Ashley Koff, RD, previously told Well+Good that soups are the perfect meal for nights when you’re eating dinner close to bedtime. “You’re still getting great nutrients, but you’re getting them in a form where your body has to do less work,” she says. Soup is a great choice for better digestion, meaning your stomach isn’t kept up all night breaking down the foods you ate after hours.
Amy Schwarz, RD, and Kirsten Jackson, RD, who specializes in gut health, say there are a few gut-friendly summer soups that are especially good for digestion.
Summer soups for better digestion
1. Cold cucumber and garlic soup
“Garlic is good for the gut because it contains prebiotics,” says Jackson. Prebiotics feed the good bacteria in the gut, helping them to thrive. In this recipe, garlic is the starring spice in a refreshing cucumber soup. And that’s not the only gut-healthy ingredient in the bowl either. Probiotic-rich yogurt is used to make the texture thick and creamy, and mint adds a cooling layer while soothing the gut.
2. Dairy-free chicken and corn chowder
There are so many delicious and nutrition-packed veggies in season during the summer and Jackson encourages fully taking advantage of them by working them into soups. “With a vegetable soup, you’re getting a mixture of veggies in one meal,” she says, adding that the wider range of fiber sources we eat, the more diverse the good bacteria in the gut is, which is great for gut health. This chowder stars corn, celery, and onion—all in season during the summer. Jackson adds that the onion is especially good for the gut because it contains prebiotics.
Get the recipe: Dairy-free chicken and corn chowder
3. Asparagus soup
“Asparagus hits its peak in spring and early summer and it’s high in fiber—insoluble fiber in particular,” says Schwarz. “Insoluble fiber can help regulate our bowel movements and reduce constipation.” Follow this recipe to turn it into a delicious soup with other gut-friendly ingredients, such as lemon juice, mint, and garlic.
Get the recipe: Asparagus soup
4. Cold watermelon gazpacho
There’s a reason why watermelon literally has the word “water” in it—it’s one of the most hydrating fruits there is. The fruit’s fiber and water content make it a doubly great summer soup ingredient, says Schwarz. It also pairs well with other gut-healthy ingredients like onion and garlic.
Get the recipe: Cold watermelon gazpacho
5. Fish soup
As far as protein goes, Jackson says fish is a great choice to add to your summer soup because the omega-3 fatty acids help diversify the gut microbiome. In this recipe, sea bass is incorporated into a soup full of anti-inflammatory spices. The end result is a meal that’s, uh, swimming with benefits.
Get the recipe: Fish soup
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