This post, 6 ways to boost your immune system, is sponsored by Fruits From Chile, but as always, all opinions are my own!
Well, my entire state now has shelter-in-place orders!
What does that mean to me? That I need to do everything I possibly can to ensure that my family stays healthy…especially for Avery’s sake! Luckily, there are so many easy ways to boost your immune system and they are all things that you can do from the comfort of your home during this quarantine period. If you are worried about getting sick, or if you just want to improve your overall health, then keep reading along! Let’s jump in:
6 Ways To Boost Your Immune System
Remove Harmful Products From Your Home (+ Boost Your Indoor Air Quality)
First of all, indoor air quality matters, especially if you are spending a ton of time indoors…which a lot of us are right now. Did you know that the indoor air can be 2 to 200 times more polluted than the outdoor air? The EPA even stated that 50% of all illness is connected to the indoor air quality. Soak that in because this information is extremely important right now.
There are so many things polluting our indoor air quality – things that you do not even think about sometimes. Cleaning products, candles, perfumes, paint, air fresheners, shampoo, hand sanitizer (fragranced), kids toys, and more. The hard cold truth about this is that the chemicals that are in these products – the ones that are polluting our homes – are taking a massive toll on our immune system.
In order to improve your air quality, which will in turn result in a stronger immune system and better overall health, you need to do a review of your home. If you took the time to read my post on our non-toxic journey, then you will know that we started by getting rid of our toxic products, so I recommend starting there. Once you replace your toxic products with non-toxic ones, you can work on improving your air quality by adding in more live house plants, purchasing an air purifier, and opening your windows and/or doors when possible.
- Clean out your toxic products
- Have fun scenting your own non-fragranced cleaning products with high-quality essential oils
- Open up your windows and doors
- Remove dust from your home
- Rearrange and add in house plants
- Pull out your air purifier
- Utilize essential oils instead of candles
Dirt helps build a healthy microbiome and some say that your immune health begins in your gut. When you hear grounding, a lot of people think about walking outside with bare feet. While this is okay, grounding does not have to be limited to that. Grounding can also be sitting outside in the grass while having a picnic lunch, gardening with your bare hands, hugging a tree (not my style, but hey – whatever floats your boat!), or even doing a cartwheel outside! Really, grounding is just anything that connects you to nature – to the earth. Grounding has the potential to reduce inflammation, neutralize free radicals, detox EMFs, improve sleep, and the list goes on and on.
- Go outside without shoes on
- Plant an outdoor garden
- Explore in the mud with your kids
- Have a picnic in the grass
- Work outside to soak up Vitamin D
- Have your kids practice gymnastics outside
- Turn on the sprinklers and let your kids run through them
- Roll down hills
Reduce Your Processed Sugar Intake
We are all aware that processed sugar is bad for us. I don’t even think that I need to go into much detail with this one. In short, it really takes a toll on our bodies and unfortunately, it knocks down our immune system, as well. If you are looking for easy ways to boost your immune system, start by changing your diet. Seriously, enough said.
- Try your hand at baking with sugar alternatives (I have a killer vegan brownie recipe + a banana bread recipe that I can share)
- Experiment with different coffee sweeteners
- Go through your pantry and figure out what you need to throw out (processed sugar is hidden in A LOT of unexpected items)
- Stock your home with plenty of fresh fruit to eat good sugar
Eat More Produce
If you are stuck at home like me (I hope you are, unless you are an essential worker), it’s easy to go for comfort foods in your pantry, but it’s extremely important to eat foods that are going to keep you healthy and boost your immune system. Personally, I love produce…specifically fruits, and I focus on adding them into my diet throughout the day to fill up on tasty snacks that are also great for me.
One fruit that I am LOVING lately is Chilean grapes. Why? Because grapes are a natural source of polyphenols, which protect the health and function of our cells. In addition, they are also a great source of Vitamin K, copper, and many of the B vitamins. Vitamin K and B vitamins are really important when it comes to immune health, so grapes are definitely the perfect snack or addition to a meal right now.
