‘Tis the season…for colds, flus, and other sicknesses to make their rounds. Believe it or not, the foods you eat can have a really big effect on your immune system, and we’ve compiled a list beyond your traditional citrus and chicken noodle soup.

  1. Garlic contains allicin, which naturally fights bacteria and infection. Add garlic to soup and broth, or even eat raw cloves to decrease your chance of catching a cold.

  3. Ginger helps your body break down toxins, particularly in your lungs, lymphatic system, and sinuses. Not only that, it also helps with nausea and settles the digestive system. Add to food, tea, or use raw.

  5. Oregano oil works as a natural antibiotic, of sorts, by helping to eliminate bad bacteria in your digestive system. Take about 200 mg 3 times a day.

  7. Yogurt is a natural probiotic, replacing good bacteria in your digestive system. Your digestive system is host to more than 500 various types of bacteria. Introducing friendly bacteria can positively challenge the immune system in a healthy way. Yogurt can help several ailments from diarrhea and eczema, to inflammation.

  9. Avocados are full of essential amino acids and antioxidants important for your immune system. Have 1 serving per day to help boost your immunity.

  11. Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, cabbage, and broccoli support your liver and help detoxify your system by flushing out toxins. They are full of many rich nutrients and vitamins, so for your immune system and overall health, eat up!

  13. Sage extract helps your body rid of mucus in your respiratory system. It can also help naturally reduce coughing. If you have a cold, add a drop of sage extract to tea or hot water.

  15. Pomegranates have anti-bacterial, antioxidant, and anti-viral properties. Add them to salads, yogurt, eat plain or drink the juice.

  17. Dark chocolate is an excellent source of zinc, which promotes the growth of white blood cells. Make sure your chocolate is dark or semi-sweet though, since sugar will not help your cold.