As the coronavirus pandemic shows no sign of stopping around the world, it is now more important than ever to keep our immune system up and running. As our knowledge on the virus grows with each passing day, one thing that has become clear is that strengthening our body to battle against pathogens is now our top priority. One of the best ways of gearing up our body’s immune system is to have a nutrient-rich diet.
While we should plan our meals to include as many immunity booster foods as possible, it is equally important to stop consuming food items that weaken our body’s ability to guard against bacteria and viruses. In order to satisfy our hunger cravings, we often eat junk, sugar-laden and processed products that reduce our body’s ability to ward off its enemies. The following is a list of food items that you should stop consuming to keep your immune system up and running.
1. Soda and other carbonated drinks
If you are addicted to the sweet addictive nectar of carbonated drinks, you better proceed with caution. These beverages are full of unnecessary calories even when they claim to be 100 % real fruit juice. The biggest issue is that these beverages do not contain any fibre, so you don’t really feel full after drinking them which makes it harder to stop drinking. They contain only empty calories, and what this means is that their unmonitored consumption leads to weight gain and obesity. Since several experts have already explained the connection between obesity and a weakened immune system, it is strongly advised to limit the intake of soda and other sweetened beverages.
2. Coffee and other caffeinated beverages
If you can’t imagine beginning your day without a steaming hot cup of coffee, there’s some news for you. While one or two cups of coffee won’t really cause any harm, it is the in-between cups throughout the day that could wreak havoc on our immune system. An excess of caffeine releases high levels of cortisol which can cause changes in your immune system response. So instead, focus on getting a good night’s sleep, instead of depending on caffeinated beverages to get you through the day.
3. Candies and other processed sugars
We all need something sweet every once in a while, but when you binge on processed food items loaded with sugar it becomes problematic for your health. The variety of sugar-filled candies contribute towards exacerbating existing inflammation. As the inflammatory markers increase, our body’s immune system keeps struggling. If you want to naturally curb your cravings, it’s best to opt for a bowl of fresh fruits instead.
4. French fries, burgers and all fried products
As delicious as they may be, binging on fried products puts your body in trouble. They have a high quantity of salt in them which can lead to fluid retention and high blood pressure, both of which cause harm to your immune system. Secondly, high saturated fat and grease content in fried products have a very bad effect on the gut microbiome which again reduces immunity. These products also make you vulnerable to developing diabetes and cardiovascular conditions.
The advice to stay away from alcohol is good under any circumstances. If you want your immune system to be at its best, alcohol is your enemy. While a glass or two may not do much harm, excessive consumption of alcohol heavily weakens your immune system. Drinking too much may leave you vulnerable to pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses. So, throw away the alcohol and have a lovely glass of juice instead.
Stay safe, stay healthy :)