But diet also plays a huge role in our lives, and there might even be some foods you’re eating right now that you didn’t know were harmful.
Sugar, fried foods, and meat are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to foods that will destroy your immune system. Even some “healthy” foods will contribute to immune system suppression over time.
Foods That Compromise Immune Function
Food manufacturers, particularly those that market their brand as natural, have become very clever at making their products seem relatively benign in the terms of health. Some foods that are by no means healthy are marketed as such, and the unbeknownst consumer is being subjected to dangerous ingredients that could be inhibiting proper immune function. Here are 5 foods that will destroy your immune system.
1. Red Meat
A recent study from the University of California suggests red meat can trigger a dangerous reaction that can weaken the immune system.  The issue comes from a natural sugar in red meat that our bodies can’t digest. The sugar is believed to cause a host of other health problems—a higher risk of cancer being one of those.
2. Fried Foods
In addition to being full of fats that could increase your “bad” cholesterol, fried foods can also trigger irritation and swelling in the body, leading to lower immunity. But one study suggests that just cutting back on fried foods—or better yet, getting rid of them altogether—could “help restore the body’s natural defenses regardless of age or health status.”  Plus, fried foods accumulate acrylamide, a dangerous carcinogen.
If you’re drinking soda—it really doesn’t matter what it’s sweetened with—you’re likely destroying your immune system. Even diet soda is a bad option. Because soda has no beneficial nutrients, drinkers are less likely to get enough vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium—all necessary for an optimum immune system. And, if that wasn’t enough, phosphoric acid (found in sodas) can also deplete calcium and magnesium in the body.
4. Sugary Snacks
Some sugars—refined ones are the absolute worst—can actually suppress the immune system. One study suggests that the sugar actually targets the cells that attack bacteria. And the effect can even last for hours after you eat something sugary.
5. Processed Foods
One of the most dangerous foods to immune health, in my opinion, is processed foods. How come? Because there are many food companies out there who are using the terms “natural” to describe their product, even though their foods may have a hefty amount of refined carbohydrates, sugar, and hidden flavorings. Even organic processed foods, like cereal and breads, can contain immune-suppressing sugar. Processed foods are basically anything that comes in a package, contains more than one ingredient, and has been cooked and modified mechanically. Eating processed foods can lead to chronic irritation in the body. A recent study even suggests that the toxins of a modern diet completely outweigh the possible nutritional gains.  All this is leading us to weaker immune systems, higher rate of illnesses and diseases, and all-around poor health.
Natural Immune System Support
If you want a healthy immune system, in addition to getting rid of these foods, you could also try eating some that boost your immunity instead. These include vitamin C-rich foods like green vegetables and citrus. Exercise is also a healthy component, as is stress reduction and vitamin D supplementation. Oregano oil is also a powerful harmful organism cleanser and may have some benefit for immune health.
- Samraj, A. N. et al. A red meat-derived glycan promotes inflammation and cancer progression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 112 (2).
- Vlassara, H. et al. Protection against Loss of Innate Defenses in Adulthood by Low Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE) Intake: Role of the Antiinflammatory AGE Receptor-1. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 94 (11).
- Sanchez, A. et al. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. he American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 26 (11).
- Myles, I. A. Fast food fever: reviewing the impacts of the Western diet on immunity.Nutrition Journal.
SEE ALSO: 7 ways to supercharge your immune system