Expert offers tips on foods to eat to boost your immune system

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — As the new coronavirus continues to spread across the country, having an optimally functioning immune system is more important than ever.

One of the top searched questions online right now is "Can I boost my immunity?"

The answer is yes, and it starts with food. Kim Goletz is a physician's assistant and a fitness expert. She said eating foods high in vitamins, beta-carotene and zinc are key to maintaining optimal health and helping our bodies run efficiently.

Goletz made a list of her top five immunity-boosting foods:

  1. Leafy greens like spinach, kale and Swiss chard, which are packed with fiber and vitamins K and A
  2. Bell peppers, which contain loads of vitamins C and A and potassium
  3. Mangos, which are loaded with vitamin C and are a good source of vitamins A, K and B6
  4. Strawberries, which are rich in vitamin C and potassium and have fiber
  5. Mushrooms, which have anti-viral properties and may help protect against a variety of infections

"Eating healthy is the most important thing that you can do to boost your immune system," Goletz said.

She recommended eating foods high in vitamins and nutrients instead of eating foods with empty calories like many processed snack foods. The good news is you don't have to worry about the nutrient-dense foods going bad, either. You can buy them canned or frozen, and they'll still have the same health benefits.

Goletz said there are also healthy staples you can keep in your pantry:

  1. Beans and lentils
  2. Nut butters
  3. Oats
  4. Whole grain pasta and canned tomatoes
  5. Canned fish

These shelf-stable items are rich in the macronutrients you need. These items are packed with filling fiber, healthy fats and protein. The possibilities for different meals are endless.

So, eat your way to better health, and a boosted immune system.