Your co-worker can’t stop sneezing. The neighbors have the flu. Your son comes home with the sniffles. It’s just a matter of time until you’re taking sick day and drowning in a pile of tissues, right? Wrong. By eating foods that bolster the immune system, you can fight off illnesses before they get you. Here are 9 simple foods that fight the good fight:

  1. Garlic. Garlic contains allicin which emits a potent antioxidant into the body.
  2. Tea. All types of teas contain catechin, an antioxidant that boosts the immune system. Plus the warm drink soothes a sore or scratchy throat.
  3. Chia seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation which may prevent the immune system from working efficiently.
  4. Kale. To keep your immune system top notch, flood your body with nutrients. Dark leafy greens pack a punch.
  5. Dark Chocolate. That’s right! Dark chocolate contains high amounts polyphenols and zinc. A little goes a long way.
  6. Coconut. Selenium is essential for immune health.
  7. Pumpkin seeds. Like dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds contain zinc which boosts the immune system.
  8. Turmeric. Turmeric has been used for centuries as a medicinal spice. It is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that helps the body defend itself. Turmeric may even boost your white blood cell count.
  9. Oranges. Citrus fruits, especially oranges, contain vitamin C which may ward off illness or reduce the duration of the common cold.