Is Vegetable Broth Healthy? Since ancient times, chefs have believed that simmering vegetables in broth can make them more digestible. The low-calorie, high-fiber addition of vegetable broth to meals helps prevent constipation and adds a savory element to most foods.
Today, vegetable broth has grown in popularity as more people have started focusing on eating healthy foods in an effort to prevent disease and improve their health.
Broths made from fresh ingredients like vegetables and herbs can be used as a substitute in recipes calling for canned or packaged broths, typically made from dehydrated or ground-up ingredients that aren’t always fresh or tasty.
Besides, health experts are also discovering its unique flavors, versatility, and health benefits, but what exactly are those health benefits? Let’s take a closer look.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Vegetable Broth?
While you might assume that vegetable broth simply consists of vegetables and water, in fact, there are many health benefits you may not be aware of. To help you learn more about why vegetable broth is good for you, here are ten surprising ways it can benefit your health!
1. Vegetable broth is nutrient-dense
Water may be what we usually think of when we see or hear broth, but it’s actually full of healthy nutrients. Vegetable broth is packed with minerals like calcium and magnesium and vitamins like vitamin A, C, E, and K. Because they’re both so nutrient-dense—not to mention low in calories and high in fiber—broths make an excellent addition to any diet.
2. Fights inflammation
Anti-inflammatory properties found in vegetables are equally present in vegetable broth. This may help fight chronic inflammation, which can cause health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.
This makes vegetables an essential part of a healthy diet, and drinking vegetable broth can be an easy way to up your intake.
3. It may boost the immune system
If you want to stay healthy, it’s a good idea to consume plenty of vegetables. They are loaded with health-boosting nutrients like vitamins and minerals. One easy way to increase your intake is by making vegetable broth part of your diet.
Vegetable broths, especially those containing tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, celery, and beets, are high in glutamine, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties that could boost your immune system. Since inflammation is associated with many diseases, eating foods like vegetable broth that help lower inflammation is important.
Additionally, another study, also published in Nature’s Scientific Reports, found that nutrients from vegetable broth improve immune function by stimulating interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), a type of signaling protein that helps your body recognize invaders.
4. It may improve colds and flu
Studies have shown that drinking hot liquids (like vegetable broth) containing nutrients such as electrolytes can help prevent colds and flu. Why? When you’re sick, your body loses electrolytes like potassium, calcium, and magnesium through sweat. Replacing these lost electrolytes helps your immune system recover faster. Vegetable broth is also rich in vitamin C, which could potentially assist in fighting infections. So the next time you feel under the weather, a warm vegetable broth may help restore a normal temperature and restore your wellbeing.
5. Promotes body detoxification
Drinking vegetable broth regularly is a great way to help your body detoxify and absorb nutrients more effectively. The soluble fiber in vegetables helps pull toxins out of your digestive tract and into your large intestine, where they can then be eliminated from your body via waste. This will keep you feeling healthier overall while helping you shed unwanted pounds.
6. It’s an anti-aging remedy
Anti-aging: Simply put, eating your veggies reduces wrinkles; vegetable broth contains antioxidant vitamins A and C that stave off aging’s effects. Vitamin C also boosts collagen production – if we lose collagen, we lose elasticity, and signs of aging begin to appear, such as sagging skin or broken capillaries.
7. It may promote weight loss
Vegetable broth is a healthy, low-calorie alternative to oil or cream-based soups and other dishes. A study published in Obesity Research found that women who consumed three servings of vegetables per day, in addition to a reduced-calorie diet, lost more weight than those who followed a traditional calorie-restricted diet. Like vegetables, vegetable broth is low in calories and contains many nutrients that aid weight loss, including fiber and water content.
Moreover, drinking a vegetable broth before your meals can help you eat less, reduce your calorie intake, and enhance weight loss.
8. It improves digestion
Improving your digestion will allow you to absorb more nutrients from your food. Vegetable broth is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, significantly improving digestion. Consuming at least 25 grams of fiber per day has been shown to lower cholesterol and help manage diabetes.
9. It may protect against cancer
Veggies aren’t just good for your waistline; they’re also crucial to your overall health, including cancer prevention. For example, a recent study in Cancer Prevention Research found that drinking vegetable broth before meals decreased levels of carcinogenic compounds in saliva and increased the production of cancer-fighting saliva proteins. Other research has found that consuming more fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of cancer-causing mutations and mortality from certain cancers.
Particularly, drinking vegetable broth may help lower your risk of colon cancer. Certain compounds in vegetables, such as indoles and isothiocyanates, can bind to DNA and prevent mutations that might lead to cancer. Some types of heterocyclic amines are also less able to form when animal proteins have been replaced with vegetable proteins.
These chemicals react with amino acids in meat at high temperatures and create carcinogenic compounds that build up in our bodies over time. Eating a diet rich in healthy plant-based foods will decrease these risks. Staying away from processed meats will also reduce cancer risks because high heat during processing creates harmful chemicals associated with various cancers, including colorectal, breast, prostate, and pancreatic.
While vegetable broth cannot cure or prevent cancer on its own, it can certainly be part of an anti-cancer diet.
