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Stock up for winter with these immune-boosting foods and pantry staples

Stay healthy with Joy Bauer's favorite nutritious and versatile foods.
Illustration of food including strawberries, lettuce and mushrooms
These foods are low in calories and bursting with vitamins and minerals. TODAY Illustration / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Looking to boost your immune system? There are so many great options to choose from, whether you’re strolling the produce aisle or perusing the frozen section.

I've listed my top five, favorite fresh items, all of which are packed with vitamin C and beta-carotene — plus, most people absolutely love these flavors. I also snuck in mushrooms because they boast anti-viral properties. Feel free to choose between fresh or frozen produce. Most produce is picked and frozen at the peak of ripeness, so it has the same nutritional value as its fresh counterpart. Just look for packages without any added salt or sugars.

5 immune-boosting fresh foods

  • Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale and Swiss chard: Leafy greens are packed with fiber, vitamin K and vitamin A. They're great sautéed on their own, as the base of salads or even snuck into smoothies.
  • Bell peppers: Bell peppers are low in calories, but also pack a great punch of flavor. All varieties are nutritious and contain loads of vitamin C, plus potassium and vitamin A.
  • Strawberries: These juicy red berries are pretty much universally adored. In addition to being rich in vitamin C and potassium, they also have fiber, which will help keep you regular.
  • Mangoes: Juicy mangoes are a great way to add a little tropical flair to any dish. They're loaded with vitamin C and are a good source of vitamins A, B6 and K.
  • Mushrooms: Earthy and packed with umami, mushrooms have anti-viral properties, which may help protect against a variety of infections.

5 healthy pantry staples

While you're at the grocery store, don't forget to stock up on my favorite budget-friendly, shelf-stable items that are also rich in the macronutrients you need. Not only will they help you and your family stretch any meal, but these items are packed with filling fiber, healthy fats and protein. The possibilities for different meals are endless!