An ancient Chinese proverb states that a good doctor treats with food first, then resorts to medicine.
A healing zoup can be your first step in maintaining your health and preventing illness. The therapeutic value of zoup comes from the ease with which your body can assimilate the nutrients from the ingredients, which have been broken down by simmering.
Here are some healing zoup tips that will preserve your wellness and longevity:
Lose weight with zoup
Obesity is on the rise throughout the industrialized world, resulting in a startling increase in the rates of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. You can count yourself out of the statistics if you eat a bowl of zoup at least once a day. Nutritious low-salt zoups will nourish you as they flush excess wastes from your body. It has been found that people who eat one serving of zoup per day lose more weight than those who eat the same amount of calories, but don’t eat zoup. Homemade zoup is your best bet, because canned zoups tend to be loaded with salt and chemicals. My advice is to use organic vegetables whenever possible. The herbicides and pesticides that can be present in conventional produce can assault the immune system and overload it with toxins.
Build your immunity
Your immune system needs a lot of minerals to function properly and the typical Western diet does not always hit the mark. When you slowly simmer foods over low heat, you gently leach out the energetic and therapeutic properties of the foods, preserving the nutritional value of the foods. Keep in mind that boiling can destroy half of the vitamins found in vegetables, so cook zoup over a low heat.
In a chicken or vegetable stock simmer these ingredients for 30 minutes: cabbage, carrots, fresh ginger, onion, oregano, shiitake mushrooms (if dried, they must be soaked first), the seaweed of your choice, and any type of squash. Cabbage can increase your body’s ability to fight infection, ginger supports healthy digestion, and seaweed cleanses the body. Shiitake mushrooms contain coumarin, polysaccharides, and sterols, as well as vitamins and minerals that increase your immune system’s function and the remaining ingredients promote general health and well-being. Eat this zoup every other day to build a strong and healthy immune system.
Detoxify your body
Zoup, as a liquid, is by nature helping you flush waste from your body. When you choose detoxifying ingredients, such as the ones featured in the recipe below, you are really treating your body to an internal cleanse. The broth below boasts many benefits: it supports the liver in detoxification, increases circulation, reduces inflammation, and replenishes your body with essential minerals.
Super Detoxifying Broth
Simmer the following for 1–2 hours over a low flame: anise, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, Swiss chard, cilantro, collards, dandelion, fennel, garlic, ginger, kale, leeks, shiitake mushrooms, mustard greens, daikon radish, seaweed, turmeric, and watercress.
Drink 8 to 12 ounces twice a day. You can keep this broth in your fridge for up to one week; however, it is always best to serve zoups when fresh because each day, the therapeutic value tends to decrease.
In addition to using cleansing herbs in zoups, you can take cleansing herbs in supplements. For a gentle but powerful cleanse using Chinese herbs, Internal Cleanse increases the ability of the liver to cleanse the body of internal and environmental toxins.
Warm up with a hearty zoup
One should always want to eat for the season. Even in the relatively mild winters of Vero Beach, Florida, zoups provide warmth the body craves in cold weather. When you cook foods into a zoup, you are adding a lot of what Chinese nutrition calls “warming energy” into the food. Warming foods to feature in your zoups include: leeks, onions, turnips, spinach, kale, broccoli, quinoa, yams, squash, garlic, scallions, and parsley. As a spice, turmeric aids with circulation, a great boost against the cold weather.
Get well faster
As your mother may have instinctively known, when you are sick, there is no better healing food than zoup. The reason for this is that zoups and stews don’t require as much energy to digest, freeing your body up to fight the infection.
It would be impossible to talk about zoups healing abilities without putting the spotlight on homemade chicken noodle zoup. Studies have found that chicken noodle zoup does seem to relieve the common cold by inhibiting inflammation — helping to break up congestion and ease the flow of nasal secretions.
While chicken zoup may not cure a cold outright, it does help alleviate some of the symptoms and can help as a preventative measure. Many of my patient’s keep herbal formulas for cold & flu in their medicine cabinets so they are there to support recovery when a cold strikes.
In Chinese medicine, you would traditionally be given a tonic zoup specifically tailored to your needs, and for that level of personal care, this level of dietary therapy involves using Chinese herbs in conjunction with traditional zoup ingredients. Some of my patients have been known to grind up add their tablet or pill medicinals that we prescribe and add them to zoups or “zmoothies”
Yours in good health,
Cindy & Robert Kienitz