“Souping” is the New Juicing. Here’s What You Need to Know.

Green juices and cleansing tonics have been having their moment in the sun. But is it necessary to go hungry in order to feel better? Some say no and offer up soups as a healthier, more satisfying alternative.

Bowl of Minestrone Soup with Pasta, Beans and VegetablesPhoto: Shutterstock/Olga Nayashkova

There is something about a comforting bowl of soup that cheers us up on even on a manic Monday. When they are done just right soups can be satisfying and quite healthy. We might see images of celebs touting how they have used a juice cleanse diet to reset some less than perfect food choices, but flavor-packed healthy soups are probably a smarter choice. And thank goodness because many experts advise against detoxing our bodies by way of depriving ourselves of food.

Still, there are moments when we might feel bloated, like after a buffet of game-day snacks, and want to chug a turmeric tonic for days on end for the glory of flat abs. But that might not be the best way to go. “Soups are a better choice for detox because they can contain nourishment and needed fiber,” says Dr. David Friedman Clinical Nutritionist and bestselling author of Food Sanity: How to Eat in a World of Fads and Fiction.

Soup Can Be Fast, Too

Understandably, if you have a hectic schedule juicing may just seem like a quick and easy fix. But cooking up a bowl of soup doesn’t have to require endless hours of simmering. You can gain health benefits in about thirty minutes from good old chicken noodle soup, a favorite of Dr. Friedman’s, or try some soup with lentils, peas, shallots, and green onions for an amazing detox recipe, he says.

Plus, there are great soup subscription services like Soupure, Splendid Spoon and ZÜPA NOMA. They offer up thick and hearty options that contain antioxidant-packed ingredients such as kale, carrots, beets, zucchini and sweet potatoes. They even have combinations based on special diets like Whole30, vegetarian and even vegan diets. “Soup is low in sugar, high in fiber and full of nutrients, so it keeps you full and satisfied throughout the day,” says Jen Berliner, president of ZÜPA NOMA.

When Souping Is Healthier Than Juicing

The idea of soups being more nutritious than juicing may go against what we have been taught to believe. It isn’t that fruits and veggies aren’t a healthy choice, it is how we consume them that makes the difference. Whole produce is jam-packed with vitamins, minerals and all-important fiber. But nutrients, especially fiber, are lost when they are juiced and strained. Plus, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, eating thirty grams of fiber each day may help us lose weight, reduce our blood pressure and help to improve the body’s response to insulin. “Having a nice hot bowl of soup gives you a liquid foundation for quick nourishment,” says Dr. Friedman.

Still, there are some juicing enthusiasts that contend our stomachs can benefit from the digestive rest gained by drinking blended juices. Others, like Paula Simpson, Holistic Beauty Nutritionist, Biochemist and Co-Founder of Zea Skin Solutions argue that soups can work in the same way, “Because the foods are blended, they are easier to digest which is a common goal in any detox and they are easier on the digestive system.”

The Bottom Line

Juicing is great, but fruits and veggies are best when eaten whole. On the contrary, a savory bowl of soup can help you stave off low energy, dampen hunger pangs and may just help you reset after overdoing it at the office potluck party.

Get started souping with super-fast recipes.

Quick & Healthy Soup Recipes
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Cheryl S. Grant
Cheryl S. Grant has reported & written for Reader's Digest, Cosmo, Glamour, Latina, Yoga Journal, MSN, USA Today, Family Circle, Brides, HGTV, Examiner, Details, Beach Body, Spa Weekly, You Beauty, Scoop Post, FitBit, Spice Island, and Health Daily. She investigates trends and targets profiles subjects using a combination of deep background research (database, periodicals, preliminary interviews, social media), write and edit compelling stories in a variety of beats including beauty, health, travel, nutrition, diet, law, medicine, advocacy, entertainment, the military and various social issues.