Nothing sounds better than a hot cup of soup on a snowy winter day – and guess what? Your gut thinks so too!

Soup can be a valuable tool for improving your gut health this winter season. Read on to find out why.

Recap: What Makes a Meal Gut-Healthy?

Before we dive into the health benefits of soup, let’s review what makes a meal healthy for the gut in the first place.

For a healthy gut, we want a balanced microbiome, a regulated immune response (no excess inflammation), comfortable and satisfying motility, and a strong gut barrier (1, 2)

So the ideal gut health-promoting meal would:

  • Support your helpful gut microbes 
  • Propel microbiome diversity
  • Encourage motility
  • Reduce excess inflammation
  • Support gut barrier integrity
  • Satisfy your hunger
  • Taste great!

Soup can provide most of these benefits. Let’s take a look at how it accomplishes that.

Bone Broth Benefits

Let’s start by looking at the base of a soup: the broth. 

How does a bunch of veggies and meat swimming in water sound? Not too appetizing. But what about veggies and meat in a salty, warm bone broth? Sign us up.

Bone broth is made by simmering animal bones and connective tissues in water. Heating the bones and tissues releases gut health-promoting nutrients trapped within the bones into the broth, giving it a rich, savory flavor (3). 

Bone broth made from bone marrow contains potent vitamins, minerals, and proteins that support the microbiome, including (3):

  • Omega 3
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium

Other nutrients found in bone broth that regulate the gut’s immune system also impact the microbiome by warding off pathogenic microbes. Nutrients found in bone broth that regulate the immune system include (3, 4, 5):

  • Vitamin A
  • Zinc
  • Omega 3
  • Arginine
  • Other amino acids

Another critical component of gut health is the regulation of motility. Everyone wants to go to the bathroom enough, but not too often! Nutrients within bone broth that help with motility include (6, 7, 8):

  • Selenium
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Iron  

These nutrients keep you hydrated and regulate hormones that affect motility, like thyroid hormones (8).

And last but not least, supporting gut barrier integrity is vital to a healthy digestive system and body. Read our blogs on leaky gut syndrome to learn more about the importance of a strong gut barrier. Nutrients within bone broth that support gut barrier integrity include (9, 10, 11):

  • Zinc
  • Omega 3
  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • Many more!

Just one bowl of bone broth can improve your diet quality significantly by providing all of the nutrients listed above. Think of these nutrients as building blocks that your body needs to create a healthy digestive system.

Join us in part two to start your gut health journey with some soup recipes! 


  2. Assimakopoulos, Stelios F et al. “The Role of the Gut Barrier Function in Health and Disease.” Gastroenterology research vol. 11,4 (2018): 261-263. doi:10.14740/gr1053w 
  4. Shakoor H, Feehan J, Al Dhaheri AS, Ali HI, Platat C, Ismail LC, Apostolopoulos V, Stojanovska L. Immune-boosting role of vitamins D, C, E, zinc, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids: Could they help against COVID-19? Maturitas. 2021 Jan;143:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2020.08.003. Epub 2020 Aug 9. PMID: 33308613; PMCID: PMC7415215. 
  5. Popovic PJ, Zeh HJ 3rd, Ochoa JB. Arginine and immunity. J Nutr. 2007 Jun;137(6 Suppl 2):1681S-1686S. doi: 10.1093/jn/137.6.1681S. PMID: 17513447. 
  6. Harvey, R F, and A E Read. “Effects of oral magnesium sulphate on colonic motility in patients with the irritable bowel syndrome.” Gut vol. 14,12 (1973): 983-7. doi:10.1136/gut.14.12.983 
  7. BASS P, DANIEL EE. Influence of sodium, potassium and adrenal hormones on gastrointestinal motility. Am J Physiol. 1956 Nov;187(2):253-8. doi: 10.1152/ajplegacy.1956.187.2.253. PMID: 13372771. 
  8. Ebert EC. The thyroid and the gut. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2010 Jul;44(6):402-6. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e3181d6bc3e. PMID: 20351569. 
  9. Skrovanek, Sonja et al. “Zinc and gastrointestinal disease.” World journal of gastrointestinal pathophysiology vol. 5,4 (2014): 496-513. doi:10.4291/wjgp.v5.i4.496 
  10. Durkin, Luke A et al. “Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and the Intestinal Epithelium-A Review.” Foods (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 10,1 199. 19 Jan. 2021, doi:10.3390/foods10010199 
  11. Shmagel, Anna et al. “The Effects of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate on Gut Microbial Composition: A Systematic Review of Evidence from Animal and Human Studies.” Nutrients vol. 11,2 294. 30 Jan. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11020294