As the saying goes, we are what we eat.
Contrary to popular belief, exercising is not a fail-safe method to keep our bodies healthy. A combination of physical activities and taking care of what we eat is the key to a healthy body and a strong mind that can keep sickness at bay.
A balanced diet consists of fresh fruits, colourful vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and protein. These foods will provide the nutrients that our bodies need to function, which are vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
However, there are plenty of foods that can compromise our immune system and one of the biggest culprits is processed foods. Processed foods have made it easier for us to eat without having to spend a lot of time cooking. While the convenience is much welcomed, consuming huge amounts of processed foods can have negative effects on our bodies.
Here are five foods that can compromise your immune system.
Believe it or not, white bread can suppress our immune system. Like many other baked goods (cookies, cakes, and rolls), white bread is made from white flour, which is a refined carbohydrate, making it high in calories and low in nutrients. This could lead to unintentional weight gain and can cause obesity or insulin resistance. White bread is also a type of high-glycemic index food that causes the production of advanced glycation end (AGE) products in our bodies. Thus, white bread can contribute to inflammation, hindering your body’s ability to protect and heal itself.
Who can resist the temptation of these sugary snacks? Candies and sweets, including chocolate bars, mints, and more, are tasty, but they can also affect the immune system. Foods that are high in sugar can increase the production of inflammatory proteins—negatively impacting our immune system. Having high blood sugar levels will keep our immune system in a depressed state as our immune cells are unable to fight against infection. High sugar blood levels also cause gut bacteria imbalances which can alter our bodies’ immune response.
While drinking fruit juice is a convenient way to add fruits into our diet, many may not realise that fruit juice can be harmful for our immune system. Most commercially sold fruit juices have added sugar to improve the taste which then counteracts the benefits these fruit juices have. Excess sugar, in general, limits the immune functions of our bodies causing us to be more susceptible to infections. Overconsumption of fruit juice can also lead to other issues including a negative impact on body weight, obesity, diabetes risk, and cancer.
Some of us might find it comforting to crack open a can of beer after a long day of work. However, alcohol can impair our immune system by damaging our immune cells and impairing their ability to fight off infection. Consuming alcohol also increases the levels of stress hormone cortisol, blood sugar, and insulin—all three when elevated can affect our immune system. Alcohol can also disrupt our gut’s health by triggering inflammation in the gut and destroying normal healthy gut bacteria which we need to maintain a strong immune system.
Enjoyed simply with a bowl of milk, cereal is easily one of the most popular breakfast items. While it is often fortified with vitamins and minerals, most breakfast cereals are loaded in sugar and low in fiber. When consumed daily, the added sugar can have adverse effects on our immune system and can lead to other health issues. Even though most breakfast cereals claim to be healthy, it is important to check the nutrition facts and opt for cereals with low sugar and high fiber content.
To make sure your immune system is functioning properly, it is important to pay attention to what you eat. Alternatively, you can boost your immunity with Asodi. With patented ingredients like cantaloupe extract, rose petal extract, and fermented soybean extract as well as green tea extract, green coffee extract, and barley leaf, Asodi supplies your body with superoxide dismutase (SOD), combats oxidative stress, and reduces AGEs.