A good doctor uses food first, and then resorts to medicine.
-Ancient Chinese proverb.
As the last bits of winter linger and hints of spring begin, we love to kick start our daily detox with a warm, cleansing soup. Soup provides mineral and nutrient rich hydration which helps flush waste from your body. Choosing detoxifying ingredients, such as the ones featured in the recipe below, treats your body to a meal that supports the liver in detoxification, increases circulation, reduces inflammation, and replenishes your body with essential minerals. Not to mention, it’s delicious!
Virgin Organic Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is largely comprised of medium-chain fatty acids, which are sent directly to the liver for energy rather than storage. This type of fat is ideal for a cleanse, since it can provide the energy your body needs while cleansing toxins in body tissue.
Onions are rich in the antioxidant quercetin, which protects against free radical damage. They are also high in the trace mineral chromium, which lowers blood sugar levels-which helps to keep cravings at bay.
Vitamins in garlic, such as A, B, and C, stimulate the body to fight carcinogens and get rid of toxins. Garlic’s sulfur compounds can regulate blood sugar metabolism, stimulate and detoxify the liver, and stimulate the blood circulation and the nervous system.
Carrots are an excellent source of Vitamin A and also contain rich amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin K.
Celery is very hydrating and incredibly alkalizing. All parts of celery are packed with minerals, vitamins and nutrients. Celery leaves are high in vitamin A, whilst the stems are an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C and dense in potassium, folic acid, calcium. Studies have also shown that celery may help to lower cholesterol and prevent cancer by improving detoxification.
Green beans provide a good source of fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K for only 26 calories per serving. Green beans also supply a significant quantity of the antioxidant phytochemicals quercetin, beta-carotene and lutein. Did you know that a green bean is actually an immature legume and not a vegetable?
Featuring lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to preventing skin damage, CV disease, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes and male infertility. Lycopene is made even more powerful through cooking.
Black Soy Beans
These low-carb, high protein beans are a good source of cleansing fiber and researchers have found them to be effective at lowering cholesterol.
A kidney friendly, super star herb, parsley is a high-chlorophyll blood purifier that aids in detoxification, particularly of the kidneys but also of the liver. And the herb packs in dense nutrients including: vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, potassium, folic acid, sulfur, vitamin K, and B vitamins 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. Wow!
The acidic qualities of lemon juice help to break down food and stimulate the stomach to product more digestive juices to enhance digestion. The better your stomach breaks down food matter, the less work your liver has to do later on. Remember, part of Everday Detox is giving the organs of detoxification a break. Black pepper also helps with digestion. See below.
Black pepper stimulates the taste buds in such a way that an alert is sent to to the stomach to increase hydrochloric acid secretion, thereby improving digestion. Black pepper has demonstrated impressive antioxidant and antibacterial effects–yet another way in which this wonderful seasoning promotes the health of the digestive tract. And not only does black pepper help you derive the most benefit from your food, the outer layer of the peppercorn stimulates the breakdown of fat cells, keeping you slim while giving you energy to burn.
For an easy, everyday detox, try this soup 1-2 times per week.
The Daily Detox Soup
2 tablespoons virgin organic coconut oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds (approximately 2 medium)
2 cups fresh green beans, broken or cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 quarts organic chicken or organic vegetable broth
4 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
2 cups organic black soy beans
1/4 cup packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea Salt, to taste
Black Pepper to taste
Heat the coconut oil in large stockpot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Add the carrots and green beans and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add the tomatoes, black soy beans and pepper. Reduce the heat to low*, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add the parsley and lemon juice. Season, to taste, with kosher salt. Serve immediately.
*Keep in mind that boiling can destroy half of the vitamins found in vegetables so slowly simmer foods over low heat. Lower temperatures gently leach out the energetic and therapeutic properties of the foods, preserving the nutritional value of the foods.