The cold seasons are approaching, which means soup is about to be a popular dish again. The great thing about soup is that you can make it with whatever ingredients you love, and its nutritional value will keep you warm during winter.
Chicken noodle soup is the classic go-to recipe for cold weather, but it’s definitely not the only option. In fact, you don’t even have to include meat at all.
The assortments of vegetables that go into soups provide essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that boost your health.
Given that the flu virus likes to take to the streets during colder weather (don’t forget to get a flu shot every year), a nutritious bowl of soup loaded with essential health-boosting ingredients could be just what you need to keep your immune system strong.
We often associate fungi with something bad. When it comes to the mushrooms, however, they are actually very healthy for you.
The recipe below is ideal for vegetarians and those who want to stay healthy during the winter. Mushrooms are a great addition to any meal, as they deliver a unique taste and a mouthful of nutrients, and they just happen to be the star ingredient in this instant pot soup recipe.
Not only can mushrooms add that special flavor to your favorite soup, but your immune system and overall health improve with every bite. Here’s how:
1. Immune System Boost
Mushrooms contain a powerful antioxidant known as ergothioneine that protects your body from free radicals and boosts your immune system. Mushrooms contain sulfur as well, which many people are deficient in, this antioxidant supports immune and metabolic processes.
Mushrooms also contain natural antibiotics that help to protect you from microbial growths and other fungal infections.
2. Prevent Cancer
The beta-glucans and linoleic acid in mushrooms help to prevent breast and prostate cancer thanks to their anti-carcinogenic effects.
With linoleic acid inhibiting the production of excess estrogen, which causes breast cancer, and beta-glucans preventing the growth of cancerous cells in the prostate, both sexes can benefit from regular consumption of mushrooms.
3. Lower Cholesterol Levels
Mushrooms deliver lean protein and no cholesterol as well as low carbohydrates. The lean protein helps your body to burn cholesterol, keeping your cholesterol level balanced and helping prevent cardiovascular diseases.
4. Treat Anemia
Mushrooms are a good source of iron, making them ideal for anyone suffering from anemia. Close to ninety percent of the iron in mushrooms can be absorbed by your body, which means maximum red blood cell generation and overall healthy blood.
5. Prevent Diabetes
The low carbohydrate, no fat, and no cholesterol content of mushrooms make them great for diabetics. The high water and fiber content also support healthy digestion and metabolic processes.
In addition to this, mushrooms contain insulin, which breaks down the sugars in your food, and other powerful compounds that support the pancreas function and, therefore, insulin regulation.
The natural antibiotics in these edible fungi also protect diabetics from the frequent infections they are prone to getting in their limbs.
6. Boost Bone Health
Mushrooms are a great source of calcium, which many people do not realize. This mineral is essential for the formation and strengthening of your bones, and, as a part of your regular diet, will significantly reduce your risk for bone diseases like osteoporosis.
Calcium also protects your joints from degeneration and the associated lack of mobility.
7. Improved Blood Pressure
Certain mushrooms are high in potassium, a vasodilator. This reduces tension in your blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure.
By reducing your risk for hypertension, you also protect your heart from cardiovascular problems. Potassium helps to promote cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain.
8. Source of Selenium
Typically you only get selenium through animal proteins, but because fungi feed on animal matter they also contain this invaluable nutrient. Selenium not only benefits bone health, but it is also a potent antioxidant that supports your immune system in scavenging harmful free radicals from your body.
9. Lose Weight
Your body burns excess fat when it needs to digest protein, and when the protein also has low fat and low carbohydrates, you are able to lose weight.
Mushrooms deliver this perfect cocktail for weight loss in addition to giving you that satiated and full feeling after a meal.
Burning fats as you eat, consuming less carbohydrates, and reducing those fatty cravings will have you at your target weight in no time.
5 medium carrots, chopped
5 stalks celery, chopped
Half of an onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked wild rice
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1. Put all the ingredients into your Instant Pot. Cook for 45 minutes and release steam using the valve on top. In a saucepan melt the butter and then whisk in the flour.
2. Let the mixture cook for a minute or two. Whisk in the milk, a little bit at a time, until you have a smooth, thickened sauce. Mix the creamy sauce you just finished cooking in with the soup in the instant pot and serve.
It is possible to stay warm through the winter without packing on extra pounds. Soups are a great way to feel warm and full, without complex carbohydrates and processed comfort foods.
When you throw in the mushrooms, your immune system and overall health get a much-needed boost too. This winter stay warm, stay healthy, and opt for homemade soup instead.