A healthy diet is essential for maintaining a strong immune system. Eating foods that are rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants helps the body to remain strong and fend off illnesses.
However, there are also foods that we should limit or avoid. Foods that can weaken your immune system. Making you more susceptible to infections.
Here is a list of five types of food that you should monitor:
Sugar: Sugar can suppress the immune system by reducing white blood cell activity. Studies have shown that eating too much sugar can also increase the risk of developing diseases like diabetes which further weakens the immune system.
Sugar tops the list for a reason and really should be limited as much as you can. Given that added sugar is so bad for your immune system, it makes you wonder why so many immune support products contain added sugar....?
Processed Meats: Processed meats such as bacon, hot dogs, and sausages contain high levels of sodium nitrite which has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. Furthermore, processed meats contain preservatives like butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) which can cause inflammation in the body and impair immunity.
Fast Food: Fast food is full of unhealthy fats, refined sugars, sodium, and preservatives which all contribute to reducing immunity. In addition, many fast-food restaurants use ingredients that have been genetically modified or treated with pesticides which can cause inflammation in the body and weaken immunity over time.
Alcohol: Consuming alcohol excessively reduces your body’s ability to fight off infections since it impairs the functioning of white blood cells responsible for defending against bacteria and viruses. Drinking more than one alcoholic beverage per day has been linked to an increased risk of developing various infections as well as cancers due to its immunosuppressive effects on the body’s natural defenses.
Foods high in Omega-6 Fats: Your body needs both omega-6 and omega-3 fats to function. Western diets tend to be high in omega-6 fats and low in omega-3s. (Fried Food is typically high in omega-6 fats). This imbalance has been associated with disease risk and possibly immune dysfunction.
*Quick tip to reduce omega-6 fats from your diet: instead of cooking with seed oils like canola oil, corn or sunflower oil, opt for healthier fats like olive oil or coconut oil.
Keeping your immune system strong is essential for avoiding illness or disease so it’s important to pay attention not only to what you eat but also what you shouldn't eat! Avoiding processed meats, refined sugars, fast food, alcohol, and other unhealthy options will help keep your immune system functioning properly so you can stay healthy all year round!