It’s 2024 and boosting your immune system is more important than ever! So, let’s start with today’s health QA:
“Dr. Sam, what would you say is the #1 food that will lower my immune system and cause me to get sick more often? What food should I absolutely avoid more than any other food?”
This is a good question because I think we all hate getting sick. Whether it’s the common cold or a bad flu. It’s just such a waste of time. We get nothing done when we are sick. We can’t even enjoy time off when we’re sick since we feel miserable.
There are a lot of things we want to optimize to help boost our immune system.
The obvious ones are things such as moving more and exercising regularly.
Getting fresh air, eating natural foods, drinking plenty of water.
Having positive interactions with other people helps minimize your stress. Yes, being alone or feeling lonely is not good for your health or immune system.
People underestimate the power of deep-quality sleep, which I think is super important for health and a strong immune system.
Most don’t know the importance of getting specific vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin C and zinc – which should be taken with copper. And one of the most powerful ones is Vitamin D, which should be taken with vitamin K.
Specific Food That Can Destroy Immune System
However, when it comes to one specific food that can potentially destroy your immune system and all-around health?… I would probably say it’s sugar and similar compounds.
First, most people consume too much sugar, more than the body is designed to handle.
If you’re not consuming sugar directly, it’s found in high amounts in most processed foods. So, it’s hard to get away from it unless you are aware of it and know what to look for.
Sugar can obviously lead to blood sugar problems & possibly diabetes.
Sugar can also cause high blood pressure, high cholesterol & triglycerides, and poor blood flow.
Sugar also negatively affects your emotions, by causing negative mood changes, anxiety, and depression.
Worst of all, it can cause an increase in extra stress hormones, which can obviously lead to lots of other health problems.
Why Sugar Is Bad For Immune System
Now, before I tell you about all the various types of bad sugar you should avoid, especially those that are hidden or named something else.
Let’s first discuss WHY and HOW excessive sugar intake can impact your immune system:
- Inflammation: High sugar intake can contribute to chronic low-grade inflammation in your body. Chronic inflammation negatively affects the immune response, making it less efficient in combating infections.
- Reduced White Blood Cell Function: Research suggests that high levels of sugar in the bloodstream can impair the function of white blood cells, which are crucial components of the immune system responsible for fighting off infections.
- Reduced Nutrient Absorption: Diets high in sugar and processed foods, lack essential nutrients crucial for proper immune function, potentially leading to deficiencies that can weaken the immune system. Magnesium, zinc, specific amino acids and many more.
- Disruption of Gut Microbiota: Excessive sugar consumption can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria, impacting the gut microbiota’s diversity. Since a significant portion of your immune system resides in the gut, this imbalance negatively affects immune function. This can cause bacterial infections.
- Increased Susceptibility to Infections: Studies suggest that consuming large amounts of sugar may increase susceptibility to certain infections by weakening the body’s defense mechanisms. This can cause viral infections.
Basically, sugar itself isn’t the problem. It’s what sugar does to the rest of your body and mind, that becomes the real problem.
Different Forms Of Sugar
Sugar comes in many forms. Of course, are all know of regular white table sugar. But:
- brown sugar,
- cane sugar,
- syrups – such as high fructose corn syrup,
- agave sugar
and all of these different named compounds or foods, work the same as regular white sugar in the body.
Don’t fool yourself or fall for the false marketing that any of these are different better or healthier than regular sugar. It’s all the same junk.
This also goes for fruit juices. There’s very little difference between a glass of orange juice vs a glass of soda.
For example, I have a friend who gets a green drink smoothie every day, thinking that it’s healthy. After all, the drink is green. But, when you look at the ingredients, it contains apple, pear, pineapple, and a bunch of other fruit juices added with the parsley or celery.
Simply stated – If it tastes sweet, and has a lot of carb calories, it’s got added sugar.
I have no problem with eating fruits. Eating an orange is far better than having a glass of orange juice which is like 10 oranges, without the health benefits of the fiber. It takes a while to eat 10 oranges. It takes seconds to drink a glass of orange juice made from 10 oranges.
Even Worse Than Sugar…
Another sugar’s even worse and that’s alcohol sugar. Yes, alcohol is sugar. It’s worse because it negatively affects your organs and brain.
So all of you who think you’re doing your body some good by having a couple of glasses of wine every night, that’s just another marketing scam.
There’s no resveratrol in wine and if there was, it doesn’t do anything.
There’s absolutely no health benefit to ethanol and alcohol sugar.
Of course, alcohol can taste good or make you feel good or have a good time. That’s fine. But let’s not lie to ourselves and say that it’s GOOD for your health, even in moderation.
Drink alcohol because you want to have a “good time”, don’t do it to help improve your health – especially your immune system.
I would have listed “processed foods” as a major problem. But these days, almost all foods are processed. So, that’s a bit too vague.
So do yourself a favor… read the labels and lower your sugar consumption.
I’ve got a detailed, “never get sick again” video about the best tips, foods, and supplements to boost your immune system so you almost never get sick again and have a ton of energy.