This Spiced Sweet Potato Soup is on regular rotation in my house this winter. Its velvety, rich flavor comes from the combination of sweet potatoes, peanut butter and coconut milk. Lately, I’ve noticed a little less “spring” in my ability to shift between sitting and standing. My knees creak a bit more when I go up the stairs. Perhaps, this is also called “aging?”
Health Span Versus Life Span
Chronologically, I know I’m going to age. But, biologically…I’m not going down with a fight. My everyday choices dictate my “healthspan.” (the period of one’s life where we’re healthy) And, I care more about healthspan than lifespan. We all know that diet, exercise and sleep play a role, but, are you regularly eating your anti-inflammatory spices? If not, you’ll want to try my anti-inflammatory Spiced Sweet Potato Soup. One, it tastes a heck of a lot better than Ibuprofen, and two, to comes with fewer side effects.
Lately, I’ve been noticing some aches and pains. While I’d like to blame it on my training, if I’m being honest with myself, it’s probably related to aging. And by aging, I mean inflammation. Anti-inflammatory diets are quite the buzz. And, for good reason. Most diseases such as heart disease, alzheimer’s and arthritis are in response to inflammation. Beyond delicious flavor, this soup is armed with anti-inflammatory spices including: curry, ginger, turmeric and cumin powder.
How do these spices help with inflammation and arthritis? Anti-inflammatory foods reduce pro-inflammatory proteins called cytokines. When our body produces an over-abundance of these proteins, it can lead to chronic inflammation leading to joint pain, swelling and tenderness. Spices such as curry, ginger, turmeric, and cumin may reduce cytokines due to their antioxidant capacity.
Turmeric is one of the more well-studied spices for its anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s one of the spices found in curry and contains an arthritis-fighting compound called curcumin. Turmeric’s absorption is enhanced when combined with other spices such as black pepper.
Polyphenols found in prevent the formation of pro-inflammatory cytokines. You can use fresh or dried ginger in this recipe.
So, ladle up our Spiced Sweet Potato Soup and slow down biological aging even if chronological aging won’t stop.
14.5 oz. can diced, fire-roasted tomatoes with green chilies
¼ c. peanut butter
2 T. maple syrup
1 15.5 oz can lite coconut milk
4–5 c. vegetable broth
1 T. curry powder
2 t. ground turmeric
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. cumin powder
1 t. salt
Sauté garlic, onion, and red bell pepper in olive oil over medium heat. Once onion is translucent in color, add cubed sweet potatoes and sauté a few more minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer 30 minutes until sweet potatoes are soft.
Blend soup with a blender/immersion blender.
Simmer pureed soup for a few more minutes.
Top with toasted pumpkin seeds and sliced avocado.
Keywords: spiced sweet potato soup
Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons.
If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.
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