I started making large batches of ‘soup as therapy’ many years ago during times where I felt helpless in terms of being able to connect with family members living far away, as they were going through challenging times. Family living in other provinces and winter travel added additional hurdles. Spending the hours chopping, brewing and stirring my large soup batches was very therapeutic, a great distraction. I realize it is faster in an instant pot. I regularly shared small 250 ml jars of my soup with an older friend who adheres to a gluten free diet. As a nutritional consultant who has made the shift to a more plant based diet to promote healthy longevity, my soups all have a ‘plant slant’, with the protein sources coming from a variety of legumes. The soups I make are packed full of health and immune supporting ingredients. I attach an ingredient list to each bag so recipients can check for allergens. I also indicate that it is gluten free (GF) and vegan.
Now, in the midst of feeling isolated while staying home to do my part to ‘lessen the curve’ and protect others, I am again making ‘soup as therapy’. A good distraction from the challenging virus news statistics and realities. The focus of my soups has always been maximum nutritional value, now an even more necessary focus. The immune system has many protective and signalling functions which require an adequate availability of micronutrients to maintain a healthy immune response. Diet deficiencies of many of these necessary micronutrients are often found in the elderly and immune compromised. B vitamins are quickly depleted during times of stress so maintaining a diet high in B vitamins is crucial. Homemade soups with a large variety of quality ingredients are an excellent way to get a diverse array of necessary immune supporting micronutrients.
I like to pour my hot soup over a handful of chopped super greens to provide me with extra nutrition, a creative ‘soup and salad’ combo! This latest batch of sun dried tomato, vegetable, white bean soup brought me comfort during the making process and the end result, sprinkled with some nutritional yeast and dried stinging nettle leaves was delicious. Nutritional yeast is full of B vitamins, folic acid, protein and fiber, while stinging nettle contains vitamins A, B, C and K, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosporus, potassium, healthy fats, essential amino acids, polyphenols and pigments.
Micronutrients and the Immune System – “To fulfill its many and various protective and signaling functions, the immune system relies on the adequate availability of micronutrients.”
Hope you find making ‘soup as therapy’ helps you during these trying times. It is a great activity to do with other family members, or if you are alone like I am, it is equally as enjoyable. Homemade soups of immune supporting micronutrients help the body fight viruses and other pathogens. I will be delivering several jars to my friend’s apartment building door, who I will ask to distribute some jars to the doors of other seniors in the apartment building. She will then collect the empty jars for me when empty so they can be reused.
After years of soup making, I no longer use a recipe, I just create, each batch is different. If you need some recipe guidance to get started making nutritious, immune supporting soups, click the image below?
Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, http://www.mybodycanhealitself.ca/
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