Keep immunity strong by avoiding these 7 foods

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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As we head towards the new year 2022 with the third wave of coronavirus, avoid these 7 foods to protect your immune system and stay healthy.

Boosting immunity has been discussed the most during the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, still, it’s a major concern area as we stand on the cusp of the third wave of Covid-19, with the new variant Omicron doing the rounds. A better immunity will not prevent a person from getting the virus, but it will make them stronger to fight the infection. Though the vaccination drive is going on in full swing, keeping our immunity up and tight is our best bet to save ourselves from the deadly coronavirus.

Therefore, it is more important than ever to take care of the immune system. While eating immune boosting foods like oranges and broccoli can certainly help, avoiding other foods maybe even more important. Yes, if your diet is low in nutrients and high on processed foods, sugar and refined carbohydrates, you may be reducing your body’s ability to ward off diseases.

worst foods for immunity
A healthy immune system protects us, and you should avoid consuming these foods for strong immunity. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

To help us understand which foods aren’t good for health, we’ve none other than renowned nutritionist Dr Lovneet Batra. So, before you enter 2022 leave behind these 7 foods in 2021 to keep your immunity in check.

7 foods you need to give up or reduce for better immunity

1. Sugar

Sugary foods such as baked items and desserts and sugary drinks such as soft drinks contain large amounts of sugar that increase your risk of having heart problems. Consuming excess sugar can lead to the accumulation of fat, can worsen pre-existing diabetes, can increase chronic inflammation, and can also contribute to weight gain and obesity, all of which are the factors that make your immunity so weak. Sugary foods are also known to be addicting.

2. Refined flours

Foods that are processed and high in refined carbohydrates suggest white flour, white bread, white rice, and refined sugar associated with increases in inflammation and oxidative stress which can harm the immune system. The processing of refining gets rid of essential nutrients present in the foods and sometimes also adds unhealthy ingredients like salt and sugar which have been shown to produce higher spikes in blood sugar and also increase the liver production of fat. Choose nutritious and high fibre carbs sources to support your immune system.

3. Refined oils

While consuming cold pressed oils can protect the heart by reducing bad cholesterol and blood pressure levels, intake of refined oils in an everyday diet can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack significantly. In fact, refined oils are highly processed and can lead to inflammation and imbalances in bacterial communities which can affect your immune system.

Also, read: 5 red fruits to pep up your plate and immunity

4. Alcohol

While occasional drinks might not hurt your immunity, regular consumption of drinks can cause damage to your overall health. Excessive alcohol consumption can increase triglycerides levels—a type of fat in your blood that contributes to the risk of developing dangerous health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. In addition, drinking alcoholic beverages affects hormones by disrupting the circadian rhythm. And the change in circadian rhythm can make one feel unwell.

worst foods for immunity
Do not overdo alcohol, because it will cause more harm than good. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Excessive coffee

Due to being high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties coffee is good for health but the acidity level in coffee contributes to an overall high acidic level in the body and too much caffeine intake leads to indigestion, bloating, and an upset stomach that can hamper your immune system. Switch to low caffeine beverages and keep check on your intake of caffeine rich foods.

Also, read: Covid-19: Ayurvedic tips for stronger immunity and ‘biological mask’

6. Stale food

If you do eat food past the expiration date and the food is spoiled, you could develop symptoms of food poisoning. The symptoms of food-borne illnesses, which is referred to as food poisoning, can include fever, chills, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting. So be careful.

7. Processed meats

Any meat that has been cured, smoked, canned, or salted is a processed food, and these types of meats, including hot dogs, salami, and cured bacon, are associated with increased risk of conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and certain cancers such as bowel or stomach. So processed meat is unhealthy and you should avoid it.

So, eat healthily, avoid these foods to keep your immunity strong, and a happy new year to all of you.

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