Food Is Medicine: Fight Colds with Immune-Boosting Soup

Food is medicine when you choose natural, healthful ingredients. Discover the healthful properties of this cold and flu-fighting Immune-Boosting Soup Recipe.

  • This one-pot wonder of an immune-boosting soup is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to dealing with colds and flu.
    Photo by Martin Poole
  • Dale Pinnock proves that food is medicine by crafting delicious recipes with ingredients that alleviate a variety of ailments and illnesses in "The Medicinal Chef."
    Cover courtesy Sterling Publishing

Food is more than just fuel; it's key in helping us live longer, healthier lives. Looking carefully at the science of nutrition, Dale Pinnock uses his culinary skills to create practical, delicious dishes that are a pleasure to eat but also alleviate a variety of ailments and illnesses. The Medicinal Chef (Sterling Publishing, 2013) includes recipes that target the skin; joints; respiratory, digestive, metabolic, and nervous systems. The following excerpt provides an immune-boosting recipe to fight colds and an explanation of how the ingredients serve your body.

How Can Food Help Us Become Healthier?

Many of us view food simply as the fuel we need to consume to keep us going. Things like carbohydrates and proteins — the macronutrients — are just that, providing energy and materials for growth and repair. But the thing is that food is so much more. As well as the macronutrients, there are the micronutrients: the vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and essential fatty acids. These are the keys that allow chemical events to take place in the body. Zinc, for example, is used to regulate our white blood cells and the way the brain uses and responds to its own chemistry; it even creates proteins that regulate inflammation. Essential fatty acids are the building blocks for hormones and a whole group of communication molecules that work to regulate pain and inflammation. The B vitamins turn food into energy, and magnesium is essential for more than 1,000 chemical reactions in the body. So it’s clear that getting enough vitamins and minerals will have a huge impact on our daily health.

Things get really exciting, however, when we start to look at the compounds in many ingredients that aren’t strictly nutrients, since none of them are essential for health, but which can deliver medicinal effects in their own right. Enter the phytonutrients. These are chemicals in plants such as color pigments, hormones and structural compounds. They are starting to be widely researched and are proving to have some wondrous effects. Chemicals in cherries can help beat insomnia. Chocolate can lower blood pressure. Red wine can protect us from heart disease. And that is just the beginning! When we put these things together, it becomes clear that what we eat can have a very profound effect upon our capacity to get better.

Goji Berries

Immune system health

No longer difficult to find in most health stores, goji berries contain a very special type of large sugar molecule called polysaccharides. These sugars have been shown to increase the production of white blood cells, the army of the immune system. This makes goji berries a useful ingredient during colds and flu, and for keeping the immune system strong at other times, too.



11/16/2017 3:17:27 PM

Just made the soup. I added about a tbsp of dried parsley, tsp dried basil, and tsp dried oregano. Also, I did not have goji berries, so I substituted fresh cranberries. It was incredibly good!

11/16/2017 3:17:24 PM

Just made the soup. I added dried parsley (1tbsp), dried oregano (1tsp), and dried basil (1tsp). Also, I didn't have goji berries, so I used fresh cranberries. It was incredibly good!

kevin boyd
11/7/2017 10:12:55 AM

Hit the READ MORE button and the recipe is listed.

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