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7 extremely common foods that can actually harm your immune system

Published on:31 March 2021, 15:57pm IST
Keep your immunity strong to fight against diseases by avoiding these foods that can weaken your immune system.
Aayushi Gupta
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Avoid these foods to keep your immune system strong! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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We all want to ensure that our immune system stays strong and hence, we try to adopt a healthy lifestyle. From eating right and exercising to getting adequate sleep, we do it all to avoid getting sick. The coronavirus pandemic has not only made people realize the importance of having a strong immunity but also has caused them to understand their body’s natural defence mechanism better. Turns out, it is closely related to gut health.

You might not even realize it but there are certain foods that have low nutritional value and can hamper your immune system. Some studies suggest foods that are high in calories, sugar, saturated fats and contain excess salt can lower your immune system’s ability. Hence, it is important to avoid them in order to ensure you always stay healthy.

So, here are 7 foods that should be cut out of your diet immediately:

1. Soda and alcohol

Drinks like soda, juices, sweetened tea, energy drinks, and alcohol have been linked to a negative impact on human health. These can increase the production of the stress hormone cortisol, upset blood sugar levels, and interfere with the function of insulin which can all cause a weak immune system. In addition, such drinks are known for disrupting the circadian rhythm. Hence, they can also affect the sleep cycle which is closely connected to your immune function.

worst foods for immune system
Drink in moderation by limiting intake. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
2. Candies

A spike in blood sugar levels after the intake of candies can disrupt immune pathways and weaken your immune system. Candies, gums, and jellies are rich in sugar which can cause the immune system to increase the production of free radicals (linked with cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases) that can weaken blood cells and cause inflammation.

3. Potato chips

We are all addicted to fried foods but they can be horrible for your immune system because they are high in grease and fat content. Fried foods, such as potato chips, are the prime culprit behind disorders like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a weak immunity system.

4. Red meat

Red meat (beef, pork, and lamb) contains high levels of saturated fat which can increase your blood cholesterol. This won’t just cause your immune system to take a hit but will also prove to have an adverse effect on your heart health.

5. White bread

White bread, cookies, cakes, and pastries have extremely negative effects on your immune system because they are made of white flour, which tends to be high in calories and low in nutrients. These foods can also lead to inflammation, insulin resistance, and weight gain. 

worst foods for immune system
Cookies can weaken your immune system! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
6. Ice cream

Ice cream is a sweet and refreshing treat but it is packed with fat cream and milk which makes it high in saturated fats and sugar that can cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. Therefore, ice cream in the long-term can affect your immune system.

7. Coffee

Due to being high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties coffee is good for health but the acidity level in coffee contributes to an overall high acidic level in the body and too much caffeine intake leads to indigestion, bloating, and an upset stomach that can hamper your immune system.

Other than these foods, you should also avoid processed foods and processed oils, such as soybean, corn, and sunflower oil, because they can have an adverse effect on gut health and hamper the immune system.

 

Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.