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I recall watching a few infomercials concerning a particular juicer during my earlier days in South Africa. It had my family and I so convinced, promising weight loss and better overall health. I was still a youngster, so just the idea of juice appealed to me the most. A week hadn’t even passed by before my mum brought home the very juicer shown on the TV screen. Like a child with a new toy, my family proceeded to making several types of juices eagerly.

My mother, who at the time tried every possible thing that proclaimed weight loss, started souping a little later on, advice she had received from a colleague at work. But which is the better of the two?

Juicing involves a process where the vitamins, minerals, and natural liquids are extracted from raw fruits and vegetables. Juicing then strips away any solid substance or pulp from the fruits and vegetables and leaves you with liquid only. Juicers are not blenders, these are two different things. Juicers juice your fruits or vegetables and separate the pulp from the liquid, while a blender mixes everything and preserves the pulp. Juices are filled with minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, and anti-inflammatory composites, a healthy drink to start the day.

Souping

Still a 100% liquid diet, souping comprises of the same ideals as juicing does, except instead of the carrots and oranges, its chicken broth and cauliflower.  Soup can be a delicious way to achieve relatively more fullness than juicing and promote disease-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals. Soups can also provide great weight loss results if you have a disciplined routine.

Souping is more sustainable especially if one has a budget to maintain. The price of the juicer my mother purchased probably ranged in the mid hundreds (thousands if we consider Kenyan currency). Clearly not ideal for someone who has other expenses to think about. In addition the juice that emits from the juicer is about half the amount of vegetables and fruits inserted into the machine, considering it separates the liquid from the pulp. This can put quite a dent in your wallet considering all the trips to the market for fruit shopping. You don’t require an expensive machine to make soup, and with soup nothing goes to waste.

Soup also tends to make up for the fiber that gets lost while juicing. Not saying that juice has no fiber, in actual sense, it is packed with tons of soluble fiber. Soup makes up for the insoluble fiber, which is usually included in the pulp thrown away after juicing. Fiber aids in detoxification, while promoting proper bower movements and binding toxins in the bowel.

While juicing allows you to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, souping ensures the same, and so much more. Souping enables you to include other foods like beans, legumes, seeds, and healthy fats from several oils, which keep your energy elevated and maintains your blood sugar. It also also gives you more leeway to include spices and herbs for great flavor and added health benefits. Herbs and spices are rich in phytonutrients among other active ingredients. These can prevent and even treat chronic illnesses such as cancer and diabetes.

With all this said, turning to an all-soup diet isn’t ideal, because short-term diets aren’t usually long-lasting. “When you go ‘on a diet,’ you are bound to ‘go off a diet’, says Bella, a woman with an 80-pound weight-loss success story. Instead make small but healthy changes to your daily intake; this is how Bella managed to maintain her healthy body for the past 10 years. Whether you’re juicing or souping, incorporating vegetable and fruity elements into an already healthy diet, is a great way to give your body the nutrients, antioxidants and essentials it requires.

Here is a recipe to get you started on your souping journey:

Diet Beetroot Soup

  • 1 large grated beetroot
  • 1 large grated carrot
  • 1 potato
  • 1 onion
  • 1 can of peas
  • Small can of tomato paste
  • 1/4 head of cabbage
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt, pepper and other spices

Method:

Boil a pot of water and add the chopped potato and bay leaves to it. Meanwhile, spray a frying pan with a little bit of oil and add chopped onion. Once the onion turns yellowish, add the grated beetroot and grated carrot and let simmer for 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, mix the tomato paste with 2 cups of hot water and add it to the frying pan. That would be 15 minutes after putting in the beetroots and carrots. Let this stew for an additional 15 minutes.

Meanwhile chop the cabbage. Once you finish stewing the beetroots and carrots, add them into the boiling pot and add the cabbage and peas. Add Lemon juice, 1 table spoon of sugar, salt, pepper and other spices of you choices and let cook for a further 10 minutes. This is where you’re free to experiment with different spices of your choice. Just keep it reasonable though.

Serve hot. If your diet is not too stringent you can have this soup with a few slices of toasted whole wheat bread or any other healthy carbs.

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