Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Sugar's Damaging Health Effects On Your Immune System
We are heading into the cold and flu season here in the U.S. so it is wise to consider your dietary habits as they relate to your immune system health. The bottom line, excess sugar suppresses immunity. Studies show that downing 25 grams of sugar, roughly the amount in two cans of soda or piece of sugary pastry, is enough to knock your immune system down for hours. The immune suppression was most noticeable two hours post-ingestion, but the effect was still evident five hours after ingestion.
If you really load up on sugar, say about 100 grams (20 teaspoons, it can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by up to 40 percent. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours. In contrast, the ingestion of complex carbohydrates, or starches, has no effect on the immune system.
Simple sugars, including glucose, table sugar, fructose, and honey caused a fifty-percent drop in the ability of white blood cells to engulf bacteria. In contrast, ingesting complex carbohydrates(starch) does not hinder the immune response or impede the white blood cells ability to conquer bacteria. Improve the health and fitness of your immune system by eating less simple sugar and more complex carbohydrates.
The way to supercharge your immune system and reduce the potential for sickness is to eat plenty of raw fresh vegetables, greens, fruits, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Avoid sweetened, caffienated beverages, sugar laden pastries and snack bars, soda, sugary cereals, and read your labels. If your a woman, keep you sugar intake to no more than 25 grams(100 calories) per day total and men no more than 37 grams(150 calories) total from all food sources.
Stress also suppresses immunity, so be sure to manage your stress levels through exercise which also boost your immune system and deep breathing exercises that will help you stay relaxed.
Seventy Six Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health