We are now almost at the end of the first quarter of the year and many of you have completed your New Year – New You Wholistic Rejuvenation protocols, some of you have not. Whether you have or not, making a homemade detox soup while the weather is still in the winter mode helps your body release pent-up toxins to allow yourself to prepare for the spring and beyond.
So exactly what makes a recipe a detox one? It contains the healthiest ingredients all in one recipe while focusing on taste yet providing a detox dose of vitamins, minerals, herbs, vegetables, and high-protein vegetable sources to allow for extra energy conversion while detoxifying.
In this new column, I’ll be sharing 3 detox soup recipes while the weather is still crisp, and then 3 vegetarian dishes that are tasty, satisfying and detoxifying. Remember to buy organic otherwise you’re just adding to your toxic load instead of reducing it. By having a bowl of a detox soup at least three times weekly, you’re helping reduce your body’s overall toxic burden.
This new series provides not only healthy recipes but also the health benefits of each ingredient.
Dr. Gloria’s Nightshade-FREE Detox Soup
- 2 medium leeks, cut in half, cleaned well, and cut into small pieces
- 6 cloves of garlic, crushed into a paste
- 4 carrots, scrubbed clean, skins on, cut into rough chunks
- 4 celery stalks, cut into rough chunks
- 3 small parsnips, peeled and cut into medium cubes or thin slices
- 3 small zucchini, diced
- 4 cups water
- 4–6 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups pinto or white beans, I use dried ones that I soak overnight and cook beforehand. Use cooking water as part of the water in this recipe
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (make sure to rinse well, otherwise it will be bitter)
- 2 large bunches of kale, thinly sliced
- Juice of 3 lemons (you can use lime juice)
- TB each of rosemary, thyme, marjoram finely crushed or chopped
- 2 TB coconut oil
- Salt & Pepper, to taste (use Pink Himalayan salt when possible)
- Place coconut oil to heat in a large soup pot over medium/high heat;
- Add leek and garlic;
- Sauté over low heat, approx. 5 minutes, stirring often until slightly brown;
- Add carrots, celery and parsnips. Cook 5–7 minutes until tender;
- Add the herbs, water and broth, cooked quinoa and pinto beans, lemon juice and simmer over low heat for at least 45 minutes. I like making it the night before as it allows flavors to blend and become robust.
- About 7–10 minutes before serving stir in the kale and zucchini
Health Benefits of Ingredients
Leeks: Supply plenty of potassium, some folic acid, betacarotene (in the green stems) and vitamin C. Although less beneficial than onions, leeks may help to reduce cholesterol levels and may offer some protection against cancer. Leeks also assist the body to dispose of uric acid and so are beneficial to those who suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia or gout.
Garlic: The allicin in raw, crushed garlic has been shown to kill 23 types of bacteria, including salmonella and staphylococcus. Heated garlic gives off another compound, diallyldisulphideoxide, which has been shown to lower serum cholesterol by preventing clotting in the arteries. Vitamins in garlic, such as A, B, and C, stimulate the body to fight carcinogens and get rid of toxins, and may even aid in preventing certain types of cancer, such as stomach cancer. Garlic’s sulfur compounds can regulate blood sugar metabolism, stimulate and detoxify the liver, and stimulate the blood circulation and the nervous system.
Carrots: Carrots are actually considered a vessel for vitamin A— they contain a large amount of vitamin A. Additionally, they’re rich with vitamin C, E, B6, K and many more.
Celery: This veggie provides an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber. It is a very good source of folic acid, potassium, and vitamins B1 and B6. Celery also offers a good source of vitamin B2 and calcium. Even though celery contains more sodium than most other vegetables, the sodium is offset by its high levels of potassium. Celery contains phytochemical compounds known as coumarins—studies show they are effective in cancer prevention and capable of enhancing the activity of certain white blood cells. Coumarin compounds also lower blood pressure, tone the vascular system, and are credited as effective when used in cases of migraines. Due to the high levels of potassium and sodium, when celery-based juices are consumed after a workout they serve as great electrolyte replacement drinks.
