Your personal army
Your immune system fights off the pathogens or microbes that cause disease. It is like immigration to a country. If something foreign enters the body it has to go through the airways or through the digestive system and has to get the stamp of approval from immigration.
That’s what your immune system does, it’s constantly scanning to see if something is a foreign entity that could cause harm or if it’s part of the body. Once it tags a foreign thing as something that could threaten the body, it’ll automatically send in the defenses. Your own little microscopic army as it were.
But you must keep these defensive forces strong and ready to attack your body’s enemies, or they will prevail leading to sickness and even death. At this particular time, we all need to start focusing on personal responsibility for our immune system. It may have never been more important.
Choose a healthy diet
The diet of too many people in the US consists of refined sugars, salt, and saturated fat. These unhealthy eating habits cause inflammation, reduced immunity to infections, increased rates of cancer, and increased risk of allergic and autoimmune diseases.
A healthy immune system depends on being healthy overall. Eating healthy food is a no brainer, most people know that is what they should be doing, but fall into bad habits. Stop eating fast food and other things you KNOW are not good for you and choose a healthy diet instead. Your life may depend on it.
Top bad foods for immunity
Knowing what foods are damaging our body and specifically, our immune system is very important.
Some of the unhealthiest foods that you may be eating can actually be destroying your immune system. If you have a weakened immune system it may be caused by your nutrition. What we eat plays a very important role in how well our immune system can function in preventing disease.
Of course, it is recommended to try and eat whole and natural foods as much as possible as this is the best way to ensure you’re getting a healthy diet. This isn’t always possible, so instead here’s a list of some foods that you should absolutely try to avoid in order to maintain your healthy immune system.
This may come as no surprise, but fried food is especially bad for our immune system, and for a couple of reasons. Being full of bad fats, eating excessive fried food can increase the bad cholesterol in our bodies which may lead to an increase in inflammation and reduce immune system function.
Also, there’s some evidence to support that the fried foods we eat may accumulate a compound called acrylamide which is a dangerous carcinogen. It’s best to avoid fried food as much as possible and even better if you can eliminate it from your diet.
The next food that you should try to avoid is soda. It doesn’t really matter what kind of soda, whether it is diet or regular, as all kinds of soda are bad for your immune system soda has no beneficial nutrients. This can result in regular drinkers becoming deficient in vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium, which are all important vitamins for our immune system.
In fact, phosphoric acid that’s found in sodas may cause the calcium and magnesium to be depleted from your body. Another reason why sodas are bad for your immune system is because of the high sugar content, which is the next food that we’re going to talk about.
Sugary snacks, especially those that contain refined sugars, are extremely bad and can actually suppress our immune system and leave us potentially more susceptible to catching colds and cases of flu. Studies have shown that even small intakes of sugar can reduce the white blood cell count, which are the cells that are responsible for attacking and killing pathogens as well as germs.
The next food that you should try to avoid is canned foods. While canned foods can be convenient for cooking as they have a long shelf life, the foods can actually be causing a reduced immune system function. The problem with canned food comes in the lining of the can.
BPA or bisphenol-a is thought to be a human carcinogen and a hormone disrupter that can have adverse effects on our body, especially to our immune system. To avoid this, it’s best to cook with fresh foods and ingredients when possible.
If you enjoy the convenience that cans have to offer, you can purchase food that’s stored in glass jars to prevent the contamination with BPA.
Salt is bad for the immune system, as well as blood pressure and so increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Canned foods have high salt content often to help preserve the contents.
Another risk of food having high salt content is restaurant food. Chefs tend to add salt as a flavoring and to preserve the food. Take it easy with that salt shaker on your table.
Boosting your immune system
We have talked about some of the worst foods to eat for immunity, here is a list of 3 foods that may boost your immune system:
Vitamin C is said to increase the production of white blood cells, the cells that fight infections. Since your body doesn’t produce or store it, you need daily vitamin C for your health.
Red bell peppers
Red bell peppers contain more vitamin C than citrus, they are also a rich source of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant beta-carotene that may reduce inflammation and boost immune function.
Garlic is a must-have for your health. recognized for its value in fighting infections. Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds such as allicin.
Found in a variety of plant and animal foods, a range of nutrients have been identified as critical for the growth and function of immune cells. These include vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, selenium, and iron. To get ample amounts of these vital nutrients, eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetable along with vitamin and mineral supplements.