Had one too many sugary, buttery desserts this holiday season? Resist the urge to skip meals or hop on the latest fad diet. Doing so will only stress your body out more, and make it harder for you to break your unhealthy eating habits. Instead of subjecting yourself to a restrictive diet, focus on making simple changes to help jumpstart your healthy eating. One easy change is adding “detox” vegetable soup to your weekly routine. This soup is chock-full of healthy ingredients like carrots, celery, kale, and quinoa. It’s also low in calories and fat, making it the perfect meal to help you get back on track. The next time you’re feeling guilty about your holiday eating, make a big batch of this soup. You can enjoy it all week long, and feel good knowing that you’re giving your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
How Does Detox Soup Work?
Your body has a detox system that works hard to remove toxins and waste products from your body. This system includes your skin, liver, kidneys, and digestive system.
When these organs are working properly, they can eliminate most toxins from your body. You don’t need to do anything special to make this happen. However, there are a few things you can do on a regular basis to support your body’s detox organ function.
- Staying hydrated: water is essential for flushing toxins out of your body through sweat, urine, and bowel movements (16).
- Cut back on ultra processed and sugary foods: these foods may contain additives that provide more work for your detox system.
For example, sugar can contribute to inflammation, while ultra processed foods often contain additives and preservatives that may affect your gut microbiome or that your liver has to break down (4) (9).
- Eat enough fiber: fiber helps keep things moving through your digestive system, which is one way your body eliminates toxins and other waste products (11).
- Learn to manage stress: stress can cause inflammation, which can affect every organ system in your body (15).
If you aren’t doing some of these things, you might start to feel fatigued, bloated, or constipated. You may also get skin breakouts or suffer from headaches. Poor sleep, anxiety, and mood swings are other common signs that something isn’t quite right.
Making detox vegetable soup can help you get back on track. This soup is full of nutrients that help support your detox system, and it contains fiber which benefits your digestive system. It is also hydrating, and minimally processed.
A common misconception is that detox soup is some kind of miracle cure that will help you lose weight quickly or will “detox” your body on its own. In reality, it’s just a healthy, nutrient-rich soup that can support your weight loss goals and can be part of a healthy lifestyle that supports all your body’s organ systems which do the detoxifying. The key to its success is in the ingredients.
There are many different recipes for detox soup, but most of them contain similar ingredients. These ingredients work together to help cleanse your body and promote healthy digestion.
Common detox soup ingredients include:
- Vegetables: carrots, celery, kale, onions, garlic, and tomatoes are all great choices
- Herbs and spices: ginger, turmeric, cumin, and black pepper
- Healthy fats: olive oil or coconut oil can help your body absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in the soup
- Protein: quinoa, beans, or tofu provide essential amino acids that your body needs to function properly
- Water: as we mentioned before, water is essential for flushing toxins out of your system
3 Of The Best Healthy Detox Vegetable Soup Recipes
These soup recipes are not only healthy but also easy to make.
White Bean Veggie Detox Soup (3)
White beans are a great source of plant-based protein and fiber. This soup also includes your choice of leafy greens, carrots, celery, and onion.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup broccoli or cauliflower florets
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 can white beans, such as cannellini
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups of greens, stemmed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, tomatoes, broccoli or cauliflower, broth, oregano, basil, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the white beans, salt, and black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the greens and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes.
- Serve in bowls and top with fresh parsley.
Sweet Potato And Red Bean Detox Soup (7)
This hearty soup is perfect for a winter meal. It’s filling and satisfying, but doesn’t weigh you down. The sweet potatoes and red kidney beans are a great source of fiber and nutrients.
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 cup carrots, sliced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 small tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth plus 2 cups of water as needed
- 1 large kale leaf, chopped
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and sweet potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the tomatoes, paprika, kidney beans, vegetable broth, and 2 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes on medium-low heat.
- Add the kale and parsley and cook for 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls and enjoy.
Nutritional info: 175 calories, 25g carbs, 4g protein, 8g fat, 5g fiber, 80mg sodium
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Mushroom Detox Soup (8)
Mushrooms are a vegan’s best friend. They’re savory, umami, and full of flavor. This soup uses mushrooms as the main ingredient, along with cabbage for a little crunch.
