4 Healthy Soups and Stews for Athletes

STACK Expert Kait Fortunato sings the praises of four healthy soups and provides links to their recipes.

Soups and stews are among my favorite options this time of year. Of course they can warm you up after a chilly practice, but their benefits extend far beyond that. If you know what to put in it, your stew or soup can be positively packed with protein and vegetables. Not only are they inexpensive, but soups and stews make great leftovers. I often make extra soup and freeze it in a ziplock bag or individual containers to take to lunch.

Soup makes an excellent post-workout meal or snack thanks to its high content of liquid. Soup helps to replenish your fluids after workouts in ways other foods can't, and their salt content is great for replacing electrolytes. Many soups are also rich in vitamins and filled with fiber, which means they provide a great nutritional bang for your buck. Soup is also easier to digest for many people, easier to put down after a workout than solid food options.

But not every soup or stew is a nutritional superstar—it all depends on what you put in it. If you put in healthy, high-quality ingredients, odds are you'll have a very healthy soup. Here are some of my favorites.

RELATED: 5 Unhealthy Soups You Should Skip

1. Whole Foods Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

This is a hearty dish I often make this time of year. Besides adding a rich flavor to the chili, pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A, which helps bone development and contributes to a strong immune system. Turkey is a lean protein and beans are packed with fiber and carbohydrates.

2. Food Network Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup

This soup's high fiber content, which comes from the potatoes and peas, is sure to keep you full and satisfied. Peas are also high in protein and contain a balance of both fast- and slow-digesting carbs to keep you energized.

3. EXOS Knowledge Peanut and Sweet Potato Soup

Peanut and Sweet Potato Soup

I know it's different, but trust me on this one—I love this flavor combination! The addition of peanut butter delivers omega-3 fats to lower inflammation and protein to build muscle. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of carbohydrate for athletes and are full of vitamin C and iron.

4. Cookie and Kate: Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

I love how easily this soup comes together. Everything you need to make it is probably in your pantry. This soup packs in dark, leafy greens, one of the most nutritious foods around, high in vitamin K, iron and calcium. The cumin aids in digestion and packs in additional antioxidants. Lentils are similar to beans, loaded with vegetarian-friendly protein and fiber.

RELATED: Bone Broth Breakdown: Should You Eat This 'Super' Soup'?


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: PROTEIN | DIET | WORKOUTS | FIBER | FOODS | BEANS | POTATOES | CHILI | SWEET POTATO