It's no secret that a healthy diet is essential for a strong immune system. But did you know that some foods can actually weaken your body's ability to fight off infection? From white bread to candy, there are certain foods that can have a negative impact on your immune system. White bread is particularly problematic, as it decreases the body's ability to protect or heal itself. Products made with refined grains, such as white bread, are also likely to contain additives that can harm the immune system.
For people who can't tolerate gluten, this can put stress on the entire immune system. Candies and other sugary treats are also bad for your immune system. While honey may seem like a healthier alternative to refined sugar, this isn't exactly the case. Natural sugars such as honey, maple syrup and molasses can be just as detrimental as sugar.
Raisins and other dried fruits can also increase your sugar levels. Fruit juice is another source of added sugar, which can be especially damaging to your immune system. While all forms of sugar can pose a problem for the immune system, soda is perhaps the worst offender. In addition to being packed with sugar, it's also full of artificial colors that can adversely affect the gastrointestinal lining.
Tofu is another food that can be problematic for several reasons, one of which is the high concentration of omega-6 fatty acids. These fats have been linked to an increase in the inflammatory response in the body, especially when they are unbalanced with the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and some nuts and seeds. Oils such as sunflower, soy and corn are also high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and don't even have the protein of tofu, making them a much worse choice. Cocktails are another food to avoid if you want to keep your immune system strong.
In addition to containing a large amount of sugar, they also contain strong alcoholic beverages that can put a double blow on your immune system. Dried or canned fruits or juices may seem like healthier alternatives to candy or soda, but they still contain a lot of added sugar which can put your system out of control. The glucose and fructose in sweetened foods feed unhealthy microbes, making it difficult to fight infections. In addition, sugar causes the desire to consume more sugar, since yeast and other microbes in the body that love sugar get used to the added sugar in the body. Processed meats such as sausages and bacon should also be avoided if you want to keep your immune system strong.
These meats have been linked to several diseases, including colon cancer. Fast food is another food to avoid if you want to keep your immune system healthy. Not only is fast food bad for your weight, it can also damage your immune system by altering hormones and weakening immune responses. Western diets tend to include a lot of omega-6 fats and much less omega-3.Omega-6 fats have been shown to promote inflammatory proteins that weaken our immune system and may increase the risk of asthma and allergic rhinitis. Fried foods are also bad for your immune system as they compete with fast foods and processed meats for AGE content. These end products increase the risk of cell damage and inflammation and deplete the body's antioxidant mechanisms. Taking good care of your immune system is more important than ever, and while eating foods that boost your immunity such as oranges and broccoli can certainly help, avoiding other foods may be even more important. By avoiding white breads, candies, sugary treats, fruit juices, tofu, cocktails, dried or canned fruits or juices, processed meats, fast food, western diets high in omega-6 fats and fried foods you can help keep your immune system strong.