Feel a cold coming on? While fighting the flu is incredibly hard, there are foods that may help ease your symptoms and help keep your immune system strong.

They say you are what you eat, so it makes sense that eating healthy foods can help you stay healthy. You can’t underestimate the importance of good nutrition when it comes to your immune system.

In a worst-case scenario, a cold can send you to the hospital with pneumonia, an ear infection, or an asthma attack.

An immune booster is the most convenient way to boost your immune system and fight colds, especially if you don’t have the time to prepare a flu-fighting meal.

Energy supplements work best before a healthy meal. So why not choose a meal with the perfect ingredients that will compliment your goals?

Use these foods to ward off fall and winter misery with immunity-boosting foods you already have right at your fingertips.

  1. Chicken soup

Not only does chicken soup provide the fluids you need to help fight off viruses, but it also reduces the inflammation that triggers symptoms and leads to more colds.

It’s not clear which ingredient provides the most benefit, but researchers believe it’s the combination of all the healthy vegetables and chicken that soothes symptoms.

The warm broth not only soothes your throat but helps you stay hydrated, too.

Hot liquid, like soup, raises the temperature in your body and airways, loosening mucus secretions. Also, when you cook chicken, it releases the amino acid cysteine, which resembles a drug that is used to treat bronchitis.

  1. Citrus

Think of Vitamin C as your best pre-cold and flu friend. There is power in keeping your immune system in tip-top shape.

Vitamin C, most commonly found in citrus fruits, is an antioxidant that can reduce cold symptoms by 23 percent, studies have found.

  1. Ginger

Spicy and warming, ginger helps break down mucous to help clear your respiratory tract and alleviate symptoms of congestion. It also contains phytochemicals that help fight viruses that can cause respiratory illnesses.

Ginger contains chemicals called sesquiterpenes that specifically target rhinoviruses, the most common family of cold viruses, as well as substances that suppress coughing.

It’s also a natural pain and fever reducer and a mild sedative, so it can help you rest when you’re sick.

  1. Garlic & Onions

Add plenty of garlic and onions. Combined, they contain dozens of broad-spectrum antiseptic and immunity-boosting compounds.

Garlic and onions have antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties that can help keep you healthy.

Although fresh, raw garlic is reported to have the most health benefits, most of its potency will still be retained if you chop or crush it and allow it to stand for 10 minutes before cooking. Take 1 to 2 cloves per day for prevention, and a single clove, 3 to 4 times daily, for acute infection.

  1. Green Tea

Green tea has been considered a health elixir for millennia. It has been linked to increased satiety, decreased risk of certain cancers, and increased fat oxidation. Now green tea is proving to be an effective way of preventing colds and the flu.

Green tea contains compounds called catechins which are able to boost the immune system`s ability to fight the flu.

Besides providing much-needed antioxidants, green tea is also said to have disease-fighting powers, even preventing cavities and protecting your gums.