BLACKSBURG, Virginia – If you want to give your body the best fighting chance against COVID-19, take a closer look at the food you’re putting on your plate.

Dr. Carlin Rafie, an assistant professor of nutrition at Virginia Tech said that the food we eat and nutrition play a big role in our immune function.

She recommended that people should eat a mostly plant-based diet, five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, whole grains and foods high in Vitamin D such as dairy or dairy substitutes.

While the best defense against COVID-19 is mask-wearing, social distancing and washing your hands, she said eating a healthy diet will help too.

“Eating a healthy diet is recommended for everybody. And if we do that and have a healthy lifestyle, we’re going to avoid all kinds of diseases, potentially chronic diseases,” said Rafie. “It doesn’t guarantee that you’re not going to actually get sick or get COVID. But it certainly is a positive step you can take to help your body be the healthiest it can and in the best condition to fight off infection of all kinds.”

Gut health is also important for a healthy immune system.

She recommended eating foods with fiber and fermented foods like kimchi or kombucha.

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