- 2 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 large carrots diced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 small zucchini diced
- ½ head green cabbage chopped
- 1 14 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 5 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- Fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic, zucchini, cabbage, tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, and vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls and top with fresh parsley.
Nutritional info: 146 calories, 19g carbs, 3g protein, 7g fat, 5g fiber, 1228mg sodium
Is Homemade Veg Soup Good For You?
A healthy vegetable soup recipe can do more than just help you support your body’s detox systems. It can also:
Reduce Cravings For Unhealthy Foods
The science of cravings is complex—a combination of physical and mental factors can lead to cravings for unhealthy foods. But one thing is certain: if you’re not eating enough nutrient-rich foods, or enough food in general, you’re more likely to crave unhealthy junk food (1).
Soup is a great way to get more vegetables into your diet. The combination of healthy and satisfying ingredients in soup might help reduce cravings for unhealthy foods.
Poor hydration might also intensify feelings of hunger. When you’re properly hydrated, your body may be better able to recognize hunger signals (2). So, if you’re trying to lose weight, soup might help to reduce cravings and keep you feeling satisfied.
As a replacement for highly processed foods that may cause cravings and addiction-like behaviors, veggie soup is a good meal to help you break the cycle (18).
Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Vegetables are a low-glycemic food, which means they won’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels (12). This is important for two reasons:
- When blood sugar levels spike and then crash, you may be more likely to experience cravings.
- People with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes need to be aware of how the food they eat affects their blood sugar levels.
Soup is a great way to get your fill of low-glycemic vegetables. The combination of vegetables, healthy fats, and protein in soup can help regulate blood sugar levels and keep you feeling satisfied (13) (14).
Improve Gut Health
Gut health refers to the balance of microbes in your digestive system. This includes bacteria, yeast, and viruses. Your gut microbiota plays a role in everything from digestion to immunity. Research shows your mental health may also be connected to the health of your gut microbiome (10)
One of the most important things you can do for gut health is to eat a variety of fiber-rich foods. This helps feed the good bacteria in your gut and promotes the growth of healthy gut flora (5). It also helps keep things moving, which prevents constipation and is one of the ways your body eliminates toxins.
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Can you lose weight eating vegetable soup? It depends. There’s no magical weight loss detox vegetable soup, as the results will depend on your overall diet and activity level, among other factors.
Furthermore, a single meal won’t guarantee weight loss—it’s the overall quality of your diet that matters most. How active you are also plays a role (17).
That said, adding soup to your diet can be a helpful strategy for weight management. As we mentioned before, vegetable soup is a healthy, low calorie, satisfying dish. This can lead to reduced calorie intake and weight loss over time.
The filling fiber and protein in soup can also help you feel satisfied and prevent overeating (14).
So which soup is best for weight loss? Aside from being full of fiber-rich veggies, a good soup for weight loss should also:
- Contain minimal amounts of saturated fat (look for healthy fats like olive oil or avocado oil instead of butter or cream)
- Be low in sodium (fresh ingredients are ideal)
- Have a moderate amount of calories (between 250 and 350 calories per serving is a good range)
- Be paired with other healthy foods to make a satiating meal (brown rice, quinoa, or whole grain breads are all good options)
Remember, weight loss is a journey, not a destination. And there’s no one perfect food that will help you reach your goals. The best approach is to focus on eating a variety of healthy, nourishing foods—soup included (6).
The Bottom Line
A good “detox” vegetable soup is a great way to help jumpstart your healthy eating. The combination of healthy ingredients might help reduce cravings, regulate blood sugar levels, improve gut health, and aid in weight management.
When selecting a soup to support your body’s detox systems or just healthy eating in general, look for recipes that are high in fiber-rich vegetables and low in saturated fat and sodium. And remember, making healthy changes is a journey, not a destination. So take it one step—and one soup—at a time.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- A randomized crossover, pilot study examining the effects of a normal protein vs. high protein breakfast on food cravings and reward signals in overweight/obese “breakfast skipping”, late-adolescent girls (2014, biomedcentral.com)
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- What Is the Evidence for “Food Addiction?” A Systematic Review (2018, mdpi.com)