And, if you are snacking a little bit more than you should (like me!), you can take comfort knowing that a serving size of 3/4 cups of grapes contain only 90 calories. Talk about bang for your buck!
At this time of year, grapes come from Chile since Chile is the main counter-seasonal source of all your favorite fruits, including grapes. According to Fruits From Chile, “Chile is the top grower of table grapes in the southern hemisphere and the world, with almost 30% of Chile’s fruit growing area dedicated to grapes.”
When you go grocery shopping (no matter if you shop online or in-store), make sure that you are adding fresh produce to your cart. It’s really important when it comes to keeping up your immune system. I want to hear how you are keeping your grocery cart fresh. For me, I am Keepin’ It Fresh with Chilean Grapes!
- Put Chilean Grapes in a tupperware container for a sensory activity
- Create edible art sculptures using grapes and toothpicks
- Cheer up neighbors by giving them a care package full of Chilean Grapes with a note that says, “I think you are grape!” Just remind them to wash the produce before eating it.
- Use grapes in fun recipes such as salads, crostinis, pizzas, DIY popsicles, and fun beverages
- Create an immune boosting drink by juicing your grapes along with other good-for-you ingredients! Drinking raw juices is an awesome way to boost your immune system. If you need a recipe for inspiration, here is one of my favorites:
Exercise is so good for us, especially when it comes to effectively dealing with stress and as we all know, the more stress we have = the more likely we are to get sick. The physical benefits of exercise have been very apparent for quite some time now. It’s not only vital for stress reduction and maintaining both your mental and physical fitness, but it is a great way to keep your immune system skyrocketing, as well.
Studies have shown that just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to a healthy immune system, as well as overall good health. Exercise boosts your endorphins which helps improve sleep and reduce stress (and many other benefits), but exercise also promotes good circulation within your body, which allows the cells of the immune system to move freely throughout your body. Not to mention, sweating has many benefits when it comes to getting rid of harmful toxins.
- Do push-ups while playing with your kids
- Use your baby as a weight while doing squats and arm extension workouts
- Play tag with your kids
- Walk around the neighborhood
- Clean your house
- Play hide and go seek
- Take an online fitness class
- Stretch each morning
Reduce Your Stress
We talked a bit about this earlier in this article. Stress is awful for your immune system, as well as your overall health. Because of this, a lot of us could really benefit from reducing our overall stress levels. Stress definitely does not just affect your immune system. It affects your body, as a whole, and can lead to many other issues down the road. Relax, reduce your stress, and have fun with your family.
- Read a book (if you enjoy to read)
- Take a bubble bath
- Lounge outside in the sun (double whammy: stress reduction + Vit. D absorption)
- Cozy up on the couch and watch a feel-good movie
- Cuddle with your family
- Put down your phone and stop watching the news
- Cook or bake with your kids
- Give your partner a massage…and get one in return
- Try out a new face mask (that you already have at home)
- Sleep in an extra hour or two
- Take a nap
- Meditate, practice yoga, or stretch
- Have fun by doing activities that increase happiness such as having a karaoke night with family, playing board games, eating (haha!), singing in the shower, or walking your dog
Last But Not Least, Stay Home!
Technically, this is not an ‘improve your immune system’ point, but I think it’s important to say. Please stay home so that we can flatten the curve. If there is anything that is apparent, it is the fact that COVID-19 does not discriminate. Just because you are young does not mean that you are safe. In order to protect yourself, the elderly population, the medical community, and immunocompromised individuals, please stay home. You will be doing everyone a favor if you cuddle up on the couch with your babies and enjoy a few days (or weeks…or months) of rest. Try to stay positive, enjoy yourself, and really soak in this time with your loved ones because we do not get a chance to relax like this very often.
I want to hear from you, now. Do you have any tried and true ways to boost your immune system? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks! For me, I am focusing on stress reduction, exercise, limited processed sugar intake, Keepin’ It Fresh with Chilean Grapes, and more.
Next time you are in the grocery store, don’t forget to pick up some grapes from Chile for yourself and your family to enjoy! Stay safe, everyone!