We generally hype about those food items that makes us healthy. But have you ever thought about those food items that you regularly take, which are harmful for you? Some food items have a bad impact on our immunity and unknowingly we keep on adding them everyday in our diet. These items slowly and steadily weakens our immune system, which is the ability to fight off various infections. Due to these you often become sick and catch infections easily.
Researches have shown that consuming the some food items in excess is to compromise your immune response. Those food Products are:
- Processed foods
- Foods and drinks high in sugar
- Refined carbohydrates
- Alcoholic beverages
Keeping your immune system strong is one of the most important and impactful things you can do right now, as the corona virus pandemic continues, we need to boosten our immune system at all cost. But bolstering immunity is a two sided work: it’s about choosing foods that strengthen our immunity, while avoiding those food items that weaken our immune response.
To go extra mile in ensuring you have a strong immune system eat a well rounded diet high in veggies and fruits, also add foods high in vitamin C and minerals that ensure that your body can fight off illnesses and stabilizes to work at peak performances.
Here are 4 daily food habits that weaken our immunity. Have a look and try to reduce the consumption of these food items.
1. Overdoing Sugar Intake.
Cutting back the sugar intake can actually be much more beneficial than to have it for a good taste. Sugar intake, when rises in your body can cause various disorders, the main being targeting the immune system.
We all may like to indulge once in a while for that sweet taste, but it contributes to a greater risk of obesity, heart diseases, and diabetes. Sugar overdose can make your blood sugar level unstable resulting in mood swings, fatigue or headaches. Apart from affecting the body composition, sugar also messes with your skin, contributing to wrinkles and sagging resulting in your skin loosing elasticity and premature aging.
Sugar interfering with the immune system, reduces the ability of immune cells to engulf bacteria, which causes the harmful pathogens to reach our body and makes us prone to various illnesses.
This doesn’t mean you have to avoid sugar completely, but avoid taking it in surplus amount. The American Heart Association recommends to have- not more than 6 tea spoons worth per day for women and 9 tea spoons for men. So, have the sweetness in your diet wisely!
2. Going a More Salty.
As much as we get a delightful taste with an extra pinch of salt, this ingredient is sufficient enough to cause havoc in our lives, if not taken in proper amount. Researchers have found that eating too much salty diet weakens your immune system, making it harder to fight off bacterial infections.
A high salt diet not only weakens your immune response but, sodium chloride which is it’s chemical name, raises blood pressure thereby increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. It is also necessary for the body, as the body keeps the salt concentration in the blood and various organs to be constant, otherwise important biological processes may be impaired. That is why sometimes additional sodium intake proves beneficial for some skin diseases.
The kidneys have a sodium chloride sensor that activates the salt excretion function. As a side effect this sensor also causes glucocorticoids to accumulate in the body. And these in turn, inhibit the function of granulocytes, the most common type of immune cell in the blood.
The WHO strongly suggests that 5 g of salt a day is enough for adults, it corresponds consuming approximately one level teaspoon a day.
3. Over boarding with Caffeinated Products.
Many of us seems to have addicted to coffee or sometimes tea, they not only keeps us going in this busy life, but are also health-protective due to anti oxidants linked to anti inflammation. Caffeine acts as an immunomodulator, which help and regulate or normalize the immune system. However if you are caffeine addicted then arising levels of caffeine may negatively impact your immune system.
Consuming too much of caffeine releases high levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol releases sugar and fat from your body’s store in order to give you the energy to physically exert yourself in stressful times. This release can cause high blood pressure, weight gain, acne, high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, resulting in immune suppression. High caffeine consumption can also worsen or induce panic attacks, restlessness or insomnia, anxiety, nervousness, irritability or an upset stomach.
According to studies, the most caffeine adults should consume in a day is not more than 400 mg. If you experience any of the abovementioned abnormalities due to high caffeine consumption, than limit your caffeine intake to not more than what is recommended for adults.
4. Consuming a Lot of Energy Drinks.
As the pace of our working load increases, our obsession with energy drinks also increases. Day by day we are becoming more addicted to those red bulls energizers. They are packaged in cool looking cans that will claim to offer you the much needed boost in a mid-afternoon, or after you’ve too much partied on a weekday, or when you are trying to function at work or school with only 2 hours sleep.
But energy drinks have recently come under scrutiny as the very misleading advertisements claims to boost the body, increasing the immunity and overall health, so as the consumers reach more to energy drinks rather than Coke or Pepsi. But the harsh reality is, energy drinks do a lot deterioration to your health and immunity than any other drink as they may be addictive to a person.
Energy drinks are known to contain a lot of caffeine and sugar (about 13 teaspoons of sugar). These can not only make you feel worsen but also do terrible things to your body. Energy drinks tend to affect your brain, liver, kidneys, digestive system and heart to behave as if you are in a fight or flight situation. They make your body react as if you are in a dangerous situation, but your body cannot handle all that stress on a regular basis if taken very frequently. It may link to heart failure, strokes or kidney failures. The after effect of consuming too much energy drinks will lead to a suppressed immune system leading your body prone to several infections and diseases. So, next time when you buy an energy drink, think about all the ill effects it can cause to your health!
Choose your diet wisely, and Eat well!
Many times we may have unknowingly added too much of these products in our diet. But not to worry, counter their toxicity with eating healthy food items and exercising daily to improve your immune system. To know about foods that boosten the immunity see our post 8 Immunity boosting Foods