There’s nothing like sipping a warm, soothing bowl of soup in the winter. But did you know that it’s one of the best ways to shed extra end-of-year pounds, cleanse the system, and boost your immunity all at once?
A low-sodium, nutritious soup rehydrates as it nourishes and flushes waste from the body. It’s been documented that people who eat one or more bowls of soup per day lose more weight than those who eat the same number of calories but don’t eat soup.
How Soup Works
Your immune system needs a lot of minerals to function properly and the typical Western diet doesn’t always make the grade. Slowly simmered foods gently extract the energetic and therapeutic properties of the ingredients, preserving the nutritional value of the food. And the nutrients in soups are better assimilated into the body than any other type of prepared food. So instead of filling up with empty calories just to not be hungry, fill up on soup and get the full nutritional value.
Word of caution though: homemade soup is best, as many commercials soups are loaded with salt, sugar, and chemicals. Also, make sure you cook over low heat because boiling can destroy as much as half of the vitamins found in vegetables.
Power Up With Cleansing Vegetable Broth
Here’s a satisfying soup that can serve as a very effective cleanse for your system. It also makes a great base for your winter soup recipes.
Serves 8 to 10
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 bunch mustard greens, chopped
1/2 head of white cabbage, chopped
1 bunch dandelion greens, chopped
1 cut Brussels sprouts, chopped
1 large daikon radish, diced
1 bunch watercress, chopped
4 ounces kombu or wakame seaweed
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 leeks, sliced
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon ground star anise
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 fresh cilantro, chopped
chicken stock, as needed, optional
Red chili flakes, optional
1. Put all ingredients into a large stockpot and fill with enough water to cover vegetables. Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for one hour.
2. Using a mesh strainer, remove vegetables, and set aside. Continue cooking the broth for an additional 15 minutes to strengthen the flavor and reduce slightly.
3. Let the broth cool completely in the pot before transferring to glass jars. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week, or freeze in airtight plastic containers for up to a month. Reheat before serving.
For cleansing and detoxification, consume three cups a day.
NOTE: If you want to use the cooked vegetables, working in batches, puree them in food processor or blender with just enough chicken stock to liquefy them and then transfer the puree to a saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until warmed: ladle into bowls and garnish with chili flakes. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Include soup into your New Year’s resolution and enjoy a slimmer, healthier you.
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine, and board certified anti-aging expert. He has recently appeared on “The Ricki Lake Show,” “Dr. Oz,” and contributes to Yahoo Health and The Huffington Post. Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, Newport Beach, and Pasadena. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni, founded the Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at [email protected] To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter, visit www.taoofwellness.com.