This fantastic guest post was written by Megan Kelly, a nutrition practitioner, licensed esthetician, and specialist of quantum hormonology. We encourage you to check out her website here!
Many people choose to go on a cleanse to gain energy, restore gut health, get clear skin, or simply give the body it’s much-needed rest and rejuvenation. One technique that has become quite popular in the last few years among all parts of the world is juicing.
A juice cleanse consists of only consuming the juice from fresh fruits and vegetables. This floods the body with vitamins and minerals while giving the gut a break which causes the body to use energy towards healing, rejuvenation, and cellular repair rather than the digestion of food.
Hearty Soul Edit: Think you might need a detox?
Because we are constantly fighting against environmental toxins, as well as all of the toxins we eat, drink, and put on our body, it’s often helpful to give our liver and lungs a little bit of a break. Take this quiz to see how badly you might need to detox (especially if you are a smoker!):
Although a juice cleanse does give the body a well-deserved break, there are some downfalls that must be considered. First, consuming the juice of high sugar fruits spikes blood sugar, which then spikes insulin and cortisol causing hormonal imbalance and weight gain. If a person is already struggling with hormonal imbalance and/or anxiety, a juice cleanses may not be the best option as protein, healthy fat, and fiber is essential for blood sugar regulation that is needed for hormonal balance and mental health.
Because one of the main goals of a juice cleanse is to clear toxic build up, it is important to buy all organic produce, which can be quite costly considering how much you would need to buy. Juicing also strips the produce of all fiber, which is beneficial and important for the health of your microbiome and elimination.
Plus, in the colder months, when our bodies crave warmth and comfort, juice at every meal isn’t very appealing. Luckily, there is another option.
Benefits of a Soup Cleanse
Supporting your detox organs is as much about nourishing your body as it is releasing toxins from it. While your body is always naturally getting rid of unwanted toxins on its own, doing a ‘cleanse’ or ‘detox’ will help support the relevant organs in this process and make it more efficient. A good detox will promote a healthy liver, gut, kidneys, lymphatic system, lungs, or even skin. While the most popular form of a detox involves juicing, there’s another, warmer way to detox and replenish: the soup cleanse.
Consuming nutrient dense soup floods the body with healing spices, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and amino acids that are easily digested and assimilated which allows the body to use energy towards rejuvenation and cellular repair rather than processing heavy food (2).
Soups also include the fiber and substances needed for blood sugar regulation which will aide in weight loss, hormonal balance, and mental health.
Soup cleanses are also lower in sugar than juice cleanses because they’re using more vegetables and complex carbohydrates versus fruit which tends to make people feel better and more energetic.
Benefits of a soup cleanse include: reduced inflammation, increased energy levels, disease prevention, cell rejuvenation, weight loss, and clear skin (1) (3).
How to Properly Soup Cleanse
Cleanse length: A soup cleanse tends to last 1-3 days. Start with one day, then a few weeks or months later, go for three.
Eat often throughout the day: Start by having five to six soups per day. If you are hungry, add another serving.
Consume mostly vegetables: It is important that your soups consist of mostly vegetables, healing spices, and nutrient-rich broths.
Drink enough water: Water help removes toxins and waste from the body as well as helps move nutrients to where they need to go. Try to drink at least ½ your weight in ounces of water each day.
Make your soup in advance: It is helpful to make the days worth of soup the night before to ensure you can easily consume it 5-6 times during the day.
How to Make Detox Soup Recipes
There are many detoxifying soup recipes that can be made to fit your unique taste.
Here a few guidelines when creating your soup:
Start with a broth: Miso, bone broth, or vegetable broth
Add healing spices: Turmeric, ginger, cumin, garlic, cinnamon, etc.
Add Greens and Veggies: Kale, spinach, zucchini, leeks, onion, carrots, etc.
Add starchy veggies if desired: sweet potato, plantain, acorn squash, butternut squash, parsnips, beets. . .
Add protein: beans, lentils, nuts (if tolerated). Can also add non-inflammatory protein or collagen powder for easily digested amino acids that aid in the detoxification process.
Add health fat: coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, ghee, avocado oil. Adding a healthy fat helps the body absorb the nutrients from the vegetables.
Blend until smooth!
Three Detox Soup Recipes
Broccoli Detox Soup
2.5 cups broccoli florets
3 celery stalks, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
1 cup kale or spinach
2 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 cups vegetable or bone broth
½ teaspoon sea salt
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons collagen (optional)
In a soup pot, heat the coconut oil, add the onion, celery sticks, and broccoli, and cook and stir over low heat for five minutes.
Add broth, bring to a boil, then cover the pot with a lid and let simmer until the vegetables are soft. About 5 minutes.
Stir in the greens and collagen (if using)
Transfer blender or use an immersion blender and blend until smooth.
Carrot Ginger Detox Soup Recipe
2 pounds carrots, chopped
2 onions, peeled and chopped
6 cups bone or vegetable broth
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup coconut milk
sea salt, black pepper and onion powder to taste
2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
2 tablespoons plain protein or collagen powder (optional)
Place carrots, broth, ginger and garlic in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are soft when pierced.
Saute onions in a separate pan with ghee over medium-high heat until caramelized.
Add both the broth mixture and the onions to a blender and blend until a smooth consistency is reached.
Transfer smooth mixture back into a large pot and add coconut milk and seasonings.
Mix until well incorporated.
Red Lentil Detox Soup
¼ cup coconut oil, olive oil, or ghee
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
½ cup red lentils, rinsed
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon paprika
4.5 cups bone or vegetable broth
1-inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Coconut cream for topping, optional
Melt the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Place the chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, apple, and onion in the pot.
Stir and cook the apples and vegetables until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
Stir the lentils, ginger, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and broth into the pot with the apple and vegetable mixture. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.
Pour the soup into a blender or use an immersion blender and puree until smooth.
Return the pureed soup to the cooking pot. Bring back to a simmer and add water or broth as needed to thin the soup to your preferred consistency.
Top with salt and pepper and coconut cream to taste.
PM T. Effects of intermittent fasting on body composition and clinical health markers in humans. – PubMed – NCBI. Ncbinlmnihgov. 2017. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26374764. Accessed April 4, 2017.
R M. Soup and satiety. – PubMed – NCBI. Ncbinlmnihgov. 2017. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15639159. Accessed April 4, 2017.
Collier R. Intermittent fasting: the science of going without. 2017.