Right now more than ever, you want a healthy immune system.
But did you know that you may be sabotaging your immune system with some of the foods you eat, without even knowing it?
See, in order for your immune system to be strong, your gut has to be healthy, because that’s where the immune system lives.
Did you know that 80% of your immune system lives in your digestive tract?
Proper digestive health is CRITICAL to your overall health and avoiding getting sick.
But what happens for a lot of people who regularly eat the foods on the list below is that the lining of the digestive tract gets damaged, and increasingly, toxins and harmful substances that are supposed to be making their way out of your body slip right back in.
It’s called Leaky Guy Syndrome, and it can also be caused by antibiotics, stress, and environmental factors – or a combination of all of those.
The only good news about Leaky Gut Syndrome is that it can be cured. First, you have to remove any and all trigger foods.
Think of a garden. If you want to stop weeds from springing up, you’ve got to stop feeding the weeds fertilizer. The foods we’ll talk about today are fertilizer for an unhealthy gut.
I’m also going to suggest replacement foods for each because if you can make the change to immune-supporting foods, your gut and immune system will heal itself.
There’s also lots you can do to support your immune system besides eating healthy foods:
- Get more time outside
- Move around both by exercising and getting up and stretching while you work at a desk
- Keep your stress levels as low as possible (remember, stress is a factor in leaky gut)
- Connect with loved ones, even if only over FaceTime
- Practice meditation or regular deep breathing
5 Foods that Weaken Your Immune System
Sugar produces a chronic inflammatory response in the lining of the digestive tract, making you more susceptible to illness. At the same time, it depletes your body’s resources of the mineral magnesium, which is important for a ton of functions, including a healthy immune system.
And artificial sweeteners are no better! They lead to massive nutrient depletion and increases in instances of disease.
Instead, replace sugar and artificial sweeteners with healthy fats like avocados, coconut oil, seeds, raw nuts, and wild-caught, low-mercury fish. Healthy fat foods will help end your body’s cravings for sugar and set you on a better path.
Foods made with gluten, soy, and trans-fats, which include most processed snacks and carbs, clog up the digestive track, leaving your gut less resistant to disease. And if you’re sensitive to gluten, a food that many people have intolerances or allergies to, you’re likely to suffer digestive consequences for days at a time after eating any.
Instead, replace processed carbs with fresh veggies, especially anything green, which is rich in chlorophyll. It heals the digestive tract and strengthens your immune system.
Dairy is one of the foods that most frequently leads to digestive irritation, a precursor for leaky gut that exacerbates the problem once you have it. Most dairy products in the US are also pro-inflammatory, which means that they send your digestive tract reeling every time you eat dairy, making it harder to fight off diseases
Instead, switch to coconut milk, almond milk, and hemp milk that are unsweetened and produced without carrageenan. These choices are immunity-supporting.
One of the most concerning toxins associated with peanuts is a mold that produces aflatoxin, a known carcinogen. Why are peanuts so susceptible to toxins? They are actually legumes, and not nuts. While nuts have a hard, protective shell (think about walnut and pecan shells and just how difficult they are to crack), legumes have a soft, permeable pod.
Peanuts also grow underground, because they are part of the plant’s root system. Growing underground with a permeable pod leaves peanuts at the mercy of temperature and moisture conditions including warm humidity that allows for the growth of molds, which the digestive tract has to devote precious resources to removing from your body – resources it then cannot use to fight diseases.
Instead, eat more walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, and Brazil nuts. The antioxidants and healthy fats they provide have an anti-inflammatory affect.
Consuming alcohol is not good for your immune system, according to research. Beer and other types of alcohol that undergo fermentation contribute to a leaky gut and digestive inflammation. Any alcohol that is sourced from grains is likely to contain fungus, which again, contributes to a leaky gut and digestive inflammation. The same goes for any alcohol with sugar, like pre-mixed drinks and liqueurs, wine, and almost any mixers.
While the occasional red wine can have moderate immunity benefits, all of other alcohol is bad for immunity. Even red wine requires moderation to be beneficial and is not beneficial for all people.
Instead, stick with the best immune-booster you can drink – filtered water with a slice of lemon or lime. Herbal tea also supports the immune system.
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