10. Improves eye health
A diet rich in vegetables helps maintain eye health by preventing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. However, not all vegetables are equal; raw and cooked versions of some veggies have different nutrient profiles. In particular, cooked carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in your body. And when it comes to maintaining vision, getting enough beta-carotene is important: Vitamin A keeps our retinas healthy and aids in seeing clearly.
You can boost your intake of carotenoids, including lycopene (found in tomatoes), lutein (from greens like spinach), and zeaxanthin (from leafy greens)—by adding antioxidant-rich vegetables like kale or broccoli into your broth.
11. Boosts energy levels
Many people rely on coffee and energy drinks to give them a boost throughout their day. While coffee may have some health benefits, it’s also high in caffeine and can keep you from sleeping at night among other issues. Instead of relying on caffeine-containing beverages, try sipping some vegetable broth when you need an extra push—it’s naturally packed with potassium and iron, both of which are key for a healthy nervous system that regulates energy levels.
12. Supports joint health and flexibility
Not only is drinking vegetable broth a great way to add some veggies to your diet, but it’s also a great way to help improve joint health and flexibility. It’s full of glucosamine, which can help strengthen connective tissue and protect against inflammation. Glucosamine has also been shown to improve joint function in people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This can be especially helpful for older adults who are susceptible to painful joints.
13. Promotes healthy hair and nails
Some people claim that they’ve noticed their hair or nails growing at a faster rate after regular consumption of vegetable broth. While it’s hard to say whether or not there is anything to these claims, we know that many vitamins and minerals are found in vegetables and fruits, which makes them an essential addition to our diets, and vegetable broth is one easy way to get some.
Moreover, researchers have found that drinking two cups of vegetable broth daily can boost collagen production and elasticity. Collagen is key to glowing skin and can promote healthy-looking hair and nails.
14. Improves cardiovascular health
Drinking vegetable broth can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and improve heart health. Studies have shown that consuming 1 to 2 cups per day can help prevent cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction, stroke, atherosclerosis, and coronary artery disease. In some cases, just a few weeks of regular consumption can show positive results. If you’re already suffering from cardiovascular issues, drink vegetable broth regularly to help minimize risk factors like elevated triglycerides and high blood pressure.
Homemade Vegetable Broth or Store-Bought
Vegetable broth is low in calories and fat, so you may think it’s healthy, but is it? It depends on what kind of vegetable broth you buy at the store and whether you choose to make your own at home. Whether or not it’s healthy comes down to the ingredients used to make it and how the broth was cooked—and whether or not any additional ingredients were added once the broth was made.
Store-bought vegetable broth can be convenient when you don’t have time to make your own, but there are many reasons why you should skip the stuff in the plastic bag and make it yourself instead.
For instance, homemade vegetable broth tastes different than store-bought broth; while they may have the same ingredients on the label, the process used to make them will change their taste considerably.
In addition, most store-bought broth contains additives, chemicals, and preservatives linked to severe health issues such as heart disease and cancer. Store-bought broth also typically has more sodium than homemade, so if you have high blood pressure or are on a sodium-restricted diet, you’ll want to choose homemade broth instead of store-bought options.
How to Make Home Made
To prepare your homemade vegetable broth, use whatever vegetables, herbs, and seasonings you’d like. Many recipes call for carrots, onions, garlic cloves, celery stalks, and fresh herbs (such as parsley or cilantro), but there’s no strict formula that says you can’t add more veggies to the pot! Think of it as a way to get some extra nutrition in your diet without having to take any extra steps to make it happen.
The homemade broth takes a bit more effort than store-bought, but it’s much tastier. If you’re new to making your broth at home, just follow these simple steps.
Simmer fresh ingredients like carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and some spices in hot water over low heat—this process draws out vitamins from vegetables while reducing odors and producing amazing flavor.
Strain out the vegetable matter and pour broth into containers for storing or freezing.
The key to making a rich vegetable broth is using high—quality, organic ingredients. Not only is it better for you, but it tastes delicious as well.
The homemade vegetable broth will last for about four days in your refrigerator before going bad, whereas frozen one can last for weeks to months.
How to Use Vegetable Broth
Besides drinking your vegetable broth as is, vegetable broth can be used in cooking or as the base for soups, stews, and sauces. It can also be used as part of a vegetarian or vegan diet to replace animal products like meat stock and chicken broth.
Vegetable broth is one of those ingredients you may not use in everyday cooking, but it’s worth keeping on hand for specific recipes or quick meals.
Vegetable broth may seem like it’s just water with vegetables, but it’s actually a nutritious and beneficial ingredient.
There are many benefits to drinking vegetable broth, including its ability to promote weight loss, maintain healthy hair and skin, aid digestion, improve cardiovascular health, fight cancer, improve joint health, and more.
While you can quickly grab a bag of vegetable broth from the store, it’s always best to prepare your own at home. This is because store-bought vegetable broth can be high in sodium and generally contains additives and preservatives that are not good for your health.
On the other hand, homemade versions are considered healthy since one is aware of precisely what goes into them. Plus you can add any ingredient of choice, unlike store-bought, which is limited to certain ingredients.
Besides, making vegetable broth is pretty easy, and you don’t have to make it every day as you can pack and freeze it for future use.
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