Your immunity depends on a varied number of factors such as diet, exercise, hygiene, personal lifestyle, habits, supplements and much more. A robust immune system helps you in staying healthy and fighting infections, no matter what you are exposed to. Our Foundation Section will explain which foods you need to eat, which drinks and juices you need to consume, and which are the essential vitamins and minerals for an immunity-boost.
But as we are trying to include healthy diets and habits in your lifestyle, we should also focus on eliminating the bad habits and foods from our life. For instance, processed foods are our enemies, and we should try to be far from them. So, in our Foundation Section, we have tried to include all those immunity-decreasing foods and drinks that you should completely avoid and replace with healthy, wholesome substitutes.
No.#1: Red Meat
So, all the meat lovers out there here are the bad news. If you love red meat, then you have to keep it far from your diet as it could be destroying your immunity levels. Red meat stimulates adverse effects on the immune responses. Actually, the red meat contains a certain kind of sugar which our bodies cannot ingest and seek nutrition from it. This sugar can pose severe health concerns for your health. Hence, it is advisable to skip this red meat and replace it with lean meat and poultry options for a while.
No.#2: Fried Snacks
Fried foods such as French fries, potato wedges, potato chips, and other snacks contain high amounts of oil and salt. Even if you use the healthiest oil in the market and cook it at home, eating it often can lead to disastrous side effects. It is the source of bad cholesterol in your body and can also stimulate the nasty inflammation. All these effects can reduce your immunity levels. If you love fried foods and cannot ‘live’ without them, then we insist on reducing the intake. It is advisable to cut them off completely, but even reducing the consumption can be a better option. When you follow our suggestion, your body defences strengthen naturally.
No.#3: Processed Foods
After the fried snacks, processed foods occupy the second position in our list. We have to reduce processed and fast foods from our diet, even if something is trying to sell you a natural product to you. You should learn to read the labels properly so that you can keep the trickiest ones away. These foods contain a huge dose of carbs, sugar, artificial flavors and colors. Mechanical cooking procedures are used to prepare these foods. If you eat processed foods on a regular basis, you can be susceptible to a weak immunity level, more illnesses, and poor well-being. So, we suggest throwing away all the processed foods from your diet and replacing them with healthy and fresh ones.
It would be hard to quit processed foods if you got this habit of eating them often. But you can surely try your best with fresh vegetables, fruits and salads.
No.#4: Sugar and Sugary Foods
Sugar is a slow poison and has a bad reputation in the health industry. And the worst thing is that sugar comes in the form of hidden substitutes and enters your body without any prior intimation. Sugar, especially the refined sugars, harms your immunity levels, and it contains no nutrition at all. Refined sugar is bad for the cells that harm the bacteria, and hence, we recommend quitting sugary snacks as soon as possible.
No.#5: Soda and Diet Soda
Soda and even diet soda is a bad option for your health and immunity. Soda is devoid of any nutrients and is full of carbs and unhealthy substances. The worst thing about soda is that it reduces the calcium and magnesium levels in your body. So, if you end your day with a soda mixed with your favorite beverage, then you have to skip it soon.
No.#6: Alcoholic Beverages
If you think alcohol has sound good effects on your body, but you have to think twice before taking the second drink. Alcohol affects your hormones adversely. It affects your sleep cycles, and you already know that sleep is important for your immunity. Now, got the connection? So, do not think that moderate drinking is good, then you are wrong. It lowers the immunity, and so you have to skip it. The good news is that we can switch to better options such as wine and beer, and in little quantities, mixed with water and not soda.
No.#7: Gluten-based Foods
Gluten intolerants know what and how gluten can damage your digestive system and make you sluggish. But did you know that gluten also has an adverse effect on immunity? As gluten makes the digestion process difficult, toxins and unwanted substances move in your body freely, damaging the immune responses. So, replacing them with gluten-free foods can be an excellent solution for you. You can find a variety of bread and pasta, which are gluten-free and claim to be healthy.
No.#8: Refined Oil
Oil is healthy as it strengthens your body, joints and muscles, but picking up a better version of the oil is mandatory. Refined oils do not contain any nutrients and stress your immune system. A better solution is to replace refined oils with cold-pressed oils such as coconut oil, virgin olive oil, sesame oil, walnut oil, etc. When you eat food outside, make sure that the restaurant has an option of using a cold-pressed version of oil and not the refined oils.
No.#9: Foods with MSG and Foods with Pesticides and Chemicals
Though foods infused with MSG taste delicious and yummy, they are not good for your immunity at all. MSG is widely used in restaurant foods, and you are supposed to avoid the same. It is your responsibility not to listen to your taste buds and obey your immunity levels instead. MSG foods can be replaced with fermented and prebiotic foods, mushrooms, premium quality cheese and others.
