My kids always look forward to the holiday season but I know this time of year means more sweets will be present. Whether it’s from class parties or baking swaps, I know my kids are going to eat more sugar in the winter months. Studies have shown that spikes in sugar intake can suppress your immune system, so when I know we’ll all be indulging a bit more, I try to make a conscious effort to make sure we’re all eating lots of vegetables and immune-boosting foods.
“Eating a well-rounded diet high in pretty, colorful veggies and fruits will give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to fight off illness. These foods help your body regulate and stabilize to work at peak performance. Believe it or not, what you put in your mouth serves as one building block to a strong immune system,” explains Samer Blackmon, M.D.
Luckily, soups are an amazing way to get these vital veggies into your kids’ diet. Another perk: So many of us like to make warm recipes during the winter months to combat how chilly it is outside, and soups are often so easy to make. They also tend to taste even better the next day—once the flavors have had a longer chance to marinate. Hooray for leftovers!
This sweet potato soup recipe is packed with nourishing veggies like carrots, celery, bell peppers, and yes, sweet potatoes. It also happens to be delicious. Check out how many immune-boosting ingredients there are.
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion
- 2 large carrots
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 leeks
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 c. creen beans
- 3 tbsp. arrowroot
- 1/4 tsp. ground thyme
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 c. white wine vinegar
- 3 c. bone broth
- 2 c. organic heavy cream (sub. coconut cream for non-dairy)
- 1.5 lbs. chicken (optional)
- Cook chicken. I like to use a slow cooker to make the chicken easy to shred. If you are in a pinch, a rotisserie chicken will work great for this too!
- Chop onions, carrots, celery, red bell pepper, and leeks. Mince the garlic. Cut the sweet potatoes into 1/2″ cubes. Trim and half green beans
- Sauté onions, carrots, celery, red bell pepper, leeks, garlic, and sweet potatoes in olive oil. Once soft, add arrowroot.
- Add rosemary, thyme salt, pepper, cooking wine, bone broth, heavy cream, green beans, and chicken.
- Simmer until ready and enjoy hot!
- It can stimulate the immune system.
- A 14-day study in rats fed arrowroot powder resulted in considerably increased blood levels of immunoglobulins G, A, and M. These are various antibodies that protect you from harmful microorganisms.
- It’s a great source of probiotics.
Red Bell Pepper
- A single bell pepper provides 169% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C.
- It contains high amounts of iron as well, which is absorbed well due to its high levels of vitamin C.
- It contains Quercetin and Luteolin, which are both powerful antioxidants that may be beneficial for preventing certain chronic conditions.
- 1 cup of green beans contains 33 mcg of folate or 10% of your daily intake. Folate is a B vitamin that is important for brain health and helps prevent birth defects during pregnancy.
- Green beans contain high amounts of soluble fiber and no cholesterol, making them heart healthy.
- One large carrot contains 100% of your daily recommended vitamin A.
- Carrots are rich in beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A.
- Carrots were originally grown for medicinal purposes.
- Polyaetylenes (bioactive compounds) in carrots may help protect against some cancers.
- Leeks contain kaempferol, which is linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases. Research shows that this may fight cancer by reducing inflammation, killing cancer cells, and preventing these cells from spreading.
- They also contain prebiotics which feed the probiotics in your gut and help them to flourish.
- 1 cup of sweet potatoes contain 7 times the beta-carotene that’s recommended daily.
- Sweet potatoes contain soluble and insoluble fiber- both essential for gut health.
- Purple sweet potatoes contain anthocyanin which can help reduce inflammation.
- Bone borth contains 17 amino acids which help the immune system function properly.
- Glutamine is the most abundant of these and it helps to active immune cells’ energy. It’s shown to help maintain the function of the intestinal wall.
- Bone broth is also shown to heal the mucosal lining of the digestive tract.
So there you have it! This tasty soup is filled with health-beneficial ingredients worth adding to your diet. While these foods should be enjoyed regularly for the most benefit, it’s especially important to eat them when you’re feeling rundown (or if you’re eating a lot of sugar!) Try making a batch for yourself or your family—you won’t be disappointed.