Many years ago I was doing home instruction for a student, and every day her mom ate soup. She said she was on a soup-only diet. She could eat as much as she wanted, as long as it was broth-based, not cream-based.
This mom was way ahead on souping, a detoxing food trend. What is souping? It’s a type of cleanse in which you eat, or drink, mainly vegetable- and fruit-heavy soups several times a day. In between your servings of soup, you can drink water, but that’s it.
Several studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health show that soup can be more fulfilling than solid foods and eating soup before a meal can decrease hunger and cut down on how much food is eaten during a meal.
"Soup can be a healthy and delicious way to create balance after a season of heavy meals or even a particularly indulgent weekend," Robin Foroutan, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told CNN. "It gives your digestive system a chance to reboot and de-bloat."
A company called Soupure out of Los Angeles is credited with starting the trend. They say you’ll get “your sexy back with soup.” They make the assertion that if you follow this souping plan, your skin will glow, you’ll gain confidence, you’ll exude energy and vitality, your body will be streamlined and you’ll be in love with life. That’s some marketing.
Souping vs. juicing
How is it different from juicing? With soup, you consume the whole fruit and vegetable, keeping the “fibrous flesh, seeds, rind, and pulp for the most authentic collection of diverse and intact nutrients your body can actually recognize.” When you juice, a lot of the nutrition gets left behind.
Soupure sells drinkable pureed soups, healing broths (including trendy bone broth), and specialty waters in glass bottles. Some are intended to be served cold; others are intended to be served hot.
They’re available at local Los Angeles stores or you can order them online, but they’re expensive. A one-day souper cleanse supply, according to a "Good Morning America" journalist who tried it for a day, cost her $79, without shipping. That supply consisted of two waters and six soups, and totaled about 1,200 calories. She said it kept her full all day long, unlike many juice cleanses she has tried.
Soupure’s instructions recommend taking a one-, three-, or five-day cleanse, or a three-day mini cleanse (with one meal per day). This isn’t a long-term diet. It’s intended for a short-term detox cleansing, which not all medical professionals believe works.
But if you want to try it, and you don’t want to use Soupure, can you create your own souping regimen? Dr. Oz has instructions to create your own three-day souping detox on his website. But keep in mind that a recent study found that Dr. Oz’s advice is wrong half the time.
Or, you could do what my student’s mom did 20 years ago – eat only broth-based soups that are heavy on the vegetables.
I don’t intend to jump on the souping band wagon, but it’s winter, and I eat a lot of soup already. If you want to add some healthy soups into your diet, whether you’re souping or not, don’t open a can. Try one of these soups made with fresh, nutritious ingredients:
- Minestrone Soup: Full of fresh vegetables, beans and herbs, this is winter comfort food.
- Curry Carrot Ginger Soup: Fiery, creamy and hot, a dose of curry adds an extra kick to this super-healthy soup.
- Black Bean Soup: Spicy and full of protein-packed beans, this soup is better the next day.
- Homemade Chicken Broth: A bone broth that costs next to nothing to make.
- Or you can try one of these 30 soups for fall and winter.