Your diet has an impact on how you sleep and how well your body works. Although a nutrient-dense and well-rounded diet benefits the immune system, a diet deficient in nutrients and high in ultra-processed foods degrades immune function. This article contains a list of foods that can damage the immune system.
There is no question that limiting the intake of refined sugar improves your general wellbeing and immune system.
Foods that greatly boost blood sugar, such as those rich in added sugars, increase the development of inflammatory proteins like tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-), C-reactive protein (CRP), and interleukin-6 (IL-6), both of which have a negative impact on immune function.
This is particularly significant for diabetics, who may have high blood sugar levels for longer periods of time than those with well-regulated blood sugar levels.
Furthermore, high blood sugar levels may inhibit the reaction of neutrophils and macrophages, two types of immune cells that aid in infection protection.
Furthermore, it has been shown that elevated blood sugar levels can impair the work of the intestinal barrier and cause an imbalance of gut bacteria, altering your immune system and making the body more vulnerable to infection.
A 2012 study of 562 older adults, for example, discovered that people with elevated blood sugar levels had poorer immune responses and higher levels of the inflammatory marker.
Furthermore, high-added-sugar diets can increase susceptibility to certain autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, in some populations.
Limiting the consumption of high-added-sugar foods and beverages, such as ice cream, cookies, sweets, and sugary drinks, will increase your general health and enhance good immune function.
Salty foods like potato chips, frozen dinners, and fast food can weaken your immune system, as high-salt diets may cause tissue inflammation and increase your risk of autoimmune diseases.
Six stable men ate 12 grams of salt a day for 50 days in a 2016 survey. This was followed by about 50 days of consuming 9 grams of salt per day, followed by a comparable time of consuming 6 grams of salt per day. Finally, they ate 12 grams of sugar a day for another 30 days.
Men who consumed 12 grams of salt a day had higher numbers of white blood cells called monocytes as well as the inflammatory markers IL-23 and IL-6. They also had a lower level of anti-inflammatory protein than IL-10, indicating an overactive immune response.
Salt can also suppress natural immune function, inhibit the anti-inflammatory response, modify gut bacteria, and promote the production of immune cells involved in the development of autoimmune diseases.
In particular, researchers suggest that an uptick in autoimmune disorders in Western countries could be linked to excessive salt consumption. Furthermore, excessive salt consumption has been found to aggravate pre-existing autoimmune disorders such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
As a result, cutting back on table salt and salty foods can help your immune system.
Foods high in omega-6 fats
To work properly, the body needs both omega-6 and omega-3 fats. Western diets are rich in omega-6 fats and poor in omega-3 fats. This mismatch has been linked to a higher risk of illness and potentially immune dysfunction. Diets high in omega-6 fats tend to increase the expression of inflammatory proteins that can inhibit immune function, while diets high in omega-3 fats decrease the synthesis of certain proteins and improve immune function.
Furthermore, research of obese people show that eating a lot of omega-6 fats weakens the immune system and increases the chance of contracting diseases like asthma and allergic rhinitis.
However, the relationship between omega-6 fats and immune response is complicated, and further human study is needed.
This involves consuming more omega-3-rich foods, such as tuna, mackerel, sardines, walnuts, and chia seeds, and less omega-6-rich foods, such as sunflower oil, corn oil, and soybean oil.
Fried foods are high in a class of molecules known as Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE). When sugars associate with proteins or fats at high temperatures, such as when frying, these particles form.
Age factors can lead to inflammation and cellular damage if levels get too high in the body.
These compounds are believed to disrupt the immune system in a variety of ways, including increasing inflammation, depleting the body’s antioxidant mechanisms, causing cellular dysfunction, and adversely influencing intestinal bacteria.
Processed meats and tempted
Processed and burnt meats, including fried foods, are heavy in AGE. For example, fried bacon, grilled hot dogs, skin-roasted chicken thighs, and grilled steaks were found to have the highest AGE content in a sample of 549 foods.
Saturated fats are also abundant in processed meats. According to some studies, diets high in saturated fats and low in unsaturated fats may contribute to immune system weakness.
Furthermore, high-saturated-fat diets can lead to systemic inflammation and impair immune function. Furthermore, high consumption of processed and burned meat has been attributed to a variety of diseases, including colon cancer.
Fast food consumption has been attributed to a number of negative health effects. If you take it too much, it can have an adverse effect on your immune system. Fast food and highly processed foods can cause inflammation, increase intestinal permeability, and cause a bacterial imbalance in the gut, all of which can harm the immune system.
Fast food can also include the phthalate chemicals di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and diisononyl phthalate (DiNP). Phthalates can enter junk food by packaging or rubber gloves used for food processing, for example.
Phthalates are thought to affect the body’s endocrine system, or hormone activity. It can also induce an increase in the development of inflammatory proteins, which may hinder the immune response to pathogens and create an inconsistency in immune regulation. Furthermore, phthalates can reduce the diversity of gut bacteria, which can have a negative impact on your immune system.