Staying healthy isn’t just about using hand sanitizer and avoiding coughing co-workers, as many daily habits can impact how well your body fends off illness. Most people’s immune systems are quite effective most of the time, but unhealthy practices can decrease the body’s ability to fight off illness. Check out these foods & habits that aren’t doing your immune system any favors.

Foods That Sabotage The Immune System

Your immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together defending against germs and ‘foreign’ invaders like bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins and parasites. Around 90% of your immune system is stored in the lining of your gut, so if your gut isn’t healthy, neither is your immune system.

The health of your gut relies on a delicate balance of flora and bacteria to operate well, as it is responsible for stomach health, digestion and absorption, vitamin production, detoxification, and protecting the body against foreign invaders. There are numerous ways to disrupt this balance which can cause a ton of health issues, one being a weak immune system. Many people regularly sabotage their own immune systems by consuming things that ruin the health of their gut lining, and those items are listed below.

Poor Diet

Bad dietary habits, like eating foods loaded with sugar or not enough fruits and vegetables, can impair your immune function. It can also cause you to become overweight, which makes you more susceptible to disease. A healthy diet should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and probiotics.

Processed Foods

Junk food contains significant amounts of chemicals, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, rancid fats, and other substances that are far from being ‘real food’. While foods designed in a lab, and created in a factory may look, smell, and taste great, they are actually very harmful when eaten regularly. When these foods enter the body, they are identified by the body as foreign invaders. If ingested on a regular basis, your body is forced to produce an antibody response to the ‘invasion’ which not only weakens your immune system and increases inflammation, but over time can lead to serious autoimmune diseases.

Genetically Modified Foods

You may not be aware, but other countries are far ahead of the United States when it comes to research and regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s). GMO crops have been banned in over 30 countries, though they continue to expand here in the U.S. While our government and the FDA continue to support Monsanto and efforts to control the food supply, other countries are conducting research with startling findings. One decade-long such study in Norway, showed that rats, mice, pigs and salmon fed a diet of GM grain suffered negative alterations to their immune systems, as well as many other ailments.

Junk Supplements

It has been said that roughly 95% of the vitamins you’ll find in stores and online are actually going to do more harm than good in for the body. This is because they contain man-made versions of nutrients, rather than organic material found in whole foods. Synthetic supplements contain imitation vitamins that are unrecognizable to the body’s digestive system. Even worse they are full of additives, stabilizers, and fillers which are actually harmful to your immune function and overall health.

Taking Antibiotics

Don’t take antibiotics at the first sign of a sniffle, because it can make your body resistant to them over time, causing more serious infections. Researchers found that certain patients taking antibiotics had reduced levels of cytokines, the hormone messengers of the immune system. When your immune system is suppressed, you’re more likely to develop resistant bacteria or become sick in the future. Take antibiotics only for bacterial infections, use them right away, and take the entire course. Don’t use antibiotics preventively unless prescribed by your doctor, and don’t save or share unfinished courses.

Antibiotics are useful in killing bacterial infections in our bodies, but they are equally as effective in killing the good bacteria in the lining of our gut. Use of antibiotics can result in a damaged gut lining as well as a weakened immune system. Keep in mind we are exposed to far too many antibiotics through the meat we eat and our doctors prescribing them when they aren’t needed. Instead, you can eat foods that are powerful antibiotics like the ones listed HERE.

Habits That Harm The Immune System

Lacking Sleep

Not getting enough sleep has a powerful effect on immunity. Poor sleep is associated with a lower immune system function and reduced numbers of killer cells that fight germs. The University of Chicago researchers found that men who only slept four hours a night for one week produced half the amount of flu-fighting antibodies in their blood compared with those who slept 7½ to 8½ hours. Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted rest every night. If you’re tired when you wake up in the morning, you’re not getting enough sleep, or not enough quality sleep.

Chronic Stress

Daily stress takes a toll on many aspects of your health, including immunity, and there is compelling scientific evidence that this kind of stress (as opposed to once in awhile kind from a bad day) causes a measurable decline in the immune system’s ability to fight disease. Periods of extreme stress can result in a lower natural killer cell count, sluggish killer T cells, and diminished activity that can amplify the immune response. Find healthy stress relievers that can take the edge off, whether it’s a long run on the treadmill, a relaxing yoga class, meditation, reading, or baking for fun. The important thing is to unwind and recover.

Too Much Alcohol

Regularly overindulging in alcoholic beverages has a negative effect on the immune system. Drinking too much can wear away the linings of your mouth and esophagus, making it easier for viruses and bacteria to enter your body and help cold or fluviruses to take over. Women who drink alcohol should limit their intake to one drink per day, while men should have no more than two.


Smoking weakens the immune system, which makes you more susceptible to cold and flu. It also damages the first lines of defense, the linings of the mouth and nose, which are actually part of the immune system. Smoking can also cause the immune system turn on you, as a recently study found that smoking may cause the immune system to attack lung tissue, worsening COPD, an incurable respiratory condition.

Risky Sexual Behavior

Unsafe sexual behaviors can put you at greater risk for human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, a condition that weakens the immune system and hampers the body’s ability to fight infections. Having multiple sexual partners and vaginal, oral, or anal sex without using condoms increases your risk of becoming HIV-positive.

Being Inactive

Many people do not exercise at all, and that’s another way to set yourself up for sickness. When researchers compared inactive people to those who walked briskly almost every day, they found that those who didn’t walk took twice as many sick days in four months as those who strolled regularly. Experts say that it takes 30 minutes of aerobic exercise to get white blood cells back into circulation, and make the immune system run more smoothly.

Being Unhappy

Studies have found that unhappy types don’t live as long as those who look on the bright side. When pessimists put a more positive spin on the calamities in their lives, they have less stress and better health. A classic UCLA study found that law students who began their first semester optimistic about the experience, had more helper T cells mid semester, to amplify the immune response, and more powerful natural killer cells, than students who had a more pessimistic perspective. To think more positive, look for reasons no matter how small, to feel lucky or blessed every day.

Bottling Up Your Moods

Don’t keep what’s bothering you bottled up. People with type D personalies—those who keep their opinions and emotions hidden—have killer T cells that are less active than those found in more expressive peers. A constructive argument with your spouse can actually increase immunity, says UCLA researchers. They asked 41 happy couples to discuss a problem in their marriage for 15 minutes. The researchers detected surges in blood pressure, heart rate, and immune-related white blood cells, all of which were similar to the benefits seen with moderate exercise.

One thing both people need to do is be nice, as couples who frequently use sarcasm, insults, and put-downs have fewer virus-fighting natural killer cells, have higher levels of stress hormones, and take up to 40% longer to recover from injuries than those who manage to stay positive and calm during quarrels.

Other Items That Harm The Immune System


Poisons used to kill bugs lead to pathogens on our foods, because once the food has been doused in these chemicals it cannot be completely washed off. Not to mention that many GMO fruits, veggies and grains now have the chemicals inserted into their genes. When ingested, these chemicals kill the beneficial flora and have a harmful effect on our overall health.

Toxic Chemicals

We are surrounded by toxic chemicals in our homes and environment.From pollution in the air and water, to chlorine in our shower, and chemicals in our detergents, cleaners, soaps, shampoos, lotions, beauty products ect…we are absorbing far more than we can cleanse out, and weaken our body’s ability to fight off infection.

WAYS YOU’RE RUINING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM Reviewed by Rid on 4:59:00 PM Rating: 5

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