Most homemade soup recipes start with broth, such as vegetable broth. Although the store-bought version is the most convenient, vegetable broth nutrition is often really high in sodium, so you might be better off making your own at home.
Vegetable Broth Nutrition Facts
Because the vegetables are removed and you're just left with the liquid, there's not much nutrition in vegetable broth.
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According to the USDA, a 1-cup serving of vegetable broth will give you:
- Calories: 11
- Total fat: 0 g
- Saturated fat: 0 g
- Trans fat: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 654 mg
- Total carbs: 2 g
- Dietary fiber: 0 g
- Sugar: 1 g
- Protein: 1 g
Vegetable Broth Calories and Macros
There aren't many calories in vegetable broth, so you'll need to pair it with other foods in order to keep your meals nutritionally balanced. A 1-cup serving only gives you 11 calories, most of which come from carbohydrates, per the USDA.
There are 2 grams of carbs in a cup of plain vegetable broth, and you'll only get about 1 gram of protein. Vegetable broth isn't a source of dietary fat.
Vegetable Broth Benefits
Because it's low in actual nutrients, there aren't many health benefits of vegetable broth. That said, it can be part of a healthy diet when used in recipes, and drinking vegetable broth adds more fluids to your diet, which can help keep you hydrated. The sodium in vegetable broth may help replenish electrolytes after a workout, just make sure not to go overboard.
Many pre-made vegetable broth products you can buy come with high amounts of sodium. Too much sodium in the diet may contribute to a host of heart-related health conditions, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
Adults should take in no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day — or 1,500 milligrams if they have high blood pressure or other risk factors for heart disease, according to the AHA.
Here are some ways you can make sure you're reaping the benefits of vegetable broth and avoiding the risks.
Chicken, beef and vegetable broth products that are pre-made can be especially high in sodium, with a cup of vegetable broth giving you as much as 654 milligrams, which is 46 percent of the AHA's recommended daily amount.
Look for a vegetable broth labeled "low sodium," as these broths can contain no more than 5 percent of the DV, or 140 milligrams of sodium per serving.
Make Your Own
Your best bet is to take any vegetables you need to use up, as well as any vegetable scraps, and make your own vegetable broth. Just make sure not to include the green leafy tops of carrots or the skins of your onions, as they'll make your broth taste bitter.
When you make your own broth, you can control the amount of salt you add or skip it altogether. Include onion, garlic and other herbs you like, such as parsley or thyme, to add flavor without sodium.
- American Heart Association: "How Much Sodium Should I Eat Per Day?"
- National Academies of Sciences: "Vitamins and Minerals"
- Dietitians of Canada: "Guidelines for Drinking Liquids to Stay Hydrated"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Vegetable Broth"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Chicken Broth"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Beef Broth"
- USDA MyFoodData: Vegetable Broth