If you’ve been avoiding the leftover halloween candy because you’re worried about its impact on your waistline, you’ve actually been helping your immune system. Sugar can have an effect on the immune system. During the winter months our sugar consumption goes up. We’ve got Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, Valentines Day, Easter all between October and May and at most of these holidays the main event is the food. Sugary foods. Sweets. Chocolate. High consumption of sugar is linked to heart disease, diabetes and alzheimer’s, but did you know it can also impair your immune system?
What is Sugar?
Sugar comes in more than just sweets. Sugar is the end-product of white bread, pasta and all other simple carbohydrates (yes, that includes your Pumpkin Spice Latte and Carmel Macchiato). Sugar consumption in any form feeds bacteria, viruses and fungi. The immune system creates inflammation to fight off these bad bugs which can decrease the resources of the immune system available when you’re exposed to the flu or a cold.
The Effect of Sugar on the Immune System
Sugary foods also replace antioxidant-rich foods in the diet. When you’re eating more sugar, you’re usually eating less fruits, vegetables, proteins and healthy fats. Fruits and vegetables are the highest dietary source of vitamin A and C, two important immune-boosting nutrients. Protein makes up all the antibodies (bug-fighters) in your immune system. Ensuring you’re eating protein at every meal can help boost your immunity. Healthy fats from olive oil, fish and flaxseeds are used by the immune system to balance out inflammation. Ditch the sugar, and round out your diet with healthy choices