When your family is ill or everyone around you is ill and you’re trying to hold on to your family’s health, where do you turn? I am a huge proponent of Elderberry syrup and Vitamin D3 to help prevent illness, but what if you want some other support?
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” –Hippocrates
So how do we get some medicine in our food?
Some of the best ways to improve immune function can be cooked up into a delicious, nutritious soup that can be given to the whole family. And you can even make it a vegan soup, if you so desire. This soup is based off of a recipe by one of my teachers and a key founder of Bastyr University, Dr. Bill Mitchell.
I’m going to tell you why each piece is in the soup, and you can find the recipe below:
Garlic: garlic has been found to protect against and reduce the duration and severity of things like the flu, colds and bronchitis. It has been found especially beneficial against Haemophilus influenza B and Strep pyogenes and will help improve our TH1 portion of our immune system. It also has several other fantastic properties!
Oyster mushrooms: these mushrooms are helpful for increasing the TH1 immune response and are immune stimulating overall.
Crimini/Portobello/Brown mushrooms/White button mushrooms (they are all the same mushroom, they’re just different strains or harvested at different times): another fantastic immune boosting mushroomand one with a delicious flavor that most members of the family will enjoy. Of all the mushrooms I’ve included in this recipe they are the easiest to find for purchase and the least expensive, too.
A general note on mushrooms: sometimes people (mostly kids) don't enjoy the texture of mushrooms. You can still cook with them in your soup and fish them out if desired. The helpful compounds will have infused through the soup and will still be doing great benefit.
Instructions: bring the broth, onion, garlic, ginger, carrot to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes with the lid on then add the Shitake mushrooms and cook for another 7 minutes with the lid on. Add the lemon juice and parsley to the soup, let sit for another 5 minutes off the stove with the lid on and enjoy!
This recipe will serve four quite nicely. You can double (or triple, or more!) the recipe to make plenty for everyone to have a few cups of soup on a daily basis. While it may reduce some of the immune supporting function of the soup if you freeze it you will get enough benefits that I would suggest stocking a few quarts away for cold and flu season when you’d pretty much "rather die" (almost) than cook.
If you’re ill, feel better soon! If you find that you are having a hard time shaking your illness, please consult with a doctor to make sure you don’t need more intervention.
Dr. Corinne Harpster, NDis a family practitioner currently taking new patients and would love to help you with improving your family’s immune system.