The final stretch of winter is upon us, and we can almost smell the flowers, happiness and sundresses. BUT before you start to pack away your sweaters and scarves, know that this time of year is one of the most common for colds and other illnesses. Need a way to ensure that you stay healthy and happy until warmer days arrive? We’ve got 18 immune-boosting recipes to help give your body’s defenses a kick in the pants and protect you against nasty winter aches, pains, sniffles and sneezes. Make any of these delicious treats as a preventative measure or nosh on them when you feel yourself coming down with something. They may not be a cure-all, but they’ll sure make you feel better.


1. Healthy Red Velvet Smoothie: The bright red color in this tasty smoothie comes from pomegranate and grapefruit — both excellent sources of vitamin C and antioxidants that’ll protect you from the viruses floating through the air. (via Give Recipe)


2. Immunity Smoothie Bowl: This bowl is packed with powerhouses of immune-boosting foods. With citrus fruit for vitamin C, turmeric to clear the sinuses, spirulina and kale for your greens and seeds for protein andmore vitamins, this breakfast has it all. (via Pur Body Nutrition)


3. Fennel, Apple Cider and Celery Winter Salad: This bright salad has plenty of crunch from fresh apples and fennel. The fruits and veggies give you a much-needed vitamin boost, and the licorice-like taste of the fresh fennel can even calm an upset stomach if you’re feeling a little queasy. (via No Gojis No Glory)


4. Chipotle Chicken Soup: Everyone knows chicken soup is good for the soul and a sick body. But add in a spicy kick from chipotle peppers and you’ve got a sinus-clearing, sweat-inducing concoction that will knock the sickness right out of you. (via Naked Cuisine)


5. Winter Cabbage Slaw: Eat this alongside the soup above for some textural contrast and a major antioxidant boost from the red cabbage, pomegranate and honey. (via Leelalicious)


6. Roasted Garlic Soup: We don’t really know why garlic tastes so good when we’ve got a cold, but we’re willing to bet it’s immune-supportive powers have something to do with it. A soup of the stuff is warm and comforting when you’re not feeling your best. (via Smitten Kitchen)


7. Ginger Cardamom Chai: Nothing can save a morning with a cold, except maybe this fragrant chai tea. Packed with ginger and cardamom, it’s the ultimate cold-fighting machine. (via Revi’s Foodography)


8. Noodles with Lemongrass Broth: Plenty of lemongrass brightens up chicken broth and becomes a perfect bath for delightfully slurpable udon noodles. Add as much Sriracha and cilantro as your taste buds desire. (via Eats in Slow Coast)


9. Gingerbread Lara Bars: Make your own nutritious, vitamin-filled bars to give you an energy boost when you need it most (i.e., when you’ve run out of Advil and still have three hours of work left). (via Nutritious Eats)


10. Vegan Mushroom Miso Soup: Replenish your body with the necessary salt and fluids in this mild, yet flavorful soup. Bonus: Miso, ginger and mushrooms are well known as immunity-supporting powerhouse foods. (via The Foodie Dietitian)


11. Immunity Tonic: You can’t get more vitamin and immunity-packed than this tasty juice. Tons of citrus, plus turmeric, ginger and cayenne pepper will let your cold know who’s boss. (via Faring Well)


12. Green Tea Turmeric Oatmeal: It might feel strange to cook your oatmeal in tea instead of water, but trust us, the antioxidants and delicious flavor will quickly help you get over it. (via Oatgasm)


13. Chicken Tomato Rice Soup: Few things are more comforting and hearty than tomato soup packed with chicken and rice. Curl up with a bowl of this on the couch and you’ll be right as rain in a few days. (via Give Recipe)


14. Ginger Citrus Chia Cups: Start your morning off right in spite of that cold with this raw, vegan breakfast that tastes like dessert. It’ll be just the thing to get you out of bed in the morning. (via Choosing Raw)


15. Garlic Confit: Put this delicious, soft garlic on everything from your morning toast to pasta to salads. A drizzle of the oil over a salad or in a soup will also give you a dose of that immune-boosting awesomeness. (via Circa Happy)


16. Immune Booster Orange Smoothie: Sweet potatoes add a ton of creaminess to this bright orange smoothie. It’s packed with nutrients and protein to keep you feeling good all day. (via Minimalist Baker)


17. Congee: This comforting rice porridge may look simple, but it’s got a ton of light, savory flavor that’s perfect for soothing an upset stomach or calming a nasty cold. (via The Samosa Wallah)


18. Raw Cabbage and Mango Slaw: Cabbage has healing properties that can affect your entire body, whether you’re looking to clean out your system, fight off aging or get a vitamin C boost. Mixed with mango and a light, tropical dressing, it’s also the perfect dish to help you escape from the winter doldrums. (via GMO Free)

Are you ready to whip up some of these immune-boosting foods? Have any foolproof sick day recipes you love? Tell us in the comments below!