As the weather gets cooler and the days get shorter, we will be spending more time indoors, often in close contact with others and unfortunately germs or sickness they might share with us. 

The good news is there are some steps we can take to boost our immunity. Physical activity, proper sleep and staying up to date on our vaccinations, including a flu shot are all great ways to avoid illness and stay healthy.

However, there is one more important thing we can do...eat nutrient-rich healthy food. Foods such as fruits and vegetables have vitamins and minerals that can help you prevent illness. We’ve got the six best foods to improve your immunity.

  • 1

    RED BELL PEPPERS

    Go red! Because it turns out that consuming red bell peppers have twice as much vitamin C than any other fruit or vegetable. And, we need vitamin C to increase the production of white blood cells to fight infections.

    Red bell peppers also contain beta carotene, which also supports our immune system and prevents diseases. When cooking, be sure to stir-fry and roast this fruit to preserve its sources rather than steaming or boiling it.

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  • 2

    BROCCOLI

    Bring on the broccoli! This vegetable also has many nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and E, along with many antioxidants and fiber.

    Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables we can eat to boost our immunity. Once again, avoid cooking it to retain its sources. And, try mixing it with other dishes such as with soup or in a salad for extra support.

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  • 3

    GARLIC

    Don’t walk away from its odor. Garlic is one of the most common foods we can consume to reduce colds and other illnesses. This vegetable has a heavy concentration of a sulfur-containing compound known as allicin, which fights the bacteria that cause the flu, cancer, and other diseases.

    You can also try garlic supplements as they were also found to lower the cold. A 2014 study showed that people who took garlic supplements were less sick than those who took placebo pills. Just make sure you choose the right supplement that has the same active ingredients in real garlic.

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  • 4

    LOW-FAT YOGURT

    Next time you’re at the supermarket, buy low-fat plain Greek yogurt, as it has great nutrients to improve your immune system. Unlike flavored and sugar yogurt, low-fat plain yogurt has high levels of vitamins B and D to strengthen your immunity. It also contains probiotics to allow for better digestion and defense within your stomach.

    For more support, add almonds or different servings of nuts in your yogurt. They have vitamin E, which also protects your cells from damage. And for more variety, also consider mixing your yogurt with fruits, vegetables, and a bit of honey.

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  • 5

    TURMERIC

    If you like curry, then you should be familiar with turmeric as it is a key ingredient in the dish. This bright yellow spice has an anti-inflammatory compound known as curcumin.

    When you mix it with tea, turmeric boosts your immune system and prevents other illnesses such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. However, only a small portion of curcumin is in turmeric. So, if you want the best anti-inflammatory results, then you should drink 500 milligrams of curcumin, which is about 2-3 teaspoons of turmeric.

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  • 6

    CHICKEN SOUP

    It turns out we should thank our parents for making us chicken soup every time we got sick. This meal soothes our cold because of its warm broth that decreases nasal mucus. Even if you are too sick to make soup from scratch, canned chicken soup or boxed chicken broth can work as well.

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