Hearty Tomato and Lentil Soup
I love this season of warming foods and today is a perfect day for it! This hearty Tomato and Lentil Soup is one of my favorites. It is super easy, quick to prepare and provides a nice punch of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an amazing antioxidant that fights off free radicals and helps to prevent and treat the common cold. Further research has shown new applications of Vitamin C in protecting us against endothelial dysfunction, high blood pressure, and the blood vessel changes that precede heart disease. Additional research is discovering that vitamin C can be helpful in supporting healthy blood sugar levels in diabetics, preventing asthma and protecting against cancer. Overall, Vitamin C levels in the blood is an excellent nutritional marker and a critical supplement in your program to improve cardiac health and avoid degenerative diseases. Although many think of Vitamin C as mainly from oranges, it can actually be found in often greater amounts in other natural whole foods (and with less fructose!) such as broccoli, red peppers (190 mg of Vitamin C per cup), Kale (80.4 mg of Vitamin C per cup) and chili peppers (107.8 mg of Vitamin C per half cup). With the addition of these ingredients, this Lentil soup is therefore not only packed with great sources of Vitamin C, but also contains substantial protein from the lentils, which is especially great for those who are vegetarians/vegans.
With the upcoming winter, protecting our immune system is critical. This is especially since at this time, many face increased stress due to "end of the year" work related demands, exams and assignments, school application deadlines and the reduction of sun exposure (where many face a drop in mood - often known as SAD or "Seasonal Affective Disorder"). Protecting yourself physically, can help build a foundation that then supports our mental health and vice versa. Indeed, stress is known to affect our immune system and physical health. Thus with Vitamin C`s blood sugar regulating and immune boosting properties, soups such as this can absolutely assist in the balancing of both our physical and mental wellbeing.
So this winter, eat lots of healthy, natural and nourishing foods, rich in immune boosting vitamins such as vitamin C (unless you have an autoimmune condition - then perhaps it would be beneficial to consult a physician or naturopathic doctor before adding immune boosters such as antioxidants into the diet).