Diet & Nutrition
Beyond Chicken Soup: “Immune Broth” and Meals That Heal
Just about everybody knows that a nourishing bowl of chicken soup helps with the symptoms of the common cold by upping nutrient intake and.clearing out nasal passages. Yet the concept of food as medicine, not only as a means of warding off disease but as a crucial part of any recovery plan for those who are already seriously ill, encompasses far more than that age-old remedy.
Whether or not the often-repeated dictum “Let food be thy medicine” is correctly attributed to Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine”, there is certainly more than a grain of truth to the purportedly ancient bit of wisdom. A 2018 Google search yields a plethora of reliable sources regarding the importance of optimum nutrition for good health. No less an authority than the American Institute for Cancer Research offers instructions for “A Plate for a Cancer-Protective Diet”, while many respected institutions have healthy eating programs. Good examples include the University of Minnesota’s Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing: Food as Medicine; the Food as Medicine Everyday (FAME) initiative at the campuses of the St. Luke’s Health System in the Kansas City, MO region; and The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans, the first dedicated teaching kitchen to be implemented at a medical school.
Yet what is perhaps the most heartwarming current effort to combat the nutritional deficiencies so common among people with health challenges such as diabetes and cancer is The Ceres Community Project in various California locations. The tag line, “Meals That Nourish the Critically Ill and Empower Teens”, refers the fact that young people are trained to prepare the food that will be delivered to those in need of a nutritional boost, in particular those with low income for whom the meals are free. The organization has published “Nourishing Connections Cookbook” with recipes that will appeal to the hale and hearty among us as well as to those who are battling diseases. Proceeds go to support Ceres, which is a not-for-profit. One easy-to-make recipe that and is loaded with nutrients has a decidedly appealing name: Immune Broth. This soup, which is made solely of vegetables, goes down easy for anyone with health issues and promises to keep illness at bay for everyone else.
Here at thirdAGE.com, we have long been advocates of healthy eating. In fact, we are proud to feature a link on our home page to healthy recipes. We know that as people age, the immune system typically takes a hit and can use all the help we can give it. The same goes double for those with chronic illnesses. Of course nutritious food is not a cure-all, and we strongly advise everyone to get regular check-ups, exercising, and maintaining good adherence to any necessary medical regimens. Even so, eating right really can be thought of as a type of medicine in the sense that steering clear of junk food and sugar-laden desserts while focusing on wholesome fare is sure to go a long way toward promoting optimum health.
Let’s raise a cup of “immune broth” as we all say “Here’s to your health”!
Sondra Forsyth is a Co-Editor-in-Chief of thirdAge.com.