Ah-choo! Cold and flu season is here again. What’s the first line of defense for you and your family? Although washing your hands while singing “Happy Birthday” twice definitely helps (and could lead to a recording career), perhaps the best way to fight illness is from the inside out. You’ll find plenty of immunity-boosting nutrients in healthy, whole foods like the ones featured in these recipes. By incorporating these powerful allies into meals from breakfast to dessert, you’ll better your chances of staying well all season long.

Spiced Apple, Buckwheat, and Oat Porridge
Staff Favorite, Veggie

Serves 6 / Buckwheat, oats, and apples contain loads of soluble fiber, which increases anti-Spiced apple, buckwheat,and oat porridgeinflammatory-protein production; and Brazil nuts provide selenium, a mineral that increases natural killer cells. Soaking grains overnight allows them to cook faster and imparts a creamier texture, but you can eliminate this step if necessary; just allow for increased cooking time. This makes a big pot, so gently reheat leftovers with milk for a quick and easy breakfast. View Recipe

Golden Quinoa Pilaf with Tart Cherries
Gluten Free, Vegan, Quick

Serves 4 / A pilaf to please everyone—it’s a little sweet, a little tart, and a little savory. Quinoa is another great source of soluble fiber; spinach provides beta-carotene and vitamin C; and ginger, turmeric, and cherries all contain anti-inflammatory compounds. For good fats, add 3 tablespoons hempseed to the quinoa after cooking. View Recipe

Posole Verde with Delicata Squash and Beans
Gluten-free, Vegan

Serves 6 / This delicious stew is loaded with garlic, which stimulates production of disease-fighting white blood cells. Jalapeño and bell pepper provide vitamin C, which improves white blood cell production and function. Besides being one of the easiest winter squashes to cut, delicata is full of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Top with grated cheddar cheese, if desired. View Recipe

Spicy Kimchi
Vegan

Up to 1½ quarts / Kimchi (kim-chee) contains lactobacilli, good bacteria produced by fermentation. You’ll need two or three pint-size jars with screw-on lids (or halve this recipe to make less). Kimchi is best eaten raw to maximize the friendly-bacteria benefits; it’s wonderful on salads, tossed with noodles and vegetables, or stuffed inside an omelet. View Recipe

Raw Kale Salad with Pumpkin Seeds
Staff Favorite, Gluten Free, Vegan

Serves 4 / This salad brings out the best in kale, a phytonutrient-rich food that provides more immune-enhancing vitamin C than other leafy greens. Dark green dinosaur (Tuscan) kale is less bitter than its curly-leaf cousin, but either type will work. Crunchy pumpkin seeds serve as more than a garnish—they contain zinc, a mineral that regulates the production of infection-fighting white blood cells. View Recipe