It’s almost fall, kids are back in school so that means there are a lot of infectious bugs going around. How to boost your immune system? When working in urgent care and seeing a lot of colds, strep, and flu, this was a common question I got asked.

Here are 5 different ways to boost your immune system:

1. Eat plants: Eat whole plant foods which contain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, zinc, and magnesium to help fight infections. Also figure out if you have any food sensitivities or intolerances, even healthy foods could be activating your immune system in a negative way.

2. Stay hydrated: Drink at least half your body weight in ounces. Water helps our lymph system to flush out toxins.

3. Be active: Move your body! Engage in activity 3-5 times a week for at least 20 minutes. Moderate intensity exercise boosts the immune system.

4. Get sleep: Focus on 7-8 hours of quality and quantity sleep. Our bodies heal and repair themselves, as well as boost the immune system when we sleep.

5. Reduce stress: Stress releases cortisol which suppresses our immune system. Do an adaptation activity such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, walking, or taking a bath for 5-10 minutes every day.

Now these things may seem common sense and simple but you need all five to support a healthy immune system. If one of them are not optimized, it could negatively affect your immune system. What are you currently doing to boost your immune system?