7 Foods That Weaken The Immune System
Nutrition is a crucial part of keeping a healthy immune system. So, regularly consuming certain unhealthy foods can prevent the immune system from working correctly and functioning at its optimal level. Liftyolife (liftyolife.com) will show you 7 foods that weaken the immune system in this article.
1. What is the immune system?
The immune system is located throughout the body and involves cells, organs, proteins, and tissues. It is essential to distinguish body tissue from foreign tissue, recognize the dead or damaged cells and eliminate them. The immune system is important for life as it keeps us healthy when exposed to pathogens. Without an immune system, the body will be easily attacked by bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc.
2. The role of nutrition in our immune system
Nutrition, among other things, can have an impact on immune system performance. Micronutrients participate in practically all metabolic and developmental processes in the body, including energy production, cell division, replication, growth, maintenance, and function of the brain, heart, immune system, etc.
Micronutrients also maintain the balance of the homeostasis system, helping damaged cells and tissues to recover. Since micronutrients are involved in all bodily functions, it is not difficult to understand that nutritional deficiency is the primary factor influencing each individual’s immune system and health (1, 2).
3. 7 foods that weaken the immune system
3.1. Foods high in sugar
Consuming foods high in sugar can weaken the immune system. People with a high-sugar diet have an increased risk of several chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease and diabetes (3). In addition, eating a diet high in sugar can limit the immune system’s effectiveness against the disease. It reduces the efficiency of white blood cells and can increase markers of inflammation in the blood.
Some following foods that are high in sugar:
- Candies, cookies, and cakes
- Sweetened flavored milk
- Sugary beverages such as soda.
3.2. Refined carbohydrates
The next type of food that can weaken the immune system is refined carbs. Processed foods and refined carbs, such as white flour and refined sugar, have increased inflammation and oxidative stress and can negatively impact the immune system (4).
Some foods that contain refined carbohydrates are:
- Refined sugar
- White bread
- White flour-based candies, cookies, and cakes
3.3. Processed foods
Processed foods generally contain high levels of unhealthy fats, sugars, and additives, which can improve the taste, texture, and shelf life of foods. These can weaken the immune system.
Certain processed foods list in below:
- Foods in cans
- Microwaveable foods
- Cookies, cakes, and chips
3.4. Fried foods
Fried foods can weaken the immune system. This type of food is not a good choice for your immune system due to its high grease and fat content. Fried foods can weaken the immune system by producing more molecules that can contribute to inflammation and cell damage.
Reduce your intake of fried foods to maintain a healthy immune system:
- French fries
- Potato chips
- Fried chicken
- Pan-fried steak
- Fried bacon
- Fried fish
3.5. Salty foods
A high-salt diet is bad for our immune system and makes your body hard to against bacterial infections. Salt can suppress immune function, suppress anti-inflammatory responses, alter gut bacteria, and exacerbate autoimmune diseases such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and lupus.
That’s why WHO recommends adults should eat no more than 5 grams a day (just under a teaspoon) (5).
3.6. Foods high in omega-6 fats
Our bodies require both omega-6 and omega-3 fats to function properly. An imbalance of these two types of omega will have a negative impact. Studies in obese people show that a diet high in omega-6 fats can cause immune dysfunction and increase the risk of certain conditions such as asthma and allergic rhinitis (6). In summary, eating food high in omega-3 and low in omega-6 is beneficial to our immune system.
Some following foods high in omega-3 you should eat:
- Fish and other seafood
- Nuts and seeds
- Plant oils
Limit some types of food high in omega-6:
- Walnuts and walnut oil
- Canola oil, corn oil, and soybean oil.
- Sunflower seeds
Heavy drinking could weaken the immune system and prevent the body’s ability to fight infections on its own. Drinking alcohol also has an acute or chronic effect on the immune system that puts the drinker at higher risk of infectious diseases.
It is best to drink only one beer or one glass of wine, or one glass of spirits per day so as not to adversely affect the function of the immune system.
Living a healthy lifestyle and getting away from these 7 foods that weaken immune system that Liftyolife (liftyolife.com) showed you, such as food in sugars and salt, as well as processed and fried foods. All of which may have a negative impact on your body’s immune function.