Photo: Giovanna Gomes on Unsplash / Unsplash
Everything we eat and drink can affect the function and integrity of the immune system. While we can’t be in complete control of not getting sick, it is possible to support immunity through a nutritious diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and managing stress. Taking into account that we are starting the flu and flu season, it is worth being clear that it helps and hurts. There are key nutrients that can help support the immune system, such as: vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, probiotics, beta-carotene and proteins. While there are other habits that can seriously interfere with the effectiveness of the body’s immune system response; one of the worst beverages that affect and impair its performance are alcoholic beverages.
While the right nutrients play a key role in supporting and maintaining a strong and healthy immune system. And all of these nutrients can be found in a healthy eating pattern that consists of consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy sources. When we don’t get enough of these nutrients through food and drink every day, we are priming our immune system to be compromised. If we add to this a high consumption of alcohol, the result is serious.
Why Are Alcoholic Drinks The Worst Drinks For Immunity?
There are several reasons why heavy drinking is associated with a weakened immune system. Among the main ones are the following points:
– Alcohol dehydrates: Alcohol tends to activate dehydration and the main reason is its diuretic properties. And for obvious reasons it is a sign not compatible with a healthy and strong immune system.
– Alcohol can alter intestinal health: When we drink alcohol, it first reaches the intestine where it is absorbed and at the same time damages the intestinal microbiome (healthy bacteria found in our intestines) and alters immune cells so that they do not work properly. When both the gut microbiome and immune cells are disrupted, it can result in a weakened immune system susceptible to disease and illness.
– Sugary alcoholic beverages can interfere with immune cells: In addition to alcohol, many alcoholic beverages are also packed with sugar when making mixes and cocktails. Drinking beverages that are high in sugar can]also negatively affect our immune systems. Foods and beverages that increase blood sugar (blood glucose) disrupt immune cell production and potentially inhibit their proper function, resulting in low immunity.
– Excessive alcohol consumption can put pressure on the immune system: For obvious reasons, it is also not beneficial for the immune system to drink more than the recommended amount of alcohol established by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The daily alcohol recommendations are no more than 1 drink a day for women and no more than 2 drinks a day for men. In such a way that drinking excessively or many drinks during the week also affects the body’s ability to fight infections and therefore it will take longer to recover from any disease.
Some healthy alternatives to alcohol:
The good news is that there are drinks that are a great ally to support the immune system and that are also associated with other health benefits:
– Hot water. As simple as it sounds, hot water infused with an herb or spice such as ginger or turmeric is the best ally to enhance general health and is essential to eliminate waste products from the body.
– Lemon juice. It contains an excellent source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, which supports a strong and healthy immune system. Best of all, it is incredibly easy to integrate it into the daily diet, through infusions, juices and smoothies, a tablespoon of fresh lemon will make a difference.
– Spices. In recent months, all nutrition and health trends recommend integrating the consumption of fresh and dried spices, which actually contain a high dose of antioxidant properties. They are a great ally to reduce inflammation in our body and protect our immune system.
So now you know with the arrival of cold weather and the festive season, it is more important than ever. take care of our health and take the appropriate measures for a strong immune system You will face the risk of possible diseases and infections. Bet on following the established recommendations and avoid the consumption of processed foods, base your daily diet on the consumption of wholegrain and natural products. Giving priority to fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, whole grains, nuts and abundant natural liquids.
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