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.

| January 17, 2014

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

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.

Buy this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: The Medicinal Chef.

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.

11/17/2015 9:03:58 AM

Gee, you forgot one of the mosst importantingredients--Turmeric, one of life's greatest! Helps with sooo many problems! ;)

10/20/2014 8:24:53 PM

This is an outstanding soup! I added fresh, torn spinach at the end, cumin, ground black pepper, about 2/3 C. mixed wild rice, and fresh torn basil. I think fresh thyme would be good, too. In the summer, I would sauté chopped clover flowers which are rich in pollen with the initial garlic, etc. I substituted the chile with a banana pepper, and you could also add carrots. I used a potato masher to mash some of the soup and left many chunks of sweet potato for texture. I would double the mushrooms next time.

2/11/2014 12:02:04 AM

Dale Pinnock the author of the article, I would recommend you read at Wikipedia Its most claimed nutritional attribute[citation needed] is an exceptional level of vitamin C, to be among the highest in natural plants.[citation needed] However, it was demonstrated by independent assays on dried berries to be quite variable, in a range of 29–148 mg per 100 grams of fruit.[citation needed] This level is comparable to many citrus fruits and strawberries[43] as well as numerous other fruits and berries. Readers, please make your own decision regarding Goji, goji berry or wolfberry.

2/10/2014 9:43:24 AM

What about adding turmeric (anti-inflammatory)?

mother earth news fair


Feb. 17-18, 2018
Belton, Texas

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, hands-on workshops, and great food!