Instant ramen noodles have a reputation for being unhealthy, including being high in sodium and MSG. They also contain TBHQ, a preservative that is linked to vision disturbances and liver damage. But not all is bad; there are, indeed, some benefits and advantages to eating ramen noodles.
Fresh ramen broth is a good protein source, while ramen noodles are made with high-protein flour and are good sources of iron. When it comes to ramen, there are several flavors to choose from, and it can be customized to whatever suits your fancy. Also, ramen is easy to cook and cheap to buy.
If you want to find several good reasons to keep eating your favorite noodles, dig in and keep reading.
1. Fresh Ramen Broth Is a Good Source of Protein.
Fresh ramen noodles are often served in a healthy bone broth made from chicken, beef, or other meat bones, and it contains protein and collagen — both of which are healthy for hair, skin, teeth, and nails, among other things. When you eat fresh ramen, you get less sodium and more vitamins and nutrients over instant ramen.
2. Ramen Noodles Are Made With High-Protein Flour.
Ramen noodles, when made fresh, are made with a high-protein flour to keep them from falling apart in the broth. When combined with fresh broth and lean meats, you have a protein-rich meal that will keep you satisfied for hours after eating.
3. Ramen Bowls Are a Good Source of Iron.
While ramen doesn’t have many nutrients per calorie, it has a fair amount of iron, which helps move blood in the body and prevents anemia and fatigue. It also enables you to sleep better, boosts your immunity, and improves your concentration.
Ramen doesn’t have high quantities of iron, but if you put iron-rich foods like green leafy vegetables and beef in your ramen bowl, you would create a healthier dish.
4. There Is a Wide Variety of Flavors.
Instant ramen noodles come in a wide variety of flavors, such as chicken, beef, shrimp, chili-lime shrimp, roast chicken, creamy chicken mushroom, and several other flavors. The many types make it possible to have a different taste every day for a week without repeating a flavor. Not that you would want to have ramen daily, but you could without having the same flavor twice in one week.
5. Ramen Can Be Customized.
You can mix and match flavors with seasoning packets, and create recipes with the noodles, and the seasonings. You could go the traditional route with noodle soups using homemade broth or use crushed noodles as a topping for other foods. There’s ramen noodle pizza, ramen noodle snack mix, or a mayonnaise ramen salad.
6. Ramen Is a Cheap Addition to Any Meal.
Spaghetti and meatballs don’t need to be expensive or take a long time to get on the table, especially if you use ramen noodles. Frozen meatballs and jarred sauce can be made in the microwave while cooking the instant noodles on the stovetop. Or you could use instant ramen noodles for your chicken noodle soup.
Ramen noodles can be used to stretch out the meal for not a lot of money.
7. Ramen Is Easy to Cook.
A filling meal of noodle soup can be made in the microwave in minutes, making it super easy for college students or parents of young children to make quickly. It doesn’t need anything but a bowl, water, and a microwave.
8. Fresh Noodles Are Made With Buckwheat.
Some fresh noodles are made with buckwheat, a superfood that provides superior nutrition to noodles made with wheat flour. Buckwheat supports healthy blood sugar, protects the cardiovascular system, and can help alleviate menopausal symptoms.
9. Fresh Ramen Broth Is Made With Garlic.
Fresh ramen broth often is made with garlic, which is another superfood. Garlic is well known for preventing cancer, decreasing high blood pressure, and reducing cholesterol levels. It is also antibacterial, which boosts your immune system.
It’s interesting to note that instant noodles don’t have the same properties if you don’t add garlic to the noodles while cooking them.
10. Some Ramen Restaurants Serve Radishes as a Topping.
Ramen restaurants serve radishes as garnishes for their ramen bowls. Radishes contain several nutrients that you need that you would not get by eating ramen noodles alone. Nutrients such as vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and E, as well as Beta Carotene, Calcium, and Choline, along with several other minerals we need in trace amounts.
11. The Meat Toppings Are a Great Protein Source.
Ramen restaurants also serve lean meat and hard-boiled eggs on top of the ramen noodles and broth to create a full meal. Ramen bowls with meat and eggs are an excellent protein source, complete with the high-protein flour and homemade bone broth.
12. Ramen Can Fit Into a Healthy Diet.
When you have a healthy diet, an occasional packet of instant ramen noodles should be okay. If your diet contains mostly meats, vegetables, and fruits, a ramen packet won’t destroy your immunity to disease or illness. But if your diet is full of processed foods, you may want to re-think your dietary approach.
13. Some Instant Ramen Noodles Are Low in Sodium.
Food manufacturers are now creating lower sodium ramen noodles and seasoning packets with less MSG. If you buy these, you can reduce your overall sodium intake while still indulging in your favorite noodle dish.
14. Instant Ramen Can Be Made Healthier.
You can find several online recipes that show how to make homemade ramen bowls, much like those in upscale Japanese restaurants, using instant noodles. The recipes tell you to throw out the seasoning packet, where most sodium, MSG, and sugar are found. Then, they show you how to make the ramen broth and other items needed.
Making ramen soup this way can make your favorite dish healthier without giving up the comfort food you love.
15. Instant Ramen Stores Well.
Instant ramen noodles are flash-fried to dry faster, plus they are made with the preservative TBHQ, which keeps them from spoiling. Therefore, instant noodles store well in a cool, dry place, making it super simple to stock your pantry with several ramen boxes. The seasoning packet also stores well due to the salt and MSG, which act as preservatives.
16. Some Ramen Companies Are Making Healthier Ramen.
In response to customer demand, several companies are starting to make ramen using healthier ingredients, including shirataki noodles instead of the usual noodles found in ramen packages. For example, One Culture Foods now uses bone broth in their ramen noodle packets rather than the traditional ramen seasonings.
Also, House Foods sells ramen noodle soup packages that use tofu shirataki noodles that contain fewer carbs, as well as healthier seasoning packets.
There are also new ramen noodle kits hitting the market now as an alternative to the unhealthy dried instant ramen. However, these healthier ramen choices still cannot match the dried instant ramen noodles at the price point, as they are priced at least a few dollars more than a packet of ramen.
Ramen noodles may not be the healthiest thing in the world to eat, but there are some undeniable advantages to eating them. If you make it with vegetables and lean meats, you can mitigate some of the unhealthy drawbacks of instant ramen noodles.
If you want to make your noodles healthier, without spending a lot of money, opt for canned vegetables, a small portion of fresh herbs, and canned tuna or chicken, or the meat from last night’s dinner. Hard-boiled eggs can round out your meal, much like upscale ramen restaurants put in their ramen bowls.