Mother Nature's secret weapons
Updated: Aug 27
So what are immune boosters anyway?
Well, of course the reality is that ALL fruits and vegetables are good for us! They contain differing levels of minerals, vitamins, Fibre, oils and fats which our bodies need; not to mention sugars (especially those root vegetables which are so delicious - but before you demonize some of those rooty toots... some are VERY VERY good for you!)
This is a list I have managed to cobble together from extensive research on the web (I'm not an armchair nutritionist, but these are all a great way to build a healthy immune system) and you will see I haven't stopped at veggies. There are a good many spices too which non only pep up our foods, they also pep up our bodies too! There are others of course, and I recommend as many fresh veggies as you can get into a soup.. the better off you will be!
Broccoli: is a great source of Vitamin C and antioxitants - The trick with Broccoli is NOT to cook it for too long! That Vitamin C is a valuable component, which is easily lost by boiling away! so keep it Green folks!
Sweet potatoes: have loads of beta carotine which, not surprisingly adds to their colour and lots of Vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate which means they release their energy in your body slowly, making them a great sustained energy food.
Spinach: contains loads of essential nutrients and antioxidants, including:flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin C and Vitamin E.
Vitamins C and E are known to help the immune system and apparently 'flavonoids' may help prevent colds in a healthy person. I'm very happy that spinach is on the list because our signature Green Velvet soup in packed full of Spinach (and Broccoli!) but beware! Like Broccoli... don't over cook it .. you wil lose the Vit. C.
Garlic: is a common home remedy for the prevention of colds and other illness. It is also the single most delicious thing in the kitchen. For me, a kitchen with no garlic, might as well be a laundry!
Red bell pepper (sadly, I hate them)For people trying to avoid the sugar in fruit, red bell peppers are an excellent alternative source of vitamin C.
Parsnips: (I had my first parsnip at 23 years old and loved it! ... My french mother was horrified that I had eaten pig food!)Parsnips are super rich in Vitamin C, a known immune booster that wards off common cold-causing infections. Parsnips are also rich in potassium, good for lowering and controlling blood pressure.
Cayenne Pepper: This stuff packs a punch, Oh I know it can blow your head off but it's medicinal properties are legion. Not only is a great anti bacterial and anti viral souperhero, offering protection, it can also help break up congestion and calm coughs. I love adding it to our Sweet Potato Soup. (It's a revelation)
Cinnamon: Used in acient medicines for centuries, Cinnamon is known to regulate blood pressure, never a bad thing when our anxiety levels are being challenged! Cinnamon is a Fantastic addition to savoury dishes as well as sweet. I look to add it to our Roasted Root Veggie soup... it adds a certain exotic characteristic!
Ginger: This stuff does so much. And of course has been used in alternative medicines for centuries. (all those years cant be wrong!) We know it is an anti-inflammatory, and has anitoxidants as well as an anitemetic. (stops you from throwing up - any pregnant woman will tell you about her relationship with Ginger buscuits)
Then there's mushrooms, leeks, shallots, onions. You will find properties in most of Mother Nature's pantry,there to protect us from nasties. We just need to use them more! Let's not forget the humble potato either. While this is not a PSA for the Potato industry, it is true that they are packed with goodness and the complexity of the carbohydrate element makes them an excellent slow release energy provider.
Recipes are to be found on the "from our family to yours tab" but, if you find the idea of making soup too imtimidating - I have you covered if you live in Calgary. For the duration of the Covid19 Self Isolation environment, SouperSpudz will make and deliver to your door Immune Boosting soups (for a special Covid19 price!) - go to our landing page to learn more!
Every bowl of soup sold on our food truck contributes a donation to a local agency helping Women and Children at Risk