Dr. Nammy Patel, founder of Green Dentistry in San Francisco, and author of the bestselling book Age With Style— A Guide to a Youthful Smile and Healthy Living, discusses how to boost your immune system.

There are so many things we can do to boost our immune system. A few of my favorites are going to be, I love starting with deep breathing. That’s my morning ritual. I wake up in the morning and I do some deep breathing. And inhaling and exhaling through the nose is the most important because it helps find any bugs. So when we’re breathing through our nose, we’re activating nitric oxide, which actually activates all of our homophones, which are part of our immune system, which act to actually activate our immune system. And so they work really well. So that’s my first thing that I do.

The second is hydration, drink water. I usually say, I know we hear one liter, but really three liters is really great because it helps you flush anything out that may be in your body. And also I’m putting, I tend to like to put a little bit of basil leaf in my water. It tastes really good. The basil leaf also has antioxidants in there so it’s a really great way to enjoy drinking water, especially when you’re drinking three liters.

The other things I like to do is make sure you’re sleeping, or I’m sleeping. I like to sleep eight hours a day minimally. And when I am resting, it gives my body an opportunity to heal and really rejuvenate and really all the bad stuff is going away, all the good stuff is being rejuvenated, our cells are dividing. The other things that I like are using foods as medicine. So I love to use spices. My favorite spices are cardamom and cinnamon. I do like lemon as well, but my favorite is really even garam masala because it is a bunch of different hot spices put together, and chili. Pepper is good because pepper actually gets our internal organs to be warm, our body temperature to rise. As it’s doing that, it actually kills off any bugs that actually exist. So having great spices are really good for boosting our immune system, as well as citrus. Citrus is great. Orange is my favorite. I love having oranges or lemon water is really great. But if you’re drinking lemon water drink at the restaurant so it does not cause any cavities. So make sure you’re doing that.

A couple of other things that are really good is fresh air, getting out, exercising. My favorite is doing some Surya Namaskars in the morning. I’ll do like 10 or 15 of that as part of my morning ritual. Surya Namaskar is a yoga pose, and it’s a series of yoga poses that you do, and what it does it drains the lymph nodes of all the stuff that we don’t need. Also it increases the circulation. We also sweat a little bit because we’re doing a downward dog, we’re getting on our knees, we’re getting up. So it’s really a great thing to make sure we’re stretching our back out. We’re warming our bodies, we’re getting the circulation going and it just puts us in the great state spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and it just sets us up for a day for success. And I really love to start my day on a win.