The cravings for sweets, chocolates and ice creams are something natural. Human taste buds have an affinity towards sugar, failing to realize that sugars harm their health. You might be aware of how harmful sugars are for your teeth as bacteria feed on sugars and convert them into acids that attack the teeth enamel. Too much sugar consumption also leads to obesity and diabetes. However, do you know that sugar can also impact your immune system? Here is a detailed overview of how sugary foods impact your immune system.
WHAT IS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM?
The immune system is the defense mechanism in the body that protects your body from harmful pathogens and infections. Whenever a pathogen comes in contact with your body, the immune system releases an immune response to neutralize the effect of the pathogen and kill it, thereby protecting the body. Thus, if your immunity power is good, you will stay healthy and tackle maximum infections.
HOW DOES SUGAR IMPACT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?
When you consume higher amounts of added sugar or the carbohydrates which are turned to sugar by the body, your immune system gets suppressed. A higher amount of sugar consumption raises blood sugar levels and promotes a rapid increase in the inflammatory proteins, causing inflammations in the body. This weakens your immune system, and long-term consumption of too much sugar renders your immune system inactive against fighting harmful germs and infections.
- INSULIN RESISTANCE DUE TO HORMONAL IMBALANCE
Glucose provides energy to our body, and the insulin hormone secreted by the pancreas ensures a sufficient supply of glucose to various cells in the body. However, too much intake of sugar and carbohydrate-rich food shoots up the blood sugar level. Insulin tries to normalize these blood sugar levels, but the surge of sugar makes the insulin ineffective. This condition is known as insulin resistance in medical terms. Obesity, too many sugars and carbohydrates are the reason for insulin resistance and pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
- IMPACTS WHITE BLOOD CELLS
White blood cells are the primary soldiers of a human body made in the bone marrow. Whenever a WBC detects a pathogen or a foreign substance, it releases an immune attack supported by B cells and T cells. Higher intake of sugars reduces the effectiveness of WBCs up to 50% for at least 5-6 hours after the consumption of sugars, making the body susceptible to infections.
- CAUSES STRESS & AFFECTS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Sugars impact the insulin hormone to an extent that sometimes it becomes way too aggressive and lowers down the blood sugar below normal. Lowered blood sugar causes fatigue, mood swings and also leads to stress. Too much sugar also impacts your adrenaline glands. Adrenaline glands are responsible for producing stress hormones named cortisol.
When you consume too much sugar, the production of cortisol increases. Increased cortisol reduces the number of lymphocytes in the blood. These lymphocytes are responsible for the regulation of the immune system by activating immune cells and killing the infected host cells. With the reduction in the number of lymphocytes, the strength of your immune system also decreases. Thus it shows how mental health and the immune system are related.
Obesity is one of the major health issues in the majority of US citizens. This can be attributed to the lifestyle and the improper diet. Processed foods and canned sugary juices have become a part of the regular diet, not to forget the junk foods. Fast foods are easy to prepare and delicious enough to relish your taste buds, making them a favorite food for people of all ages. But people fail to realize that fast foods weaken your immunity. When you consume fast foods, the immune system releases an immune response similar to the one released during a bacterial attack. This reduces the effectiveness of your immune system in fighting pathogens and protecting against infections.
Consumption of fast foods, foods and drinks containing artificial sweeteners like sucralose, saccharin and canned sodas and colas add up to your blood sugar levels and body weight by increasing the inflammation. Inflammation and obesity further lead to diabetes and heart diseases while reducing the effectiveness of your immune system.
It’s true that you cannot completely avoid sugars, but at least you can limit the consumption of sugars such that your immune system does not get impacted. Consider the organic variants of sugar that are less harmful instead of the artificial sweeteners containing sucralose. Additionally, focus on eating foods that boost your immune system. Consume more fresh vegetables and fruits that keep your body strong and healthy. Eat for good health and not for relishing your taste buds.
During these pandemic times, it is essential to maintain a healthy immune system that fights against the deadly coronavirus. Hence, limit the consumption of sugar and strengthen your immunity power instead of seeking the lockdown and WFH phase to eat sugary and carbohydrate-rich junk foods. Also, wear personal protective equipment while stepping out of your home for protection against the Covid-19 infection. Visit PPE Zones, the best PPE dealer in California to buy personal protective equipment like N95 Facemasks, 3ply Facemasks, Isolation Gowns, Bouffant Caps and GClean Wipes.