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Santo Remedio Recipes: Two Soups to Support your Immunity on Cold Days

We've been hit with a very cold winter with record low temperatures in most parts of the country. That, in addition to the risk of COVID-19 infection and seasonal flus, places our immune system at risk. We need to support it on all fronts, which is why we want to share with you two soup recipes that can help you be better protected as well as provide that inner warmth your body craves on days like these.

Soups made with natural ingredients are a good option to support our defenses (1). However, to be a real contribution to the immune system, the soup must have at least 3 characteristics:

  • Highly nutritious. This does not necessarily mean that it contains a lot of ingredients, just some key ones like onion, carrot, garlic, ginger, spinach, chard, or watercress. They provide a lot of beneficial properties and can be supplemented with protein such as chicken, meat, eggs, or grains like lentils, peas, beans, or chickpeas. (2)

  • Low in carbohydrates. A regular soup can contain any mix of ingredients, but an immune boosting soup does not have much if any potato or corn, foods high in carbohydrates. Vegetables, protein, and sparce carbohydrates is enough.

  • Easily digestible. This way, all nutrients are processed by the body smoothly.

The following soup recipes are filling, nutrient dense, and delicious!

Miso, mushroom and vegetable soup

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of boiled water
  • 2 tablespoons of miso
  • 3 shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped scallion or onion
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 1 cup of diced pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped ginger
  • 1 cup of bean sprouts
  • 1 cup of spinach leaves
  • 3 ounces of keto or low-carb noodles
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch of turmeric or the contents of a turmeric capsule

Directions:

Place the noodles and salt in the boiling water and cook until al dente. Strain the pasta but reserve the water to cook the carrot, pumpkin, garlic, and ginger. Let them boil for about 3 minutes and then add the scallions, sprouts, mushrooms, pepper, and turmeric.

While that’s cooking, place the miso in a cup with a little bit of hot water (you can use new water or the leftover water again). Dissolve it well. Once the soup is ready, turn it off and remove from the heat. Add the dissolved miso and spinach on top and let sit for 1 minute. Serve the noodles topped with the vegetable soup.

How does this soup help the immune system?

  • The ingredients it contains, such as carrots and spinach, are rich in antioxidants that stimulate the immune system. (3) (4)

  • Shiitake mushrooms contain antiviral and prebiotic properties that stimulate the production of interferon, T-lymphocytes, and others, which are defense response cells. Shiitake also has a relaxing effect. (5) (6)

  • Ginger and turmeric strengthen the immune system and help combat inflammation within the body. (7) (8)

  • Miso, a fermented paste made from soybeans, acts as a probiotic to the digestive system, improving the intestinal microbiota that is essential to the immune system. In addition, miso contains linoleic acid and lecithin, which regulate blood cholesterol levels and have antioxidant properties to combat cell damage and free radicals. (9)

Beet and spice soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 beets
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 piece or 2 teaspoons of freshly chopped ginger
  • 1 pinch of turmeric or the contents of a turmeric capsule
  • 1/2 cup of raw or roasted unsalted cashews
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil, or 4 fresh leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Boil the water in a saucepan before adding the beets, garlic, turmeric, and ginger. Cook until the beets start to turn tender. Do not overcook.

Once ready, allow the beets to cool before placing in a food processor or blender. Add the oil, basil, cashews, salt, and pepper with a little bit of the water they cooked in – just make sure it’s lukewarm. Blend or process until creamy. Add water as needed to make it creamier.

Serve with some freshly chopped basil and walnuts on top for garnish.

Why does it help the immune system?

  • Beets help oxygenate cells and increase the production of red blood cells, which help protect the body against infection and improves blood circulation. Therefore, they are also great support for the heart. Beets have many antioxidants that combat oxidation and cell aging (10) (11).

  • Garlic has numerous essential components for health and immunity, such as allicin and silicon that help improve the immune response and prevent viral infections such as influenza. Some studies have shown that patients entering intensive care for respiratory infection have low selenium levels (12) (13) – which garlic also contains.

  • Cashew contains a lot of copper, which is very important for immunity because it is toxic to microbes and helps to stimulate the defense’s T-cells. When there is an adequate level of copper in the body, bacterial infections such as E. coli, salmonella, and tuberculosis are better fought. (2)

Both soups are delicious, with plenty of support for your defenses and a little bit of yummy taste for you. Enjoy!

Let's be healthier, together!

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