What Is Pho Soup and What Are Its Benefits?

We're going to tell you what Pho soup is and the positive effects of this recipe on your health. It's easy to prepare and provides many essential nutrients.
What Is Pho Soup and What Are Its Benefits?
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Written and verified by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

Pho soup is a Vietnamese dish that can provide several health benefits. It’s a broth that combines several types of essential nutrients, so it can be included in your diet on a regular basis.

In fact, more and more countries are consuming this dish, which also stands out for its excellent organoleptic characteristics. We’re going to show you what positive effects it can cause.

What is Pho soup?

Pho soup is a broth dish with rice noodles and aromatic herbs. Also, beef bones are added to increase the intake of proteins and collagen.

To get a good result, it’ll have to be cooked over very low heat for several hours. This soup is exquisite at an organoleptic level and provides a large amount of nutrients and phytochemicals.

Pho soup.
Pho soup is made with broth, rice noodles, beef bones and aromatic herbs.

Pho soup recipe

Here we’re going to show you an exquisite Pho soup recipe, so you can make it at home and get the most out of it. The option we’re bringing you uses beef, although other types of meat can be used too.


  • For the broth: 2 beef bones
  • 1 medium onion
  • Fresh ginger
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Cardamom
  • 2 cloves
  • Star anise
  • Coriander
  • Fennel
  • Chilli
  • For the soup: 400 grams of veal
  • 400 grams of rice noodles
  • 100 grams of bean sprouts
  • 200 grams of beef for dumplings
  • Salt to taste

Step by step instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients for the broth in a tray in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius (356 F) for 20 minutes. It’s important to cover the tray with aluminum foil. After this time, the food will be golden brown.
  2. Put the above ingredients in a pot with a liter of boiling water.
  3. Add salt.
  4. Let it cook for one hour, removing the foam little by little.
  5. Once the broth is ready, strain it.
  6. To continue, make small meatballs with the minced meat and salt. Set then to one side.
  7. Place the broth in the pot and add the noodles and meatballs.
  8. Let it boil for 2 minutes and then add the sliced meat.
  9. Stir in the basil and limes when serving.

Benefits of Pho soup

Among its main benefits, Pho soup helps to maintain the oxidative balance in our bodies, as it’s a dish that contains many phytonutrients.
These neutralize the formation of free radicals and their subsequent accumulation in the body’s tissues. This effect has been related to a lower risk of developing complex pathologies, according to a study published in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

In addition, it’s worth mentioning the protein content. These nutrients help maintain lean mass in a functional state. When we don’t get enough protein, problems of muscle catabolism can be experienced in the medium term, as indicated by research published in the journal Nutrients. This is known as sarcopenia, a condition that is associated with many chronic problems in older adulthood.

Pho soup is also a source of collagen. This protein is part of most of the body’s structures. After the age of 30, endogenous synthesis is reduced, so it’s essential to increase the presence of this element in the diet.

Also, some micronutrients have been shown to be able to improve internal production, as is the case with Vitamin C. It’s important that they’re consumed in sufficient doses.

Get to know more: 3 Broths to Detoxify Your Liver

Disadvantages of Pho soup

Despite the positive effects mentioned above, all that glitters isn’t gold. Pho soup also has some characteristics that may not be entirely positive for some groups. For example, it contains a lot of sodium.

This mineral has been linked to an increased risk of developing hypertension in genetically predisposed individuals. Those with a history of cardiovascular problems may have to moderate consumption.

Some broth.
The nutritional content of Pho soup is high and it has many benefits for our bodies.

It’s also quite a high-caloric dish. This will depend on the type of noodles and meat used. It’s a preparation with high nutritional density, so excessive consumption could lead to fatty weight gain in the medium term. The result is an increase in internal inflammation, which can affect the efficiency of vital physiological functions.

You may also be interested in: This Anti-Inflammatory Broth May Reduce Cancer Risk

Pho soup, is a dish with many quality nutrients

As you have seen, Pho soup contains a large number of quality nutrients. It can be included in the context of a varied and balanced diet with the aim of maintaining a good state of health in the medium term.

However, care should be taken with the selected ingredients to avoid excessive caloric intake. It’s always better to opt for lean cuts of meat and a moderate amount of noodles.

Finally, don’t forget that some people have to reduce their mineral intake due to organ function problems. In this case, it’ll be the doctor who’ll give precise indications in this regard. Some micronutrients can interact with medication, so it’ll be necessary to control their intake to avoid dysfunctions at the physiological level.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Neha, K., Haider, M. R., Pathak, A., & Yar, M. S. (2019). Medicinal prospects of antioxidants: A review. European journal of medicinal chemistry178, 687–704. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmech.2019.06.010
  • Prokopidis, K., Cervo, M. M., Gandham, A., & Scott, D. (2020). Impact of Protein Intake in Older Adults with Sarcopenia and Obesity: A Gut Microbiota Perspective. Nutrients12(8), 2285. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082285
  • Lis, D. M., & Baar, K. (2019). Effects of Different Vitamin C-Enriched Collagen Derivatives on Collagen Synthesis. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism29(5), 526–531. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.2018-0385

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.