Who doesn't love a hot bowl of healthy chicken soup on a cold afternoon? There is just something special about it. Ideally you should be able to cook up a pot yourself. Home made allows you to limit the salt and additives in it (all too high in most commercial varieties), as well as customize it with your own favorite vegetables and ingredients.
Hopefully everyone will chime in with some favorite rescipes of their own but when you can't make it, then try to buy the most nutritious you can.
A steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup is a go-to meal for a cold day or when you’re feeling under the weather. Research even suggests that chicken soup has healing properties: It may offer anti-inflammatory benefits, which could relieve cold symptoms, according to one study. Another found that hot chicken soup may alleviate sinus congestion. Homemade chicken noodle soup is the healthiest option because you can control the amount of salt and load it up with vegetables, said Danielle Frost, a registered dietitian in central Arkansas. But not everyone has time or access to fresh ingredients to make homemade soup, so checking out the canned variety makes nutritional sense.
“Canned soup is very convenient, relatively inexpensive, and, of course, it’s delicious, which is an important factor,” Frost said.
Since chicken noodle soup is broth-based, most canned products are already low in fat. But Frost urges consumers to check the label for sodium and protein. About 10 grams of protein per can is a good target. Anything higher is a bonus, she said, since protein keeps you fuller longer. As for salt, Frost recommends choosing canned chicken noodle soup with no more than 300 mg of sodium per serving. An ideal sodium limit is 1,500 mg per day ― and definitely follow a daily value of no more than 2,300 mg ― according to the American Heart Association.
Serving size is another factor to consider, said Luis Gonzalez, a Chicago-based registered dietitian. “Nutrition information is based on serving size, and most cans include about two servings,” he said. “If half the can, which equals one serving, is not enough, adding more water will add volume, as well as dilute excess sodium.”
Bottom of the list: Campbell's Condensed Chick Noodle soup. (and probably all condensed varieties)
Top of the List: Health Valley Organic Chicken Noodle Soup. (Has added bone broth for a bonus.)
Lots of sodium in most varieties. Since I tend to eat the entire can, which is two servings, that's almost half my recommended salt intake.
Recipe Slideshow at the end of the article offers some delicious looking bowls of soup too.