A healthy immune system is vital for helping your body deal with infections caused by viruses, bacteria, fungus, and environmental toxins. As the winter months approach, it becomes even more important to support your immune system by consistently eating a balanced diet, exercising, and making healthy lifestyle choices. But the real fuel for a strong immune system is using food as medicine.
An immunity-boosting diet includes light, easily digestible meals throughout the day, especially soup. A myriad of health benefits and flavors are derived from the herbs, vegetables, and broth. Soups also can help curtail the onset or ease the symptoms of colds and flu. Look for soups that include immunity-enhancing ingredients such as ginger, onion, garlic, mushrooms, and a variety of veggies and herbs in a broth-base. As always, food made from scratch is best!
Super-Immunity Diet Guidelines
Immunity Boosting “Better than Chicken Soup”
This immunity-boosting soup is made with a virtual garden of powerful ingredients (in bold) that contain beneficial nutrients for your immune system:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
4 cups low-sodium mushroom, vegetable, or chicken broth (try making your own homemade bone broth)
1 ½ cups finely sliced kale
1 cup cubed butternut squash
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
6 slices astragalus root (optional)
1 fresh lemon, juice of
1 teaspoon miso
1. In a sauce pot over medium-high heat, add oil and cook onion and garlic, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes.
2. Stir in turmeric and mushrooms, and cook 2 minutes more.
3. Add broth, kale, squash, ginger, cayenne, and astragalus. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, add lemon juice and miso. Cover and let sit 5 minutes before serving.
Cheers to your good health this winter!