Five flu-fighting foods can help boost your immune system

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PHOENIX -- It's the time of year when you keep tissues nearby. Yes, cold and flu season is upon us.

When it comes to fighting the flu, there are few things you can do.

Doctors recommend a flu shot, eating right and getting plenty of rest.

Registered dietitian Michelle Dudash came up with a list of five flu-fighting foods she says will boost your immune system so you can counter a cold and fend off the flu!

"So the five flu-fighting foods that we're talking about are tart cherries, cinnamon, broccoli, red bell peppers and yogurt, which contain probiotics," Dudash said.

The flu-fighting foods are filled with antioxidants that carry a powerful punch!

"Antioxidants are what kind of come in and clean up the damage, clean up the free radicals that enter our body," she said.

Red bell peppers are packed with vitamin C, which bolsters your immune system.

"Research shows that consuming higher amounts of vitamin C can actually reduce the severity of a cold and also reduce the time you might have a cold," Dudash said.

Broccoli is bursting with cold crushers.

"Broccoli is extremely potent in antioxidants," Dudash said. "It also contains vitamins A, C and E."

Yogurt containing probiotics protects your body from bad bacteria.

"Probiotics actually provide your body with the good type of bacteria in the digestive tract," Dudash explained.

Super fruits like tart cherries can conquer colds before they even begin.

"Tart cherries contain quercetin, which is an antioxidant that's shown in studies to decrease the chance of catching the flu," Dudash said.

Spice it up with cinnamon! It can save you from the sniffles!

"One teaspoon of cinnamon contains more antioxidants than a half a cup of blueberries or one cup of pomegranate juice," Dudash said.

Eat these foods and Dudash says you're well on your way to good health, especially if you add these bacteria busters to your list.

"Stay hydrated and exercise," she said.