils is a good idea–especially because, unlike red meat, another source of iron, lentils are not rich in fat and calories.
This Barley-Lentil Soup is a favorite recipe of mine and my family and a great comfort food for a cold winter day. ENJOY!
Recipe for Barley-Lentil Soup
¾ cups of Pearl Barley
1 cup of Lentils
1-16oz. can of crushed tomatoes
8 cups of water
3 large cubes of Vegetable Bouillon or 6 small cubes
Sliced carrots & celery (as many as you like)
2 cloves of garlic (minced) S
alt & Pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a large stock pot and cover over medium-low heat. Let simmer for 2 ½ hours
Information for this article was taken from www. whfoods.com