It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but our lifestyle and eating habits impact how well our immune system can protect us from illness and the speed at which we recover. 

In addition to how much shut eye we clock each night, how much exercise we get each week and how stressed we are with work and life in general, the nutrient content of the food we stuff into our mouths can determine how well our bodies can fight illness.

To put it simply, poor eating habits can make us sick. But with so many delicious foods and beverages available that have a very low nutrient value, and how easy it is to overindulge in them, it’s no surprise that the rate of obesity and chronic diseases has been on the rise. 

Here are some foods and drinks that we should all be mindful of over indulging in, especially during a time when a strong immune system is crucial.

Carbonated Drinks

While thirst quenching and refreshingly delicious, these sugar sweetened carbonated drinks deliver nothing but empty calories from sugar.

In addition to contributing to obesity and related chronic diseases that are associated with a suppressed immune system, consuming too much sugar laden foods and drinks increases inflammation and compromise our ability to fight illness.

Alcohol

Sadly, alcohol consumption can also contribute to a weakened immune system. Overindulgence of alcohol (yes even red wine) can lead to a decline in your body’s ability to fight illness and can also make you susceptible to pneumonia and other lung conditions, slower wound healing, and slow recovery from illness.

You can still have a glass or two of wine with your dinner or after a crappy day at work, just be mindful not to exceed the recommended amount.

Instant And Frozen Meals

While these are convenient choices and make up most of my meals, many of the options available have high levels of sodium, sugar, saturated fat, and refined carbohydrate, and little in the way of nutrients and fibre. While not all instant and frozen meals are bad, it is still best to eat fresh as often as possible.

At the end of the day, the best option is to try and incorporate as much fresh fruits, vegetables and unprocessed foods into your diet. While I for one am not going to stop drinking alcohol and soda, I will certainly make a conscious effort to cut down the amount I consume each week and stay within the recommended amount.