Cold and flu season is coming at us fast—and for some of you, it may already be in full swing. Whenever someone sneezes close enough to you that you feel a breeze, you wince and wonder how long it will be until you catch the bug.

But we’re here to help: “Immune system soldiers need good, consistent nourishment,” says Jennifer McDaniel, R.D.N., a food and nutrition expert.

Here are seven essential foods that you should fill your plate with during cooler-weather months to help your immune system work at its optimum level.