4 Foods That Could Decrease Your Immunity

by Dr Jonathan D'Souza

A strong immune system is important for good health. Exercising, getting good sleep and good nutrition are all things that collectively support your immunity. Conversely, living a sedentary lifestyle, running on a sleep deficit and eating unhealthy foods will weaken your immunity.

Let's take a look at some of the worst foods that decrease immunity.

1) Sugar
There is a good reason why sugar is avoided by health-conscious people. While it has zero nutrients, it has been linked to corroding teeth. High blood sugar levels result from high sugar consumption from refined and processed foods such as soda, candy, cookies and most packaged foods. The increase in blood sugar levels decreases the germ-fighting ability of the white blood cells to fight off viruses and bacteria. According to the American Heart Association, the average American consumes 20 teaspoons of sugar per day.
To counter the effects of sugar, eat high-fiber foods such as lentils, brown rice and chickpeas that will stabilize blood sugar levels and improve the health of the immune system.

2) White Bread & Cereals
Have you heard of the ‘sugar tsunami’? Nutritionists claim that simple carbs present in refined grains in cereals and bread are quickly converted to glucose (a type of sugar) when digested. Do you find it difficult to give up on that toast or morning cereal? Opt for buckwheatquinoa, millet and amaranth that is now available in cereal and bread form.

3) High Fat Foods
While weight gain is one of the main reasons to avoid fried foods from your diet, here’s another: high-fat foods can make your body less responsive to an infection. A diet that is rich in fatty foods can decrease the host’s resistance to infectious diseases and even make them susceptible to some forms of cancer.

4) Alcohol
While you certainly don’t need to give up that occasional glass of red wine, avoid drinking too much during the flu season. Alcohol decreases immunity and interferes with the body’s ability to get rid of infections. Studies show that binging on alcohol could cause immune deficiency and lead to increase susceptibility to diseases. Experts suggest that while one drink (5oz of wine, 12oz of beer or 1oz of hard liquor) will not disrupt the immune system, three or more drinks can.

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