Living at college can often be compared to living in one giant petri dish. Yes, gross as it may sound, we are all packed in like sardines whether in a college dorm where we sleep within arm's reach of four other people or in off-campus housing where, though you think you've beat the system, you are still constantly surrounded by other people. Enter: the killer cold, the bane of every college student's existence. 

Having a cold is never fun. Between midterms, study groups, papers, and a social life, there is barely any time to sleep. On top of that, it's difficult to buy cold medicine when the bank account won't let you.

But believe it or not, colds really can be prevented by doing something other than popping pills or breaking the bank on buying healthy, organic foods. Preventing the sniffles is as simple as eating the correct foods, so here are the best ten foods to prevent a killer cold:

1. Turmeric

Let's start this list off with a player relatively new to the list of superfoods: turmeric. Turmeric, though often associated with the color of curry, also has great anti-inflammatory and boasts countless health benefits. In addition, turmeric kills viruses and bacteria in the body thus making it a great cure to any killer cold.

While turmeric may sound foreign and new, it's not that difficult to incorporate into any diet. With one bite, you might actually like it better than before.

2. Garlic

Yes, you read that right: garlic. Actually, garlic is the major active component allicin, which has incredible antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. More allicin means less severe colds meaning you need to add some more garlic to your everyday diet.

Garlic supplements can be great, but fresh garlic is the best to pack a punch. So, next time, try making some hummus and throw a few garlic gloves in there for extra flavor and health benefits. Goodbye common cold, hello flavor.

3. Beef

Got beef? Beef gets a bad rep for being expensive and not very environmentally friendly, but beef is actually quite versatile: it helps increase your white blood cell count, which defends your body from foreign objects taking over (i.e. your cold).

With the right recipes, beef is also pretty easy to cook. Try some pesto meatballs, add some whole grain pasta, a few tomatoes, and some garlic, and you have a healthy, anti-cold meal.

4. Fennel

Fennel is a delicious, light, and sweetly-smelling root with a strong, savory seed that is fairly easy to incorporate into any meal, especially if you are looking for a killer salad. But, fennel can also help you get over some of the worst symptoms of a cold by soothing your throat and reducing congestion.

Not convinced? Check out how fennel seeds can improve your health, and you might be headed for the spice aisle in just a few minutes.

5. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato fries may not be the best food to help you get over your cold, but it is chock-full of Vitamin A, which helps strengthen your immune system and fights off infections that try to get in through your skin.

Though I, myself, am a huge fan of sweet potatoes, I understand that some people may not love them quite so much. So, for those that aren't, check out this awesome guide to sweet potatoes. It may change your mind and prevent the common cold all at the same time.

6. Fish

That's right, this popular health food does more for you than offer a healthy meal. Omega-3 fatty acids have properties that reduce inflammation and can help prevent some symptoms of a cold. These fatty acids can even help you overcome symptoms if you already have them, so there really is no reason to not nom on some fish when suffering from a killer cold.

Not a huge fan of fish? Try this quick and delicious recipe for salmon that is sure to impress.

7. Oysters

Fish aren't the only seafood that can help prevent or quickly fix a cold. Oysters contain a high amount of zinc, which is an essential mineral that helps strengthen the immune system and may even shorten the duration of symptoms.

Instead of throwing back shots of cold medicine, try slurping down some oysters to cure your cold. And, when you're healthy again, try some of these other delicacies too.

8. Citrus Fruits

While the doctor may have always told you to eat an orange while you're sick, it's actually really important to consume some Vitamin C as soon as you feel a cold coming on. This can shorten a cold by about a day and constant consumption of Vitamin C keeps the immune system strong which can help prevent a cold from happening.

Don't know what's in season? Try this citrus fruit guide to check out what might be available.

9. Anise Seeds

Not a lot of people like anise, but little do they know that it can actually improve your health. Antibacterial properties within anise seeds can work wonders similar to fennel. These seeds can help to clear congestion, to soothe the throat, and to ease coughing.

Try adding some anise seeds into your nighttime tea. Or, if you're not a huge fan, check out some other herbs and spices that have health benefits too.

10. Chicken Soup

Your grandma wasn't wrong when she told you to eat some chicken soup. Chicken soup gives your body all the essentials it needs due to the antibodies in lean protein chicken and the vitamins in vegetables. The broth is packed with all the goodies your body needs to strengthen your immune system whether you are sick or not.

If you don't have your grandmother's age old recipe, try this incredible slow-cooker recipe, and you'll be amazed. Sip on some chicken soup and feel infinitely better, just like grandma said.

There you have it: the ultimate guide to preventing a killer cold, and, if it's too late, kicking it out of your system. Nonetheless, while these foods may help, the foolproof way to prevent a cold from ever happening is staying healthy by hydrating, exercising, and eating right. It may not be fun, but it sure beats the alternative: a killer cold.