America’s most famous detox doctor has a new weapon against fat and poor health: hearty, soul-warming soup detox packed with antioxidant-rich veggies.
“There are endless delicious variations that can do amazing things for your body,” promises Elson Haas, M.D., author of a dozen landmark natural-health guides including Staying Healthy with NEW Medicine (Buy on Amazon, $15.99). “I wanted my patients to have a relaxed alternative to traditional cleanses, and I found soup is a fantastic option.”
Don’t want to follow a formal plan? Simply replacing your usual dinner with healthy plant-based soup will stimulate healing and help your body expel toxins faster. “Once that happens, you’ll begin to release fat far more easily.” Folks report his detox strategies have helped them feel amazing as they drop 15 pounds — and more!
There are a lot of ways Dr. Haas’ soup works waist-shrinking magic. For starters, a huge portion of the comforting stuff. — made with your choice of veggies, potatoes, broth and seasonings — has about 500 fewer calories than an ordinary home-cooked meal and 1,000 (or more!) fewer than takeout.
Soup meals also ensure extra liquid gets into our systems, which the doc says helps flush away bloat. “If you’re poorly hydrated and don’t have the best eating habits, you can be carrying up to 10 pounds of water weight or ‘false fat,’” he says. “Losing bloat is one of the first indications you’re detoxing and improving your health.” And that’s just the beginning.
An Exclusive Peek at Dr. Haas’ New Plan
To use Dr. Haas’ latest detox, stick closely with the menu for seven to 10 days. After that, transition to menus built around lots of veggies plus moderate amounts of fruit, healthy starch, natural protein (mostly or entirely from plants) and good fat. For at least two weeks, continue to avoid caffeine, sugar, wheat, dairy, red meat, fried foods, and alcohol (which are inflammatory and trigger cravings). As always, get a doctor’s okay to try any new plan.
Detox Lemonade: In glass pitcher, mix 3⁄4 cup lemon juice, 1⁄2 cup maple syrup and 1⁄2 tsp. cayenne in 1⁄2 gallon water; chill. Sip upon waking. Rinse mouth with plain water when finished.
Breakfast: Enjoy a bowl of fresh fruit; if desired, wait 30 minutes and have oatmeal with nut milk, spices and optional stevia. To amp results, drink liver-boosting dandelion tea.
Lunch: 1 large salad with your choice of raw and cooked veggies, 2 Tbs. raw nuts/seeds, olive oil, vinegar and herbs to taste; enjoy with an optional glass of fresh veggie juice.
Soup Detox Superpowers
Dr. Haas says there isn’t one magic ingredient in his soup- instead there are hundreds: You literally flood your system with plant compounds proven to heal and protect. Every day, university researchers discover a new substance or benefit. For example, thylakoids in greens act as fat blockers and are linked to 43 percent faster weight loss. Meanwhile, flavonoids in foods like onions and broccoli improve blood sugar and activate “skinny genes.”
Then there’s the detox factor. “Antioxidants and many other micronutrients from plants have been shown to enhance the natural processes by which the body gets rid of toxins,” Dr. Haas explains. Because we’re exposed to so many toxins these days from sources like low-quality food, pollution, chemicals and mold, our livers can’t always eliminate them in a timely manner. “Toxins end up embedded in fat tissue, and that fat becomes very difficult to lose,” says Dr. Haas. “As they’re released, ‘unburnable’ fat can also be released.”
Dr. Haas adds that trapped toxins can cause massive, systemwide inflammation that affects everything from the brain and heart to microscopic mechanisms of our cells. “Reduce your toxic load, and inflammation quickly subsides, which sets off a chain reaction of health improvements.” Metabolism increases, digestion improves, joint pain subsides. “Inflammation puts stress on the immune system,” explains Dr. Haas. “Once it’s gone, the body is much better able to protect itself.” He adds that the inflammation factor is a big reason he’s a fan of plant-based soup. “Animal protein breaks down into acids that increase inflammation. By contrast, plant foods have a potent anti-inflammatory effect. Plants make the best detox soup by far!”
The Soup Detox Recipe
Dr. Haas’ go-to soup recipe makes seven hearty servings.
- 6 cups chopped non-starchy veggies (such as greens, onion, cabbage, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms)
- 2 cups chopped root veggies (potato, carrot and/or beet)
- 3 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1 qt. vegetable broth Fo r serving: sea salt, black or cayenne pepper and olive oil
- In large pot, bring 2 quarts water to a boil; add all veggies (except greens) plus garlic, ginger and turmeric. Simmer on low heat 30 – 40 minutes.
- Stir in broth and any greens and simmer another 10-15 minutes. Let cool.
- In batches, puree about half the soup in a blender; add back to pot. Warm individual servings and add toppings.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.