7 Foods that are Wrecking your Immune System without you Realizing It
Do you catch the sniffles and cold, every single time it strikes someone in the office? The reason may be “your immune system might be down in the dumps.”
The Body’s Natural Barrier to Diseases
Your immune system is your natural barrier against disease, and it’s what keeps you healthy and hale. Think of it as your body’s gateway. A poorly maintained gate means the intruders (nasty viruses, bacteria, and fungi) have a gala time and walk into your body wrecking havoc to your system. Result – more sick days L
Are you guilty of compromising your immune system?
You may assume that you’re doing all the right things to stay fit and healthy. Unfortunately, you may be doing things that are stomping all over your immune system, without even knowing it. This includes something as simple as consuming the wrong foods.
Keep reading, to find out the foods to avoid weakening your body’s first line of defence.
- Breakfast Cereals
Do you reach for the cartons of breakfast cereals every time you make a grocery run? Well, aren’t they so convenient? All you have to do is pop them into a bowl, add some milk and sugar and you’ve got a nutritious breakfast to feed the entire family.
Sadly not! These cereals are highly loaded with sugar and aren’t the best way to kick-start your mornings. The refined sugars in these cut down the ability of your white blood cells to fight against invaders by nearly 50%.
Instead opt for a wholesome protein-rich breakfast like oats, eggs, dhokla, idli, dosas and more.
- Red Meat and Cold Cuts
Red meat is rich in saturated fats, which increase inflammation in the body. A recent study proves that red meat contains a natural sugar that is not digested by the body, thereby weakening your immune system.
The same with cold cuts (this includes pork, beef, chicken, turkey, and others). High in trans-fats and saturated fats, these smoky meats are filled with preservatives and additives. All of which wreck your immune system.
Instead of these, you can include more of other natural proteins like paneer, fish in your diet.
While caffeine as such doesn’t have a direct link to your immune system, consuming too much coffee deprives you of sleep. Studies show that there’s a direct link between lack of sleep and a weakened immune system. Additionally, when your body is sleep-deprived, it makes it difficult to recover quickly, meaning you’ll have to stay in bed for longer than intended.
The best way is to restrict your coffee intake and switch over to herbal teas and green tea that have added health benefits.
- Sugary Drinks and Soda
If you reach for the can of soda every time you feel thirsty, then you have to stop it right now. A can of soda (or other sugary drinks, including processed fruit juices) contain more sugar than the recommended daily intake.
Research proves that your immune system takes a nosedive within 30 minutes of drinking cola. During this time, the white blood cells in your body are 40% less efficient.
The alternative – Stick to plain ol’ water.
- Anything and Everything Fried
No matter, whether you’re frying them at home or eating at your favourite fast food joint, all fried foods are guilty of destroying your immune system. These foods are high in “bad” cholesterol, meaning they increase inflammation. Result – you become more susceptible to infectious diseases.
Try to restrict your fried food intake and instead switch over to healthy snacks like sprouts.
- Refined Grains
There’s nothing as filling as digging into a bowl of yummy pasta, noodles or white rice. While it may be satisfying for your taste buds, these foods don’t do a lot of good to your immune system. These foods are made from refined grains that don’t have a lot of good nutrients nor fibre.
What happens here is that refined grains contain simple carbohydrates that are easily converted into glucose, causing a spike in your blood sugar levels. Constant elevation in blood sugar increases your risks of diabetes, compromising immunity.
Switch over to whole grains like atta, barley, brown rice, millet, bulgur (cracked wheat) and so on.
- Processed Foods
These are hands down, one of the most dangerous foods to your immune system. Why? As the name implies, these are foodstuffs that aren’t natural. They are processed, filled with harmful preservatives (to extend shelf-life) and additives (to make up for the taste).
Anything that comes in a package and you can pick of from a supermarket shelf (biscuits, cakes, fast foods) are all processed and contain loads of immune-suppressing sugar.
Instead, try to choose natural foodstuffs wherever possible. Nothing can beat the goodness of homemade foods cooked with heaps of love and care.
The Four Pillars of a Strong Immune System
Right Nutrition, Exercise, Breathing & Meditation
Try to restrict your intake of these foods and boost your immunity be heaps and bounds. Additionally, don’t forget to include immunity-boosting foods like citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables in your diet. And, remember that exercise is a vital key to staying healthy. Include yoga, meditation, breathing exercises (Pranayama) in your day to reduce stress and keep diseases at bay.
Avoid these Foods & Watch your Immune System turn into a Super-Hero!