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About the Author: John Immel, Asheville, NC

Cabbage Soup Diet

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(3.67 out of 5 stars) 3 reviews
Cabbage Soup Diet Ayurveda Recipe
Vata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingDigestive Effects Help
Experiences are Personal
Experiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary.
Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Soothes-throat, Flushes-sinuses
Effect: Alkalizing, Rajasic, Prana
Meal: Lunch-Dinner
Recommended for: Spring
Type: Vegetables
Style: Western
Occasion: Cleanse
Preparation: Soup, Boiled
Color: Green

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Pharmacological Effects
About Pharmacological Effects
The list of actions below have not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Is Cabbage Soup Diet Good for Me?
Find out by taking this free, easy quiz. You'll learn your body type, and whether Cabbage Soup Diet is a good fit for you. Time to complete: approximately 1 minute.

ayurvedic perspective

Put the spring back in your step with this light yet satisfying soup. Cooked cabbage is not only gentle and sweet, it is a cleansing and delicious addition to any diet. After celebrations, social events, and "living it up" sometimes you just want to live the simple life. Cleansing Cabbage Soup is the answer!

The Cabbage Soup Diet

In the 1980s, eating a diet of exclusively cabbage soup became quite popular as more and more Americans began to struggle with weight problems. This diet was notoriously low in calories, but the fibrous nature of both cabbage and celery gave dieters the illusion of fullness, which is very appealing for those with an unruly appetite. Celery is actually a negative calorie food meaning celery contains less calories than are burned by your body trying to digest it. Unfortunately, though eating a diet of exclusively cabbage soup may be filling, it is basically a crash diet that can lead to a person into a "feast or famine" pattern. Extremely low calorie diets ultimately cause a yo-yo diet effect that ends in weight gain. As much as we love cabbage soup, and recommend it for cleansing & weight loss, we don't recommend you go on an exclusively cabbage soup diet. However, including cabbage soup in one's diet can offer a light, healthy, and gentle cleanse after too much heavy eating.

Reduce Water Weight

Both cabbage and celery have diuretic properties, meaning that they help flush excess water out of the body. Often people who have a lot of Kapha dosha, the body type ruled by water and earth, tend to retain water especially in the late spring time when the climate is rainy and soggy. This kind of weather makes Kapha people feel dull, lethargic, and low energy. Celery is a bright, crunchy diuretic that can help you say goodbye to heavy water retention and hello to renewed lightness & energy!

Getting Back on Track

If you've been off your diet and eating unhealthy foods lately, Cabbage is a safety food that can get you back on track. If you've been feeling heavy and lethargic due to excessively rich foods, cabbage is a light and satisfying option. If you've been sick lately, cabbage is nourishing and supportive fare to help you recover.

Spiced to Cleanse

Curry powder improves circulation and thins the blood, cleansing the lymphatic system as well as all vessels and tissues. Its ability to move the blood dries dampness and increases heat. Turmeric's ability to support the liver while cleansing the lymphatic system make it an ideal herb for spring cleansing (along with beets and dandelions). The laxative and circulatory qualities of garlic are useful in cleansing regimens. It is also an expectorant, which means it can help clear out the lungs.

Goitrogens & Cabbage

Raw cabbage is goitrogenic, which means that it can lower thyroid function which is not good for people who have hypothyroid. When it is cooked however, the goitrogens break down so that you can enjoy them in moderation even for those with a hypothyroid condition.

About Cabbage Soup Diet

The Cabbage Soup diet was famous in the faxlore of the 1980s. While Ayurveda does not encourage a cabbage soup mono-diet, cabbage soup can be a healthy addition to a well-rounded diet. Here is the Ayurvedic version.


Add all ingredients to a large pot. Add enough water to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

About the Author

John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.

John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.

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(3.67 out of 5 stars) 3 reviews

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Tried the recipe and it tasted great! I used 1/2 water and 1/2 chicken broth. Also stir fried the cabbage with curry powder, onions & garlic, in coconut oil before adding to the soup.

- Diane, CA, 04-13-13 (Reply)
Some have asked about liquid for this soup...the water in the celery and cabbage form the liquid.
- John Immel, Asheville, NC, 07-03-13 (Reply)
Would red cabbage work with this? Could get away with a lot more vitamin A and C!
- Cassandra Podor, ON, 06-06-15 (Reply)
Yes, you could use red cabbage. Let us know how it comes out!
- Kimberly Kubicke, Wall, NJ, 07-21-16 (Reply)

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Browse recipes and hundreds of other ingredients on this extensive educational website. Joyful Belly helps people confidently choose food that restores their healthy glow, using the ancient technique of Ayurveda. Our extensive collection of online recipes, ingredients, and articles makes health easy. To get started, take the free dosha quiz to find your Ayurvedic body type.

What is Ayurveda?

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John Immel.

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