School has begun and fall is upon us! Where does the time go?! This season is one of the most common for developing colds and flus, as our bodies are slowly getting back into a routine, the weather is getting cooler and we are coming into contact with so many more individuals! Building our immune system early is key to preventing sickness this time of year.

Here are a few tips to do just that!


Sleep is extremely important for our immune system! When we are not sleeping enough, our bodies will actually produce fewer cytokines. Cytokines play a key role in regulating our inflammatory and immune responses. In order to sleep better, we must improve our sleep ‘hygiene’. Researchers have found the following sleep hygiene practices to aid in a more productive sleep: Avoid caffeine, nicotine and sugary drinks a few hours prior to sleeping. Avoid stressful activities before bed, this will secrete our bodies stress hormone, cortisol, which will increase alertness and in turn hinder our sleep. Avoid television/computer use or any other screen time prior to going to sleep. The blue light of screens can block our melatonin production, also known as our sleep hormone. Finally, be consistent! Establishing a sleep routine is extremely important in maintaining a good nights sleep and a healthy immune system!


Exercise has so many amazing benefits, for example it can improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, help to maintain a healthy body weight and can protect against various diseases. Exercise promotes circulation, which in turn boosts the movement of immune cells throughout the body, allowing them to do their job more efficiently!


Vitamin C: Vitamin C is essential for our well being and survival! Did you know the human body doesn’t even produce Vitamin C?! This is why eating foods high in Vitamin C, as well as supplementation, is so important! Studies show that high dose Vitamin C can decrease the duration of the common cold by 1-1.5 days! Foods high in vitamin c include the following: broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, citrus fruits, watermelon, and cabbage, to name a few!

Vitamin D: Everyone knows Vitamin D as the sunshine vitamin, but did you know that it can aid in boosting the immune system too? Studies show that low serum levels of Vitamin D can be associated with an increased risk of upper respiratory tract infections in children and pregnant women. Prenatal vitamin D supplementation can reduce infant wheeze by 19%.

Zinc: Studies show that zinc supplementation can significantly decrease the duration and symptoms of the common cold. It is important to make sure the zinc supplement you are taking does not have flavouring agents such as citric acid mannitol or sorbitol because this can decrease the positive effects of the mineral.


Always make sure to take time for yourself. When you are running on empty, your immune system and general well being will suffer! Go to a yoga class, schedule in 30 minutes to an hour each day if you can to read a book, catch up on your favorite show, take a walk in nature, work-out. Your immune system will thank you!!


Sugar can lower the immune system, therefore it is extremely important to maintain a well-balanced, whole food diet high in fruits and vegetables, healthy fat and lean protein during the season change. Avoid processed foods and always read labels when purchasing food! If you can’t pronounce the ingredient, you probably shouldn’t be consuming it!


*The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is meant to educate and in no way replaces consultation with a licensed health care provider. Consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.




Harvard health publishing. (July, 2018) How to boost your immune system. Retrieved from


National Sleep Foundation. The Science of Sleep: How Sleep Affects Your Immunity. Retrieved from


Natural Medicines Database. Zinc. Retrieved from,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=982


Natural Medicines Database. Vitamin C. Retrieved from,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=1001


Natural Medicines Database. Vitamin D. Retrieved from,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=929