The immune system is your body’s number one defense mechanism that protects you from various types of bacteria, viruses, and other disease-causing pathogens. Your immune system and your health are directly related.
The stronger the immune system, the more protection you will have against colds, viruses, and other illnesses that can attack your body.
On the other hand, a weak immunity can make you more vulnerable to frequent colds, sinus infections, and slow down wound healing as well as anemia, fatigue, and lethargy.
There are many factors that make your immunity weaker and make you immune and vulnerable to diseases and you will be surprised to know that there are many daily habits that actually harm your immune system. In fact, most habits directly impact your immune system, especially as you age.
To maintain a healthy and strong immune system, it’s important for you to adopt habits that are healthy and you should also quit bad habits.
Habits That Harm Your Immune System
1. Late Night Work
If you work late nights or like watching TV or doing projects late in the night. Then you may have a weak immunity. Poor sleep habits lower the immune system’s functioning and reduce your level of killer white blood cells that fight germs.
Sleep deprivation also reduces the production of protective cytokines.
While you sleep your immunity system releases different types of cytokines and helps to protect your body against infections and diseases whose production can significantly decrease if you are sleep deprived.
In a 2017 study published in the Journal of Sleep, researchers took blood samples from 11 pairs of identical twins with different sleep patterns and found that the twin with the shortest sleep duration had a depressed immune system and with reduced activity of lymphocytes the in the blood compared with his or her sibling.
Avoid skipping on sleep. Develop proper sleep hygiene. Be in the bed at a fixed time every night and try to wake up at the same time every morning. Be sure to get seven to nine hours of quality sleep every night.
2. Excessive Sugar Intake
If you often eat or drink something sweet to satisfy your cravings then you can suffer from weak immunity.
Refined sugar or white sugar can reduce the ability of white blood cells (leucocytes) to kill germs. Sugar actually prevents vitamin C from getting into the white blood cells resulting in a weakened immunity.
Interestingly the immune-suppressing effects of sugar starts within 30 minutes after ingestion and may last for many hours.
If you need to eat something sweet go for fruits like oranges, apples, mangoes, banana, and others that contain natural sugar to satisfy your cravings. The vitamin C in these fruits will also help your immune system to work in a more efficient manner.
3. Excessive Alcohol Consumption
The benefits that a daily glass of wine can contribute to cardiovascular health are scientifically proven but excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages can throw away all the benefits of moderate consumption.
In addition, not all alcoholic beverages have the same benefits as wine. Many have a high alcohol level and cannot be metabolized by the body, depressing the ability of the immune system.
Also, excessive alcohol consumption reduces the production of white blood cells(2), slows down digestive activity, and loads liver work reducing its ability to store vitamins. All these factors contribute to the poor Immunity in alcoholics.
4. Inadequate Intake Of Water
The human body is mostly made of water. In every cell of our body water performs numerous functions and if you don’t drink enough water to replenish what your body needs it will surely affect your immune system.
Proper hydration is essential for building a stronger immunity.
In a 2013 study researchers concluded that depending upon the life history of an organism osmotic state may have a greater influence on immune function then energy availability.
In simple words, it means water is more important for immune function then food.
A healthy person should drink about 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. However, the amount of water you drink may depend upon the climate in which you live, how physically active you are, and your overall health.
If the control consumption of some alcoholic beverages can be accepted in the case of tobacco there is no limit allowed.
Cigarettes contain more than 250 highly harmful substances. Some of these are even considered poisonous such as ammonia, arsenic, nicotine, and toluene. The human body is not made to process chemicals as potent and devastating as those contained in the cigarettes.
Smoking (slow poison) slowly affects all systems of the human body and the immune system is no exception.
6. Sedentary Lifestyle
Lack of regular physical activity is harmful in every way for the body. A sedentary lifestyle literally makes the nervous system sleep. Engaging in any sport or some form of physical exercise activates safe to fight viral and bacterial infections and decreases the likelihood of suffering from chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, retinitis, or heart disease.
Exercise reduces stress and increases the production of antibodies and white blood cells. On the other hand, when you work out your body temperature rises and elevation of body temperature reduces the possibility of bacterial growth on the body.
Physical activity is essential for building a strong immunity and there is no doubt about it.
7. Consuming Too Much Caffeine
Drinking too much coffee and other caffeinated beverages is also so not good for your immunity. Excessive caffeine stimulates your nervous system by increasing the stress level in the body.
Stress level causes the release of stress on hormones like cortisol.
Cortisol is also known to suppress the immune system and make you more prone to infections and other health problems. Elevated cortisol is also linked to health issues related to the heart, blood sugar, and high cholesterol.
When taken in moderation, coffee provides many health benefits like increased alertness, mood, and energy. so limit yourself just one to two cups of coffee per day.
8. Excessive Exercise
Your body has a limit and when you try to push it beyond its physical limit it stops functioning correctly. Your immune system stops responding efficiently and you fall prey to infections easily.
Researchers have found that more than 90 minutes of high-intensity exercise can make you more susceptible to illness for up to 72 hours about the exercise session. Intense exercise scenes to cause a temporary decrease in immune function.
Researchers have found that during these intense physical exercise periods the body produces certain hormones that temporarily lower the immunity. Cortisol and adrenaline are stress hormones that perform numerous important functions in our body, they also raise blood pressure and cholesterol level and they also suppress the immune system.
This effect has been linked to increased susceptibility to infections in endurance athletes after extreme exercises.
Always ensure that you take proper rest and do not overwork yourself. heavy long term exercise such as Marathon running and intense gym training have been proven to lower your immunity and decrease its ability to fight viral infections.
9. Eating Junk Food
Eating junk food in excess can be bad for immunity. Junk food is often high in fat and eating excess fat is the key reason behind obesity.
Junk food lack vitamins and minerals for a healthy immune system.
A diet in saturated fat can harm the immune system even before the weight gain begins to show. Obesity can affect the ability of white blood cells to multiply and produce antibodies. Thus making you more prone to infections.
A 2014 study published in Nutritional Journal reports that the Western diet is characterized by an over-consumption of refined sugar salt and saturated fat which has a negative impact on immunity.
It can lead to increased inflammation, reduce control of infection, increased rates of cancer, and increased risk of allergic and autoimmune diseases. You should cut down on fast food and choose a healthy diet Instead, and must develop healthy eating habits.
You should eat foods that make you healthier and stronger.
10. Poor Social Relations
Believe it or not, avoiding people or human connections can also affect your immunity. Social relationships both the quantity and quality affect our mental health which affects our health behavior and indirectly affects our immunity as well.
People who have poor social relationships usually run at least twice the risk of serious illnesses and premature death compared to the people who have good social relationships.
If you want to be healthier you cannot divide other people. Like it or not the human body is built to be a part of society and putting time and effort into positively interacting with others will inevitably bring human health benefits, if nothing else.
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