Did you know that your everyday behaviors can boost your immune system? By that same logic, there are everyday behaviors that can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to getting sick.
Here is a list of behaviors that can weaken your immune system, along with ideas as to how to reverse those behaviors.
1) Avoid Sugar
This may be the most shocking on the list — simple sugars are found in abundance in highly processed foods, soda, sugary drinks and desserts.
In his article, “Harmful Effects of Excess Sugar,” Dr. William Sears said, “Excess sugar depresses immunity. Studies have shown that downing 75 to 100 grams of a sugar solution (about 20 teaspoons of sugar, or the amount that is contained in two average 12-ounce sodas) can suppress the body’s immune responses.”
Eating sugar starts to depress the immune system quickly. Sears said that the immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than 30 minutes after ingestion, and may last for five hours.
A whole-food diet that focuses on fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, complex carbohydrates, lean meats and healthy fats will support the immune system, instead of weakening it.
When you are feeling sick, making sure to get protein can help because proteins are the building blocks of the immune system.
2) Not Enough Sleep
Have you ever noticed that when you don’t get enough sleep, you don’t feel well? Well, when you don't get enough sleep, it increases your stress hormone levels, which suppresses your immune system.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, research shows that “sleep helps sustain the functioning of the immune system, and that chronic sleep loss is a risk factor for immune system impairment.”
3) Don’t Forget to Exercise
Exercise is an important immune-boosting activity. In the WebMD.com article, “6 Immune System Busters & Boosters,” on boosting the immune system, “Exercise can also boost your body's feel-good chemicals and help you sleep better. Both of those are good for your immune system.”