This Gut Healthy Turmeric Vegetable Broth recipe is full of ingredients designed to improve immune function, reduce inflammation and provide cancer fighting antioxidants.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but cold & flu season is upon us.
While picking my son up from preschool last week, I couldn't help but feel surrounded by runny noses and a chorus of coughing little ones. Nothing tests your immunity quite like a child's first year of school.
But fear not, there is hope! Besides constant hand-washing, you can help boost your immunity with gut-healthy foods.
What Does Your Gut Do?
The "gut" is your body's gastrointestinal tract and starts working from the moment food enters your mouth and doesn't stop until it's absorbed or excreted from your body.
It's the largest sensory organ in the body, makes up 70% of the immune system and contains trillions of bacteria...which is more than the total number of cells in the entire body. If you were to spread the entire GI tract out flat, it would cover a tennis court!
The gut plays a vital role in immunity, providing the body with essential nutrients, digesting food, absorption, excretion and fighting off pathogens. Digestive disorders are a sign that your gut isn't working correctly. Improper gut function can be associated with IBS, decreased immune function, heartburn, nausea and vomiting, constipation, gas, bloating, and malabsorption.
Finding the root cause of your GI distress should be the first step. Check with your physician or health professional to make a plan before making any changes to diet/medications. An elimination diet can help you determine if there are certain foods your body finds problematic.
What Causes GI Disorders?
- decreased healthy bacteria levels
- overindulgence of sugar, processed foods, sugar alcohols and food additives
- poor diet
How Can You Improve your Gut Health?
Balancing your bacteria is one area you can take to ensure a healthy gut. Consuming probiotic/prebiotic rich foods can help restore gut bacteria levels. Including Omega-3 rich foods (fish, flax, walnuts, chia seeds), fiber and Flavanoids (found in fresh fruits and vegetables) can all play an important role in immunity and gut function. Turmeric and ginger containing foods are being studied for their role on inflammation.
Probiotics are live bacteria that live in your digestive tract and aid in digestion by "cleaning" the gut so that things flow smoothly. They can be found in cultured dairy products (yogurt) and fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut).
Prebiotics are the non-digestible parts of your food that the probiotic bacteria in your gut use as food. Some prebiotic rich foods include chicory root, leeks, onion, and garlic.
The more food (prebiotics) that your gut bacteria (probiotics) have to eat, the more effective the bacteria work and the healthier your gut will be. This recipe is full of fresh vegetables and ingredients designed to support healthy gut function, reduce inflammation, boost immunity and provide cancer fighting antioxidants.
Gut Healthy Turmeric Vegetable Broth
To be 100% honest I had never been a huge fan of vegetable broth before I made this recipe. I often found it bland and kind of boring but this soup is anything but bland.
The vegetables provide a hearty base for the broth, but the real flavor comes from the garlic, turmeric and ginger. I let it simmer and reduce for almost 4 hours to really add flavor and pull those nutrients out of the ingredients into the broth itself.
You can use it as a base for soup but I actually just enjoy sipping on a warm mug of this broth. It's so warming and tasty!
Turmeric Vegetable Broth Recipe
Author: Brynn at The Domestic Dietitian
Serves: 8 cups
This Turmeric Vegetable Broth recipe is full of gut healthy ingredients designed to improve immune function, reduce inflammation and provide cancer fighting antioxidants.
- 1 gallon water
- 1 onion, roughly chopped (skin removed)
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 parsnips, roughly chopped
- 4 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 1 leek, chopped (green and white parts)
- 4 cloves garlic, halved
- 1 knob ginger, sliced
- 3 tbsp freshly grated turmeric + scraps leftover from grating (put both in soup)
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1-2 tsp salt (to taste)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Place all ingredients in a large stock pot
- Cover with water and place on stove over medium-high heat
- Let stock come to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover
- Allow stock to simmer for 3-4 hours
- Using a fine mesh strainer, strain soup and discard vegetables (or use elsewhere)
- Serve alone or as broth base for soup
- Allow broth to cool before storing in fridge/freezer
- Note - I didn't peel the carrots, ginger, or parsnips since I wasn't keeping the scraps afterwards. If you plan on using the cooked vegetables after in a different dish, you may want to peel them.