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Minestrone soup

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 parsley sprigs, chopped
1 basil sprig, torn
2 tablespoons tomato paste
400g can tomato diced
400g can drained beans e.g. kidney, butter, cannellini beans
400g chopped vegetable (any type like mushrooms, capsicum, eggplant, zucchini)
500ml water or stock (add extra if needed)
50g pasta or rice

Parmesan cheese to taste
Pepper to taste

Method

  1. Sauté diced onion and garlic in a large stove pot with olive oil
  2. Add all other ingredients to the pot
  3. Bring to boil
  4. Simmer for 1/2 hr out until vegetables and pasta tender
  5. Serve topped with parsley, grated cheese and pepper

Boost your immunity through good health

Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is key to helping your immune system function properly. Whilst we can’t guarantee that a perfect diet can warn off all coughs, colds and viruses, one thing we can do is support our immune system to work at it’s best through good nutrition.


An immune supportive diet is one that is packed with vitamins, minerals, good fibres and plenty of phytochemicals like antioxidants. The more unprocessed foods and plant based foods you have in your diet the better. And variety is key!
To have a really strong immune system the nutrients essential to fight infection include vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, and the minerals iron, selenium, and zinc.


So where to find these nutrients? The best way is to include at least 5 serves of bright coloured veggies every day, get 2 serves of fruit, and include a variety of grains, nuts and seeds daily, along with good quality proteins. Here are a few tips to get those specific immune supportive nutrients:

  1. Vitamin A: oily fish, egg yolks, cheese, tofu, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes.
  2. B vitamins: legumes, green leafy vegetables, fruit, nuts, fish, chicken and meat.
  3. Vitamins C: oranges, lemons, limes, berries, kiwifruit, broccoli, tomatoes and capsicum.
  4. Vitamin E: nuts, green leafy vegetables and vegetables oils.
  5. Vitamin D: food sources including eggs, fish and some milks and margarine brands may be fortified with Vitamin D (meaning extra has been added). But most people need just a few minutes outdoors most days.
  6. Iron: meat, chicken and fish. Vegetarian sources include legumes, whole grains and iron-fortified breakfast cereals.
  7. Zinc and Selenium: found in oysters and other seafood, meat, chicken, dried beans and nuts.

Putting it all together
To optimise your immune system, choose a good variety of bright coloured plant based foods, and keep those energy dense, nutrient poor processed foods to a minimum.


Beyond diet, there are other measures you can take to stay as healthy as possible like not smoking, keeping alcohol to a minimum, getting enough sleep and of course exercising regularly.


Stay healthy this winter with this delicious and veggie filled minestrone soup.