Split pea soup is a savory and wholesome dish that’s just perfect for the cool weather. This week is National Split Pea Soup Week and also a wonderful time to introduce this healthy, hearty dish into your life.
There are many variations of this soup but it traditionally consists of split peas, chicken or vegetable broth, onions and a dash of milk for an added creamy texture. Together, these ingredients provide a myriad of benefits for your health which is why you should consider split pea soup for lunch at least once this week!
Split pea soup is loaded with soluble fiber. I have discussed fiber many times before but I will continue to stress the importance of getting enough fiber in the diet. For those who are unaware, fiber adds bulk to your meal without adding calories. It helps make meals more satiating while also bulking your stool to improve your bowel movements. Fiber also acts on your cardiovascular health by reducing serum cholesterol levels. It functions by pulling cholesterol-bound bile out of the body and into the stool.
One cup of split pea soup provides 6 grams of fiber which is 17% of the daily value based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Split peas are also a good source of many minerals. For example, split peas contain a high level of potassium. Potassium is an important mineral in regulating your blood pressure. It is also an essential part of the nervous system where it is involved in nerve conductions. Iron is another mineral that peas provide. One bowl of split pea soup can have 11% of the daily value of non-heme iron. Iron is important in the maintenance of healthy red blood cells- and if you weren’t already aware, non-heme iron can be better absorbed when it is consumed along with a source of vitamin C like orange or bell peppers.
Along with many other legumes, split peas are a solid source of protein. The recipe for split pea soup varies depending on where you look for it but many recipes involve 3 or more cups of peas. A single cup contains 16 grams of protein.
Split peas are also where you can find a high amount of vitamin K. Vitamin K is responsible for proper blood coagulation. In other words, it helps generate blood clotting when your body is exposed to an injury. Without the ability to form clots, an injury could lead to severe blood loss and can potentially be detrimental to your health. Your body also produces it’s own source of vitamin K so this isn’t normally something to worry about.
Overall, split pea soup is worth being celebrated. It’s a delicious and ample meal that can be served for breakfast lunch or dinner! I sometimes use it as an appetizer to a well-rounded meal. If you purchase canned split pea soup, be wary of the sodium content. Canned soups are loaded with salt that can contribute to high blood pressure. I recommend making your own soup at home so you have a better idea of what you’re putting into it. Enjoy!
Your Turn To Take Action: Research a split pea soup recipe that you would enjoy. Make the recipe and store it in the freezer for an easy dinner on a lazy night.