Some people advise that in addition to the usual rules about getting your flu shot, washing your hands more often and getting enough sleep, you should also think about shifting your diet towards foods that may boost your immunity.
"When we're sick, we don't want to eat and don't want to drink, but you need to continue to eat and give your body the nutrients and energy you need for the immune system to function properly," Michael P. Angarone, D.O., assistant professor of infectious diseases and medical education at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.
But here are some foods you may not have thought about in terms of helping shield you. Try increasing the probiotics in your menu, because that boosts the health and wellness of your gut, which may aid your immune system. It's pretty easy to do, too. Why not have some Greek yogurt at breakfast and dress up your hot dog with sauerkraut?
"Probiotics are healthy microorganisms that can help support bacterial balance in the gut," dietitian Jaime Mass said.
Ginger tea is a good immune booster, also a zesty and soothing choice for cold weather. Another easy pick is blueberries, which are bursting with antioxidants that may help treat and prevent coughs and colds.
You might also want to stock up on salmon, chicken, lamb, spinach, sesame seeds, lentils and chickpeas, all of which have good amounts of zinc. While the jury is still out on how effective zinc is in terms of reducing cold symptoms, some studies have showed promise.
Researchers found that zinc, in comparison to a placebo, significantly reduced the severity and duration of symptoms when taken within 24 hours of the onset of cold symptoms. They also found that children who took 15 mg of zinc daily for seven months were a lot less likely to catch a cold during flu season.