Diet Mistakes That Weaken Immunity: By now, much has been said about immunity and its association with overall health. A healthy immune system works as the front line of defence against various common and chronic diseases. However, as we know, immunity is not built in a day. It requires time, good food, and healthy lifestyle choices to fortify yourself with strong immune health. While much has been discussed about what to do to boost immunity, what we often ignore are the diet mistakes we unknowingly make. You read that right! That is why here, we decided to discuss those flaws in our everyday regime that may affect our nourishment and weaken the immune system.
Diet And Immunity: Why Is Diet Important For The Immune System?
It is rightly said that ‘we are what we eat’. Food provides us with nutrients that help define how our bodies will process and function. Certain dietary patterns prepare our bodies to fight infections, while some help prevent weight gain and blood sugar spikes. This raises an important question – Does an immunity-boosting diet actually exist? The answer is yes. According to a report by the Harvard School of Public Health, each stage of the body’s immune response relies on the presence of many micronutrients. While you need vitamin C to reduce inflammation and detox, iron, zinc, and other minerals help regulate metabolism, maintain hemoglobin, and more for overall nourishment. In fact, “diets that are limited in variety and lower in nutrients (which need not be a processed-food diet) can negatively affect a healthy immune system,” reads the report.
Also Read: Khichdi To Rasam: 5 Staple Meals That Can Boost Your Immunity Too
Diet Tips To Boost Immunity: 6 Diet Mistakes That May Weaken Immunity:
Are you following a healthy diet and still feeling weak? Do you fall sick quite often? If you answered yes, then it’s time to reassess your diet regime. While you might think it looks healthy, there are certain mistakes we make in between, leaving a negative impact on our overall well-being. Here, we will talk about a few such food habits that are not as healthy as you might have thought them to be. Read on.
1. Following a crash diet and setting unrealistic goals:
This is a common problem globally. People often try to lose weight to bring down blood sugar in a short span of time and, in the process, they end up giving up on some essential nutrients that make for a balanced diet. As per WebMD, what you fail to realize is that “when you eat so few calories, you train your metabolism to slow down drastically. And once the diet is over, you have a body that burns calories more slowly, and you usually regain the weight, with weakened immune health.”
2. Skipping breakfast:
Let’s put it straight – breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It helps break your night-long fast and prepares the body to function well throughout the day. Now, this brings us to the question – how to maintain a healthy breakfast routine during intermittent fasting? A study published in the journal Obesity Research and Clinical Practice found no difference in calories burned over 24 hours between people who eat and skip breakfast. But that doesn’t mean you overeat in the next meal to compensate for breakfast. In fact, health experts recommend treating the first meal in the IF regime as breakfast to set the tone for the day. Click here to learn about breakfast and intermittent fasting in detail.
Also Read: Healthy Diet Tips: 5 Foods To Avoid To Prevent Inflammation And Boost Immunity
3. Not drinking enough water:
While on a diet, we include various fruits and vegetables in our meals. As a result, you may not feel as thirsty as you usually do – and that’s where most of us go wrong. According to Dr Jyoti, a senior dietician from Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, “You would have to ensure that you drink enough water throughout the day to avoid dehydration. Dehydration can make you weak and may take a toll on your immunity.”
4. Relying on particular nutrients:
It is important for you to understand that a meal looks complete when it contains every essential micro and macronutrient in it. In a desire to get in shape quickly, many people give up on certain nutrients like carbohydrates and rely only on protein and fibre. This, in the longer run, leaves you with weaker muscles and bones, affecting overall immunity. Always remember, the body needs every type of nutrient – be it calories, fat, or carbs. Dr. Jyoti weighs in, “Eating the same food day in and day out could limit your nutrition intake. Try to include all the food groups in your meals – it not only adds variety to your meals but also helps in boosting immunity.”
5. Avoiding dairy products:
Today, a basic search on Google will bring you a list of suggestions for living a healthy life. While some of these tips are effective, some affect you negatively. One such diet tip is giving up on dairy completely. But what you fail to realize is that ditching dairy might end up with calcium deficiency – an essential nutrient you need to build bones and boost immunity. This brings you to the next question – what will a vegan do? Bangalore-based nutritionist Dr Anju explains, “If dairy products are ruled out, then one must compensate with a proper, nutrient-rich diet, under expert supervision.”
Also Read: Eat These Foods This Fall For Healthier Gut, Brain & Immunity
6. Not snacking at all:
Untimely and mindless snacking is probably the first thing we avoid to get to a healthy diet regime. But always remember, too much of everything is bad for health. Giving up on snacking totally may leave you with excess hunger, affecting gut health directly. A WebMD report suggests, “Mindful snacking helps keep your metabolism in high gear, especially if the snacks are protein-rich. Having a few nuts is a good, high-protein choice for people who plan to get to a healthy diet regime.”
Now that you know all about the diet mistakes that weaken immunity, we suggest being alert and following a balanced diet regime to stay healthy and wise. The best practice is to consult an expert before planning a regime for yourself.