Is Chicken Tortilla Soup Healthy?

Tortilla soup is healthy and comforting.

Tortilla soup is healthy and comforting.

Flavorful, filling chicken tortilla soup is an easy-to-make, nutritious dinner or lunch dish. Made with one chicken breast, a handful of cilantro and 1 cup each of black beans, chicken and avocado, veggie soup can yield more than 30 grams of protein, 54.6 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C, 30 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin A and 30.7 percent of vitamin K.

Chicken

Chicken is a great source of protein, an essential nutrient that helps the body form cells, make antibodies, repair tissues and build muscles. One 100-gram chicken breast contains 15.78 grams of protein. The meat is also rich in niacin, a vitamin that is important for blood sugar and cholesterol control. Niacin is also essential to the production of many hormones and has an antioxidant effect. The selenium in chicken is important for the health of the metabolic and immune systems and may even reduce the risk of developing cancer. One 100-gram chicken breast contains 15.78 grams of protein

Healthy Tomatoes

The tomatoes in chicken tortilla soup have many health benefits. Loaded with powerful antioxidants called carotenoids, tomatoes can reduce the damage done by free radicals and the risk of developing cancer. Tomatoes are also great for cardiovascular and bone health and may even lower the risk of developing neurological conditions, including Alzheimer's disease. One cup of fresh, chopped tomatoes has just 30 calories but provides 40 percent of the daily recommend amount of vitamin C and 30 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A.

Benefits of Black Beans

Black beans are high in soluble fiber. This type of fiber is associated with lower cholesterol levels, and eating black beans can lower your risk of having a heart attack or developing coronary heart disease. The antioxidants in black beans are also important for the cardiovascular system. The eight different flavonoids in black beans are associated with cancer prevention and are particularly effective against colon cancer. One cup of black beans contains 15.24 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber.

Healthy Cilantro

The cilantro in chicken tortilla soup is a natural detoxifying agent. The chemical compounds in the herb help rid the body of toxins, such as heavy metals. Making cilantro a regular part of your diet can relieve symptoms of arthritis, reduce stomach gas, boost digestive health, promote healthy liver functioning, stimulate the endocrine glands, strengthen the immune system, fight anemia, increase good cholesterol, lower bad cholesterol and ease nausea.

Benefits of Avocado

Avocados are loaded with almost 20 essential nutrients, such as folic acid, vitamins E and K, fiber, B vitamins and potassium. The monounsaturated fats in avocados help lower cholesterol. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting, folate promotes tissue and cell development, potassium is needed by all the body's cells, organs and tissues, vitamin E protects the body against free radicals and vitamin B-6 helps the body produce antibodies that fight diseases. Avocados are a good source of all of these nutrients. One cup of sliced avocado contains 14.6 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C and 30.7 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin K.

 

About the Author

Poppy Carpenter graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. In addition to teaching journalism to junior high students, she also covers health and fitness for "PUSH Monthly" and Angie's List.

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