A Mushroom & Orzo Soup That Goes Green With Healthy Vegetables
6 minute read
Going green does more than benefit the environment. You can go green when it comes to your health too. Eating a diet that is rich in vegetables and other nutrient-rich food will boost your health and can significantly lower your risk for serious diseases.
This recipe for mushroom and orzo soup is a lot greener than the name suggests. Full of green veggies, cooking this up will provide you with some powerful health benefits.
The Power of Green
While all vegetables are good for you, there are a few green ones that deserve that are easy to find, easy to cook, and contain a multitude of benefits. Even if they were never your favorites, once you learn what they can do for you, you will likely change your mind.
Probably the most commonly consumed green vegetable, broccoli is full of nutrition and a true superfood. Here is what it can do for you:
High antioxidant content: Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which reduces inflammation and acts as an anti-aging agent.
Cancer protection: Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli help to prevent certain forms of cancer. The bioactive agents within broccoli help to reduce cell damage done in breast, bladder, kidney, and prostate cancers.
Blood sugar control: The combination of antioxidants and fiber can help control your blood sugar levels. Regular consumption of broccoli helps to reduce insulin resistance which improves diabetic control.
Healthy digestion: The high fiber content in broccoli makes it perfect for promoting healthy digestion and bowel movements. Broccoli helps to reduce gut inflammation and provides dietary fiber for your gut bacteria, thereby promoting overall gut health and efficiency.
Brain booster: Kaempferol is a compound found in broccoli that lowers the risk for brain tissue damage caused by inflammatory attacks. It also helps to protect the brain from mental decline and supports healthy neurological development and maintenance.
Immune system boost: Vitamin C is an important vitamin in immune system function and broccoli has plenty. It helps to prevent illness and disease by keeping your immune system in top shape.
Mostly known for being a low-calorie food, celery is a green vegetable that can do more than help you lose weight.
Antioxidant powers: Like many vegetables, celery is full of antioxidants which helps protect your cells and tissues. The phytonutrients in celery specifically help protect from digestive inflammation, keeping your gut free of damage.
Low glycemic index: While delivering a host of vitamins and minerals, celery does not have a high amount of sugar and can be part of a healthy diet for diabetics.
Natural hydrator: Celery contains a large amount of water, like many vegetables.
Alkalizing effect: Celery is high in minerals, such as magnesium, sodium, and iron, that are all responsible for neutralizing acid. By reducing acidity in the body, celery can promote optimal organ function.
Leafy green vegetables have long had a reputation for being superfoods, and spinach is one of the best you can get when it comes to the leafy greens.
Free radical protection: Like the other green vegetables, with regular consumption, spinach can reduce your risk for several oxidative damage-related diseases, such as cancer and diabetes.
Better eye health: Spinach contains high amounts of lutein, a carotenoid that prevents macular degeneration and cataracts in your eyes. With those conditions being the leading cause of blindness, spinach is a great way to protect your vision as you get older. These compounds can also reverse damage that may have already been done to your eyes.
| Related: How Krill Oil Helps Boost Your Eye Health |
Blood pressure control: The nitrates in spinach help to moderate your blood pressure levels which reduces your risk for heart disease.
Cancer prevention: Two components in spinach, MGDG and SQDG, are known to slow growth of cancer cells and tumors. Eating spinach can help to reduce your risk for cancer as well as slow or suppress its progression. The antioxidant powers of spinach also help in protecting against the development of cancerous cells.
Supergreen Mushroom & Orzo Soup
This recipe will keep you warm all winter and gives you the health boost that only green vegetables can provide. There is no need to worry about taste, even if you are not fond of celery, spinach, or broccoli.
With this recipe you get it all: nutrition, comfort, and a host of green super health powers.
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1 1/4 c. celery
1/2 c. shallots
1/4 c. garlic
8 c. vegetable or chicken broth
3 c. broccoli
3 c. sliced spinach
1 c. sliced mushrooms
1 c. orzo
In a saucepan, heat olive oil on medium. Add salt, celery, shallots, and garlic and cook for 8 minutes or until golden, stirring the whole time. Add the broth and broccoli and continue to heat until simmering on high. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spinach, mushrooms and orzo and then simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Remove from heat and stir in basil pesto to taste.
The Bottom Line
You may not have liked vegetables as a kid, but as an adult there are so many more exciting ways to include them in your diet. With delicious and nutritious soups like the one above, you can enjoy green vegetables and the many health benefits they come with.
So do your part for the environment and your health by living the greenest life you can.