While eating immune-boosting foods like oranges and broccoli is greatly highlighted there is a need to avoid foods that may create a havoc with your body’s defence system.
If you must eat them, try to keep it to minimum. With that said avoid them when you are shopping at the grocery store.
Candy & Cookies
Candies, Packaged cookies, and cakes contain lots of added sugar and no soluble fiber. Research shows that a higher intake of dietary fiber supports healthier immune function, including protection against viruses, so keep a check on added sugar intake. Consuming excess sugar can hinder your cells’ ability to attack foreign bacteria besides a high-sugar diet can also destroy gut flora. “natural” sugars like honey, maple syrup, and molasses can be “similarly problematic” to sugar.
Instead: Try a temporary sugar detox-diet. Avoid all sugar (including naturally occurring sugars like those found in fruit) for 10 days. By the end of the challenge you should find that you’re more than happy to swap your favorite candy bar for a juicy apple with no complaints from your taste buds.
The natural sugars in fruits consumed without fibre can have a negative impact on your immune system and gut health, and this is even more true when they are unripe. Bananas can contain high amounts of a protein called lectin and studies have shown that lectin may disrupt the absorption of nutrients and inhibit the production of intestinal flora. this in turn, can weaken your gut barrier, the intestinal wall that defends the body from toxins and harmful bacteria.
Instead: Eat ripe banana and with Granola and in rotation. Variety is the key.
Fast Food & Potato Chips
A high-salt diet is not only bad for one’s blood pressure, but also for the immune system. This is the conclusion of a current study under the leadership of the University Hospital Bonn. Regularly eating fast food can reprogram the way your immune system reacts to potential issues, putting it in a prolonged state of “high alert”.
Instead: Make healthy alternatives to typical fast foods at home––and they tend to taste much better! Try substituting high quality, organic beef burgers and baked sweet potato fries for your normal fast-food fare. And to avoid the temptation to pick up something quick while you’re out and about, keep some healthy snacks in your car. Things like kale chips, smoothies, nuts, and healthy bars.
Oil needs to be a part of healthy diet for you, providing much-needed fatty acids like omega-3 and vitamin E, but only when they’re produced right. Unfortunately, most oils are refined, meaning that they’ve been produced in a way that strips out the nutrients and mutates the natural molecular structure of the oil.
Instead: Stick to high quality, cold pressed oils like Coconut oil, ghee, organic extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil. They’re not only much less likely to cause immune issues when you get high quality versions, they’re also good sources of other healthy nutrients.
Caffeine & Soda
Excess intake of Caffeine can have unwanted effects on your immune system. That boost of energy that helps you wake up in the morning can also come with the unpleasant side effect of boosted cortisol levels. Regular & excessive consumption of caffeine may also make it harder for your body to stay well by reducing the number of T cells your body produces, suppressing the function of your lymphocytes, and lowering your interleukin production.
All carbonated drinks often contain phosphorus, which can lead to a depletion of calcium from the cells through the kidneys. And since calcium plays an essential role in the activation of cells in the immune system, low calcium means lower immunity.
Instead: Consider switching to lower-caffeine beverages, like tea. Just remember that moderation is the key!
Try to stick to the recommended intake of no more than one drink a day for women, Studies support the connection between excessive alcohol intake and adverse immune-related health effects. Alcohol can disrupt your immune pathways, and can disrupt sleep, another aspect that can impact immunity.
Instead: Try sipping on a spritzer, which is wine with sparkling water, to reduce your intake of alcohol and stay hydrated. Go for options like wine and beer— studies show that drinking these in moderation can give your system a little boost. Also, alternate your alcoholic beverages with glasses of water (it’s good for your body and helps you avoid a hangover).
Gluten Food Sources
Gluten is a protein naturally found in grains such as wheat and barley, which is extremely difficult for your body to digest. As it passes through your system, it triggers the production of a protein called zonulin, which breaks down the cells of your intestinal walls. This gives toxins, food particles, and other harmful substances free rein to get into your bloodstream, often causing an unwanted immune response and leaving you feeling less than your best. Even those without a gluten sensitivity can experience gastrointestinal symptoms after eating gluten-containing foods.
Instead: There are lots of gluten-free breads and pastas available these days, and you can have fun trying out recipes that call for naturally gluten-free foods like rice flour or oats. And make sure to read your labels! Gluten can show up in some surprising places, including condiments, dairy products, and candy.
High-acid foods like red meat can weaken your immune system, according to health experts. When you consume too many acidic foods, your body’s overall pH load will become acidic. When that acid load remains high, minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium and bicarbonate become low, adversely impacting your health. Red meat is also rich in omega-6 fatty acids and is, therefore, doubly inflammatory.
Creamy, sweet, delicious, it’s loaded with saturated fat and sugar that causes inflammation, which is why the popular dessert is not in favor of your immune system. Ice cream can have up to six times the amount of sugar you should have for the whole day, and that’s before the cone and sprinkles.
Instead: Go for a plain yogurt or kefir with live active cultures for gut health or immune support, and add nuts, berries, or a touch of honey for nutrition and taste.
When it comes to immune function, the message is clear: take good care of your immune system, and it will take care of you. Avoiding or limiting the foods listed here is a great start
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.