Studies show celery may help to lower cholesterol and prevent cancer by improving detoxification.
Parsnips: Contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, and an excellent source of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, folate, potassium and vitamin C. Adequate fiber helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, obesity and constipation or sluggish elimination. They also contain many polyacetylene anti-oxidants—research found these compounds possess antiinflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-cancer functions and offer protection from colon cancer.
Zucchini: This summer squash is rich in vitamin A and C, as well as potassium. It helps promote a healthy heart, lungs and eyes. It is also said to help your respiratory system.
Pinto Beans: These beans are a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. One cup of pinto beans provides one quarter of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of protein for adults.
Supplementing the protein of pinto beans with quinoa provides all the essential amino acids. Because beans contain soluble fiber, they can lower blood cholesterol and are a good source of energy and the B vitamins-thiamin, riboflavin and niacin-which are necessary for growth and tissue building. Minerals found in pinto beans include calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iron, all essential to good health.
Quinoa: Considered a “superfood”, it’s one of the most proteinrich foods AND is Gluten-FREE. It contains almost twice as much fiber as other grains as well as iron, lysine, magnesium, riboflavin (B2) and a high content of manganese. Contains powerful bioactive substances like quercetin and kaempferol— important molecules shown to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects.
Kale: This is considered to be the “king” of vegetables with powerful antioxidant properties and is anti-inflammatory. It is high in beta carotene, vitamins K, C, lutein, zeaxanthin and rich in calcium.
Lemon: Known for its therapeutic properties for generations, lemon helps strengthen immune functions, cleanse the stomach and is considered a blood purifier. In addition, it is credited as a remedy for kidney stones, reducing strokes and lowering body temperature. It contains vitamins C, B6, A, E, folate, niacin thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus and protein. Lemon has an alkalizing effect and, therefore, helps ward off abnormal cell growth because viruses, fungus, and bacteria they can’t survive/thrive in an alkaline environment.
Rosemary—Credited for its ability to boost memory, improve mood, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, protect immune functions, stimulate circulation, detoxify, protect from bacterial infections, prevent premature aging, and heal skin conditions. Thyme—Packed with health-enhancing phyto-nutrients, minerals and vitamins essential for overall wellness. It contains thymol, scientifically found to have antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. It is the herb with the highest antioxidant levels among herbs. It is a rich source of potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and selenium, B-complex vitamins, beta carotene, vitamin A, K, E, C and folic acid.
Marjoram—An aromatic herb, relative to the mint family. Packed with antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, Iron and Calcium. Its credited for enhancing digestion by increasing digestive enzymes and saliva.
Coconut Oil: It’s health benefits too numerous to list but here are the ones helpful in detoxification: Improves blood cholesterol, loaded with saturated fats (raises HDL—good—cholesterol), increases energy, helps lower blood sugar, contains lauric acid known to kill bacteria-viruses-fungi, is a natural appetite suppressant, its fatty acids can boost brain function especially in those with dementia and Alzheimer’s by providing the needed ketones (energy source for malfunctioning cells).
Natural Sea Salt: Salt is essential for life and an important component in the human diet. Sodium is a nutrient that the body cannot manufacture but which is required for life itself. Sodium is easily absorbed and is active in the absorption of other nutrients in the small intestine. It helps regulate water balance, pH, and is important in nerve conduction.
Black Pepper: Black pepper stimulates the taste buds in such a way that an alert is sent to the stomach to increase hydrochloric acid secretion, thereby improving digestion. Hydrochloric acid is necessary for the digestion of proteins and other food components in the stomach. When the body’s production of hydrochloric acid is insufficient, food may sit in the stomach for an extended period of time, leading to heartburn, indigestion and a slow bowel transit time. 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.
Enjoy not only the taste but also in reaping the health benefits.