Wonton soup is a classic Chinese dish that is beloved around the world. At the heart of wonton soup is the delicious broth, which is typically made by simmering chicken, pork bones, and aromatics like ginger, green onions, and garlic. The wontons—small dumplings filled with pork and shrimp—are then cooked in this flavorful broth.
But beyond just taste, the broth of wonton soup provides many potential health benefits. The ingredients used to make wonton soup broth, like chicken and bones, deliver protein, nutrients, and minerals that can support our overall wellbeing. Let’s take a closer look at the components of wonton soup broth and analyze just how healthy it can be.
Nutritional Breakdown of Wonton Soup Broth
Wonton soup broth is made by simmering meat and bones in water for an extended period of time. This long cooking time extracts nutrients like protein, collagen, minerals, and vitamins from the ingredients into the broth. The specific nutritional values will vary based on the recipe, but in general, wonton soup broth provides:
Chicken and pork contain high-quality protein that gets infused into the broth. Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles and tissues, supporting the immune system, and keeping the body energized. Just one cup of wonton soup broth can contain 15-20 grams of protein or more.
When animal bones like pork and chicken bones are simmered to make broth, the connective tissue in the bones gets broken down into gelatin and collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and it provides structure and elasticity to the skin, joints, and bones. Intake of collagen from bone broths can support collagen production in the body.
Vitamins and Minerals
The meat, bones, and vegetables used in wonton soup provide B vitamins like B12 and folate, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous. These vitamins and minerals support energy levels, bone health, muscle function, immunity and more.
Glutamine is an amino acid that helps maintain the function of the intestinal lining. The simmering process of making bone broth breaks down proteins into amino acids like glutamine that leach into the broth. Glutamine can benefit digestion and gut health.
Like all broths and soups, wonton soup broth provides fluid that can help meet daily hydration needs. Staying hydrated is critical for all aspects of health.
As you can see from the nutrients above, wonton soup broth made from chicken and pork bones provides a range of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and protein that offer health benefits. Now let’s analyze these benefits in more detail.
Potential Health Benefits of Wonton Soup Broth
Research shows that the ingredients found in wonton soup broth can provide the following health benefits:
Supports Joints and Bones
Collagen is the main structural protein found in bones, tendons and cartilage in the joints. Consuming collagen from bone broths can support your body’s own collagen production, helping maintain strength in bones and flexibility in joints. This makes wonton soup a great meal for athletes or those looking to support mobility as they age.
Benefits Skin Health
Similar to joints and bones, collagen also provides structure to the skin. The collagen in wonton soup broth can improve skin elasticity and hydration, reducing wrinkles and dryness. The nutrients in the broth support collagen production for firm, youthful looking skin.
The gelatin in bone broth can coat the intestines and assist with digestive issues like leaky gut syndrome. The glutamine in the broth also helps maintain the gut lining and protect the intestines. Overall, nutrients in wonton soup broth support healthy digestion.
Supports Immune Function
The amino acids glutamine and glycine found in wonton soup broth can optimize immune health. Chicken soup, in particular, has even been linked with relieving cold and flu symptoms – so wonton soup could provide similar benefits.
Staying hydrated is critical for overall wellness. The water content in wonton soup broth helps you meet daily fluid needs and prevents dehydration. Compared to plain water, the broth also provides the benefit of electrolytes that aid hydration.
Could Promote Weight Loss
Studies show that increased protein intake from broths is linked with enhanced satiety. This means wonton soup broth can support feeling full and satisfied after a meal. The hydrating nature of the broth may also contribute to weight loss by preventing overeating.
May Reduce Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is at the root of many diseases. Certain amino acids like glycine that are abundant in bone broth have anti-inflammatory properties that could help reduce inflammation when consuming wonton soup.
Delivers Important Vitamins and Minerals
Wonton soup broth provides B vitamins and minerals like magnesium and calcium that many people are deficient in. These nutrients support energy, bone health, muscle function, immunity and more when consumed as part of broth.
As you can see, wonton soup broth made from chicken bones and pork bones offers a range of potential wellness benefits beyond just being delicious. Now let’s examine how you can make the healthiest and most nutritious wonton soup broth at home.
Tips for Making the Healthiest Wonton Soup Broth
Follow these tips to get the maximum nutrition and health benefits from your homemade wonton soup broth:
Use a Combination of Chicken and Pork Bones
Chicken bones provide collagen and minerals like potassium in broth. Pork bones add collagen, glutamine and vitamins like vitamin B12. Using a combination maximizes nutrients.
Add Vinegar to Draw Out Nutrients
Adding a splash of apple cider vinegar to the broth while simmering can help draw more nutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium and silicon into the broth from the bones.
Simmer for at Least 8 Hours
Longer simmering times are key for extracting more protein, collagen, vitamins, and minerals from bones. Let your broth simmer for a minimum of 8-24 hours.
Throw in Vegetable Scraps
Onions, carrots, parsley stems, garlic and ginger scraps add extra flavor and nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin K and antioxidants to broth.
Use Filtered Water
Tap water contains chemicals like chlorine that can destroy nutrients in broth. Use filtered water to retain the most minerals in your finished wonton soup broth.
When making broth for wonton soup at home, keep these tips in mind to maximize nutrition. Using healthy broth as the base will provide you with the most robust health benefits.
