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Tips to support a strong healthy immune system

an illustration of a women meditating to relieve stress

One thing I have valued since becoming a Naturopathic Doctor is that immune health is one of the biggest contributors to one’s overall wellbeing. It is hard to achieve your health goals when you are constantly getting sick or taking weeks to recover from the flu. Before we start trying to lose weight, improve our energy, or reduce joint pain, we should look at how our immune system is functioning. It’s a key foundation to optimize our health.

Supporting your immune health should be prioritized. I want to provide you with some of my tips on supporting a strong healthy immune system.

Vitamin D: Most individuals are low in Vitamin D. This vitamin supports immune functioning and can help fight inflammation. Please get your Vitamin D levels tested, and take a prescribed therapeutic dose to optimize your Vitamin D levels.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is not only an antioxidant, but it has immune-supporting properties. You can consider taking a supplement or consuming Vitamin C rich foods (ex. citrus foods, strawberries, and leafy greens).

Zinc: Zinc is another great nutrient for supporting your immune system, and low levels are commonly seen in people who get frequently sick. Please get your zinc levels tested, and if deficient, take a prescribed therapeutic dose to optimize your zinc levels.

Herbs: There are some great herbs that can support your immune system, such as Elderberry, Echinacea, Astragalus, and much more. Please take these only under the supervision of a health care provider.

Nutrition: My favorite nutrition recommendations are bone broth, ginger, garlic, leafy greens, variety of fruits/vegetables (all colors of the rainbow), adequate protein intake, and at least 2L of water per day. This will help increase your intake of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, vitamin-rich, and nutrient rich foods; which your immune system loves!

Stress: We live in a very stressful time, so we know the importance of supporting our mental health. When stressed for a long time, it can weaken your immune system by creating more inflammation. Focus on supporting your mood through mindfulness approaches; deep breathing, self-care, meditation, journaling, yoga, reflection writing, etc. Find what works for you and stick with it!

Sleep: When we don’t have the best sleep quality, it throws off our circadian rhythm and this affects our immune defense. There are many factors that can affect sleep (anxiety, sleep walking, night time awakenings, etc). Start off with implementing a good sleep routine with healthy sleep hygiene practices. Try to sleep at a consistent time each night, have a wind down routine, avoid screens 1-2 hours before bed, avoid stimulant use after 2 pm, avoid naps during the day, and dim the lights 1 hour before bed.

There are so many ways to support your immune system (digestion, hormones, and more). Everyone’s health is different, and therefore everyone has unique requirements to support their wellbeing.

Let’s go and show our immune system some love!

Dr. Ishani Patel is a board certified Naturopathic Doctor who has a clinical focus in women’s health, hormones, digestive health, and autoimmunity. She is dedicated to helping her patients determine the root cause of their health concerns, help them find balance in their life, prevent disease or a worsening of their health conditions, and help them live their optimal state of health.

You can connect with Dr. Patel through her website, by email at, or reaching out to her on Instagram @drishanipatel.nd.

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