A diet full of veggies and fruits might sound healthy, but if these foods are loaded with pesticides and other fertilizers, then it will do nothing to your immunity. Foods not produced in season are often subject to pesticides. For instance, if you eat apples in summers, then they are likely to be covered in a sheet of chemicals. All these chemicals are dangerous for your immune function, metabolism, and even reproductive organs. Choosing organic versions is a wise decision. Also, go for seasonally produced foods, these are suitable for your health.
Caffeine is a wonderful beverage, and it is a perfect wake-up call for you in the morning. But do you know that it is not suitable for your health and immunity? Caffeine is not good for your metabolic rate, stress hormones, energy levels and immune function. We don’t suggest you give up your coffee, instead, we recommend you reduce its intake and monitor the same.
Once you skip these foods, replace them with better and immunity-boosting substitutes. It will be challenging to get rid or reduce the intake of your favorite foods, but remember the long-term health effects of the same. It will be worth the sacrifice!
1. Christ, A., Gunther, P., Lauterbach, M.A.R., Duewell, P. . . . Latz, E. (2018). Western Diet Triggers NLRP3-Dependent Innate Immune Reprogramming. Cell, 172(14), 162–175. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.12.013
2. Hassan, Z.A., Arafa, M.H., Soliman, W.I., Atteia, H.H., Al-Saeed, H.F. (2014). The Effects of Monosodium Glutamate on Thymic and Splenic Immune Functions and Role of Recovery (Biochemical and Histological study). Journal of Cytology & Histology, 5(6). doi: 10.4172/2157-7099.1000283.
3. Molina, P.E., Happel, K.I., Zhang, P., Kolls, J.K., Nelson, S. Focus On: Alcohol and the Immune System. Alcohol and Health.
4. Romeo, J., Wärnberg, J., Nova, E., Díaz, L.E., Gómez-Martinez, S., Marcos, A. (2007). Moderate alcohol consumption and the immune system: a review. The British Journal of Nutrition, 98(Suppl 1), S111-5. doi: 10.1017/S0007114507838049
5. Lovallo, W.R., Whitset, T.L., al’Absi, M., Sung, B.H. . . . Wilson, M.F. (2008) Caffeine Stimulation of Cortisol Secretion Across the Waking Hours in Relation to Caffeine Intake Levels. Psychosomatic Medicine, 67(5), 734–739. doi: 10.1097/01.psy.0000181270.20036.06
6. Horrigan, L.A., Kelly, J.P., Connor, T.J. (2006). Immunomodulatory effects of caffeine: friend or foe? Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 111(3), 877-92. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2006.02.002
7. Gibson, A., Edgar, J. D., Neville, C. E., Gilchrist, S. E., Mckinley, M. C., Patterson, C. C., . . . Woodside, J. V. (2012). Effect of fruit and vegetable consumption on immune function in older people: A randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 96(6), 1429-1436
8. Banwell J.G., Howard R., Kabir I., Costerton J.W. 1988. Bacterial overgrowth by Indigenous Microflora in the Phytohemagglutinin-fed Rat. Canadian Journal of Microbiology 34(8)
9. Gundry, S. R. 2017. The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain. New York, NY: Harper Wave.
10. Shehata, A. A., Schrödl, W., Aldin, A. A., Hafez, H. M., & Krüger, M. (2012). The Effect of Glyphosate on Potential Pathogens and Beneficial Members of Poultry Microbiota In Vitro. Current Microbiology, 66(4), 350-358.
11. Suez, J., Korem, T., Zeevi, D., Zilberman-Schapira, G., Thaiss, C. A., Maza, O., . . . Elinav, E. (2014). Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature, 514(7521), 181-186
12. Turnbaugh P.J., Ridaura, V.K., Faith, J.J., Rey, F.E. . . . Gordon, J.I. (2009) The Effect of Diet on the Human Gut Microbiome: A Metagenomic Analysis in Humanized Gnotobiotic Mice. Science Translational Medicine 1(6). doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3000322
13. Sanchez, A., Reeser, J.L., Lau, H.S., Yahiku, P.Y. . . . Magie, A.R. (1973). Role of Sugars in Human Neutrophilic Phagocytosis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 26(11):1180-4.
14. Biesiekierski, J. R., Newnham, E. D., Irving, P. M., Barrett, J. S., Haines, M., Doecke, J. D., . . . Gibson, P. R. (2011). Gluten Causes Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Subjects Without Celiac Disease: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial.The American Journal of Gastroenterology,106(3), 508-514. doi:10.1038/ajg.2010.487
Hi, my name is Liam Paul. I am a qualified nutritionist and a health-conscious person. I love to
read books about fitness, health, self-help, and much more. I have seen people consulting
me for weight loss or a specific health issue. But rarely someone came to me saying that
they want to be strong, healthy and build a robust immunity system.
So, I raised awareness regarding the benefits of a strong immune system through
workshops and seminars. This website is also one of the ways through which I can reach the
maximum audience and spread awareness about it. Also, I contribute to this website through
articles, blogs, supplement reviews for your benefits. I hope you find them useful.