Eating well during this period of time is important, with particular attention being paid to nutrients that contribute to a strong immune system. Whilst there is no single food that can prevent illness, having a strong immune system is beneficial for reducing the duration or severity of illness. Here is a recipe you may like to try:
Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Vegetable Soup – serves 4
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1x400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1x400g can diced tomatoes
400g baby spinach
2 zucchinis, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cups Salt Reduced stock (Vegetable or Chicken is fine) – more if necessary
Parsley, to top
700g sweet potato, peeled and diced into small cubes
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and stir until brown, then add sweet potato, zucchini and carrots. Cook and stir occasionally until vegetables begin to soften.
- Add diced tomatoes, stock, cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to allow it to simmer for 15 minutes.
- If soup is a little thick, add more stock as required. Add in chickpeas and baby spinach, stirring to heat through.
- Divide soup amongst 4 bowls, top with parsley and serve.
This recipe contains:
- Protein for maintaining muscles (chickpeas; you can also add shredded chicken breast to boost protein content)
- Low-GI carbohydrates that are rich in fibre for fullness (sweet potato, chickpeas)
- Different coloured vegetables for various vitamins and minerals important for immunity.
Variety is extremely important – the enzymes responsible for many processes in the body rely on a variety of vitamins and minerals which are obtained from different coloured vegetables. Try to include at least three different coloured vegetables at each meal.