5 Foods That Are Destroying Your Immune System
If you consume any of these five foods, you’re destroying your immune system in the process. Here is a more in-depth look at what these foods are and why you need to severely limit or stop eating them altogether.
Many consider the immune system to be the most important system in the entire body. That’s because it’s central for good health and well-being, and affects every other part of the body. When your immune system is weak, you’re much more likely to catch that cold or flu going around, or even develop a disease or a host of other illnesses.
The healthier your immune system, the better your body will be able to cope with the multiple toxic burdens it faces. A healthy lifestyle that includes practices like getting enough quality rest, regular exercise and good nutrition, helps keep the immune system functioning at its best. On the other hand, bad sleeping habits, a sedentary lifestyle and consuming a diet of unhealthy foods can destroy it.
To keep it strong, be sure to avoid these 5 foods that could be destroying your immune system as we speak.
Research out of the University of California at San Diego conducted in 2014 found that red meat may trigger a harmful reaction that can weaken one’s immune system. This is believed to be due to a natural sugar in red meat that the body is unable to digest. It’s also been accused of causing a multitude of other health issues, including raising your risk of developing cancer. (1)
It’s fairly common knowledge that fried foods are bad for you. Not only are they filled with fats that could raise your LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol, they accumulate acrylamide, a dangerous carcinogen, and are known to trigger inflammation that leads to a weaker immune system. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggested that by limiting the amount of fried foods one eats, or even better, eliminating them entirely, could “help restore the body’s natural defenses regardless of age or health status. (2)
Soda is one of the worst things anyone can do for their body, whether it’s sweetened with sugar, or artificial ingredients. Consuming 8 tablespoons of sugar, which is the amount in about two cans of soda, can lower the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by 40 percent – and that immune-suppressing effect begins less than 30 minutes after you ingest it, and can last as long as five hours.
Even though it contains no actual sugar, the artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols in diet soda can all interfere negatively with natural gut bacteria, which is part of the immune system. With either type of soda, you’re not getting any beneficial nutrients, which means you’re less likely to get the calcium, magnesium and vitamin A your body needs – to make matters worse, the phosphoric acid in both regular and diet soda is known to actually deplete the body’s calcium and magnesium stores.
Certain sugars, particularly refined sugars, are some of the worst offenders when it comes to destroying your immune system. In fact, refined sugars can even suppress your immune system. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that the sugar is targeting the cells that attack bacteria. The experts say that effect many last for hours after you eat something that’s high in sugar. (3)
Hands down, processed foods are some of the most dangerous foods for your immune health. While multiple food companies are in the habit of using terms such as “natural” to describe what they make, they’re often nothing like real, whole natural foods that come from the Earth.
Frequently, these foods contain a significant amount of sugar, refined carbs, hidden flavorings and a host of unrecognizable ingredients. If you aren’t sure what processed foods are, they’re pretty much anything that’s sold in a package containing more than one or two ingredients that have been cooked and modified mechanically. Even processed foods labeled organic can be bad for you, as many of them, particularly breads and cereals, still contain a high amount of sugar, which suppresses the immune system.
Consuming these foods can lead to chronic irritation. One National Institutes of Health study found that eating the toxins that are common in the modern diet (often from processed foods), completely outweighed any potential nutritional gains, leaking to a weaker immune system and subsequently a higher rate of diseases and illnesses. (4)
What to Do to Support a Healthy Immune System
For a healthy immune system, eliminating or severely limiting these foods is key. In addition, you should replace some of those foods with healthy, immune-boosting ones, like green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits. Stress-relieving practice such as meditation or deep breathing, regular exercise and vitamin D supplements can help too. Additionally, you may want to think about a probiotic supplement.
Probiotics have become increasingly popular over the last decade or so, thanks to extensive research on the powerful benefits that are linked to healthy “good” bacteria. “Bad” bacteria, is the type that takes the form of germs, or diseases such as E.coli, whereas good bacteria, or probiotics, live in the stomach and intestines. They’re essential for the proper functioning of the digestive system, bone health and even your mood. And, not surprisingly, these very beneficial microorganisms are also believed to support the immune system. Probiotics not only keep that bad bacteria to a minimum, they offer multiple immune-boosting benefits. One of the best ways to ensure that you get enough of this beneficial bacteria is by taking a high quality supplement.
Consider Taking a High Quality Probiotic Supplement
If you are suffering from any digestive ailment, especially those described above, a good probiotic can help get your gut back on track and healthy by restoring the proper balance of your gut bacteria. This can give you more energy, significantly reduce or even eliminate digestive symptoms, and improve your quality of life overall.
Whether you take too much, too little, or just the right amount of fiber, consider taking a high quality probiotic supplement which can help repopulate the gut with beneficial bacteria–boosting overall digestive health, supporting the immune system and contributing to better overall health.