Potential Drawbacks of Wonton Soup Broth
While wonton broth made from chicken and pork bones has many advantages, there are a couple potential drawbacks to consider:
High in Sodium
Store bought broth and broth made with added salt can be very high in sodium. This may negatively impact blood pressure and heart health. Look for low-sodium options when possible.
May Contain Added MSG
Some store-bought broths and soup bases contain MSG to enhance flavor. MSG can cause reactions in sensitive individuals like headaches, fatigue and muscle pain. Check labels and opt for MSG-free broths when available.
The chicken and pork in wonton soup contain purines. Individuals with gout or kidney stones may want to limit purine intake, so wonton soup may not be suitable.
May Trigger Allergies
Some people are allergic to ingredients like soy, eggs or shellfish that are sometimes added to wontons. Always check the ingredients for potential allergens.
While wonton broth made from scratch is likely very nutritious, pre-made broths may contain additives that undermine the potential health benefits. Read labels to find a healthy broth without drawbacks.
Healthier Wonton Soup Broth Alternatives
If you are looking to limit sodium, MSG, purines or allergens in wonton soup, try using these lower-risk broth alternatives:
Using a low-sodium vegetable broth instead of chicken, pork or beef broth allows you to avoid purines and common allergens. Vegetable broth still provides hydration and nutrients.
Mushroom broth gives a savory, rich flavor and contains antioxidants, B vitamins like niacin, and immunity-boosting compounds. It can replace bone broths for those with dietary restrictions.
Made from dried kelp, kombu broth provides minerals like iodine and antioxidants called fucoxanthins. Kelp may also boost thyroid health and digestion.
Vegetable & Seaweed Broth
Combining seaweed like kombu or wakame with vegetables makes a light but nutrient dense broth. Seaweeds offer unique compounds that benefit health.
Herbal broths can be made from fresh or dried herbs like parsley, oregano, thyme and basil. This imparts flavor along with health boosting antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Modify your wonton soup broth to suit your personal nutritional needs and dietary restrictions. There are many flavorful liquid bases that can still offer health benefits.
Healthiest Wonton Soup Broth Recipe
This healthy homemade wonton soup recipe maximizes nutrients and flavor in the broth:
Wonton Soup Broth
|Chicken carcass and bones||1 whole carcass|
|Pork neck bones||2-3 bones|
|Onion scraps||Peels and ends from 1 onion|
|Carrot scraps||Peels and ends from 2 carrots|
|Parsley stems||Stems from 1 bunch parsley|
|Garlic||4 cloves, smashed|
|Ginger||One 2 inch piece, sliced|
|Apple cider vinegar||2 Tbsp|
|Filtered water||Enough to cover bones by 2-3 inches|
- Place chicken carcass and pork bones in a pot. Add onion, carrot, parsley scraps, garlic and ginger.
- Pour in enough filtered water to cover by 2-3 inches. Add apple cider vinegar.
- Bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce heat and simmer gently for 24 hours, skimming fat and foam as needed.
- Strain out solids through a mesh strainer. Discard vegetable scraps and bones.
- Allow broth to cool fully, then transfer to the fridge. When chilled, skim off and discard any hardened fat from the top.
- Store broth in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use in wonton soup recipes.
This broth maximizes the extraction of protein, collagen and nutrients through the long cook time and addition of vinegar. Feel free to add any other vegetable scraps you have on hand as well. The resulting broth is delicious and nutritious – perfect for making healthy wonton soup at home.
Types of Wontons to Include in Soup
While the broth is the star of wonton soup, the wontons add complementary nutrition as well as texture and flavor. Here are some healthy options for wontons to float in your soup:
For a protein boost, try shrimp, chicken or turkey filled wontons. You can also use vegetarian proteins like tofu or edamame.
Veggie Filled Wontons
Spinach, carrot, mushroom and bamboo shoot filled wontons provide nutrients without the carbs of traditional wrappers.
Riced cauliflower fried wonton style is a low-carb, gluten-free option that mimics the crunch of traditional wontons.
For an ultra-light wonton, use veggie noodles made from zucchini or sweet potato cooked in broth.
Steamed or fried cabbage leaves stuffed with pork or shrimp make a healthified wonton with extra veggie nutrients.
Mix and match different healthy wonton fillings and wrappers to add flavor, texture and nutrition to your soup.
Healthy Wonton Soup Tips
Besides a nutritious broth and wontons, keep these tips in mind for the healthiest wonton soup:
– Use less sodium or low-sodium broth
– Load up on vegetables like bok choy, spinach and mushrooms
– Add in herbs and spices instead of salt for flavor
– Use wheat or rice paper wrappers instead of egg roll wrappers
– Opt for steamed or boiled wontons instead of fried
– Serve with a side of brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice
– Garnish with sliced green onions, chili oil or fresh cilantro
Customize your healthy wonton soup with nutritional add-ins and subtract anything you want to limit for the best nutrition profile.
Wonton soup broth made from simmering chicken and pork bones is rich in protein, collagen, vitamins and minerals that offer many potential health benefits. From improving skin health to reducing inflammation, wonton soup broth can be a nutritious part of your diet when prepared properly. Maximize nutrients by simmering the broth for extended periods and adding health boosters like apple cider vinegar and fresh veggies. For those with dietary restrictions, vegetable or mushroom broth can provide similar benefits. Fill your soup with healthy low-carb, high-protein wontons to balance out the nutrition. With a few simple tweaks, wonton soup can be an incredibly healthy and nourishing meal.