We’ve all heard of, and maybe even tried out, juicing before. While it might not cleanse or detox your body like many of us are led to believe, fruit and vegetable juices are a great way to deliver an intense source of vitamins and minerals to your body and give your digestive tract a rest. Now that juicing has been done to death, soup cleansing is the next big thing in the nutrition world. So, what exactly is it and how can it help our health?
A typical soup cleanse diet will provide as many calories as a normal weight loss diet, with the focus being on increasing the amount of fiber to an average of 30 g/day. Rather than focusing on macronutrient composition of food, a soup cleanse helps nourish your body by ensuring you meet your daily requirements of vitamins, minerals, and also other beneficial compounds such as flavonoids and phytochemicals.
Such a cleanse is designed to combat inflammation, heart disease, weight gain, fatigue, and joint pain while promoting healthier skin and reducing physical stress levels on your body. Each soup you eat is free of any allergens (such as wheat, dairy, or soy) and is packed with hearty vegetables, herbs and spices instead. The focus on wholefoods and not eliminating the chewing aspect from food is the main difference between a soup and juice cleanse.
Soup cleansing is a perfect idea in the winter months when our bodies crave warmth and comfort. Let’s face it, when the winter hunger pangs kick in a juice just won’t cut it, but a hearty soup might. Whereas with traditional juicing, the fruit and vegetables are stripped from their fiber content, soups are packed with fiber; aiding digestion, lowering cholesterol, and filling you up more. Soups are also generally more vegetable focused than fruit focused like juices, meaning they won’t overload your body with unnecessary sugar but still taste great.
Herbs and spices can have a big impact on your health. Cinnamon, for example, can regulate blood sugar while ginger can relieve digestive issues. Regular turmeric consumption can provide protection against diseases such as Alzheimers. The list of spices and health benefits goes on and on. Generally speaking, spices and herbs are much more palatable in soups than they would be in a smoothie or juice. There is more opportunity to flavor your food with beneficial compounds.
Just because you are on a mission to cleanse and support your detox systems, does not mean you have to stick to a liquid only diet. Soups can be as crunchy or as smooth as you like them, but ultimately require chewing which helps activate digestion and means your stomach will know food is coming. Once your stomach can anticipate food, absorption of the beneficial vitamins and minerals increases and you get more benefit per serving of fruit or vegetable.