Our immune system is a complex network that is constantly battling to keep us safe from countless pathogens, both airborne and those taken in by us. Its a common knowledge that washing our hands before and after eating is a huge step to help our immune system as hand washing helps eliminate germs. Often times, we do some things that weakens our immune system without us knowing. Here's a brief list of some habits you need to avoid. 1. You eat too much sugar
Eating excess sugar decreases immunity. Consuming 100 grams of sugar, equals to two and a half 12 ounce cans of soda, can reduce the germ-killing ability of the white blood cells by 40%. Sugar suppresses the immune system in less than 30 minutes after consumption and lasts for 5 hours. 2. You smoke
Nicotine found in cigarettes both traditional or e-cigarettes, increases the cortisol levels, while reducing B cell antibody formation and T cells' response to antigens. Researchers caution that e-cigarettes are unsafe because their vapors contain free radicals that can cause airway inflammation thus making your lungs more susceptible to infections. Also, secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma attack and aggravate symptoms in people with allergies. 3. You are a little bit antisocial
Researchers have found that the positive emotions associated with laughter decrease stress hormones and increase certain immune cells while activating others.
Social interaction can improve your immune system thus reducing stress. Though a little bit of seriousness might be needed sometimes, learn to Laugh more. Try watching comedies or funny videos. 4. You exposes yourself to Ultraviolet rays
Alarming increase in certain air pollutants are depleting the ozone layer, thus, increasing the level of harmful ultraviolet(UV) radiations from the sun. This could lead to higher rates of skin cancer, cataracts, and weakened immune system. Exposure to ultraviolet rays can affect your cells responsible for triggering immune responses, increasing your risk of infection and possibly reducing your defense against skin cancer. Wearing protective clothes, and sunglasses can help you against exposure to UV rays. 5. You don't watch your diet
A diet high in saturated fat impairs the immune system. Obesity affects the immune system by reducing the number and function of white blood cells needed to fight infection. Foods naturally rich in healthy fats, like avocados, walnuts and salmon, are beneficial as they provide healthy fat good for the brain. Unhealthy fat on the other hand compromises the immune system and affects the cholesterol level in the body. 6. Alcohol
Excessive drinking can reduce the immune system's response to invading pathogens. Alcohol also impairs the process of attacking and breaking down bacteria and viruses, that is why those who abuse alcohol have higher risk of infections. 7. You don't get enough rest
Prolonged periods of intense stress without making out time to rest can affect the immune system, according to the National Cancer Institute. Stress makes the brain boost the production of cortisol, which impairs the function of infection-fighting T cells which is just like smoking as explained above. Getting support from friends and family members, setting priorities, exercising regularly at least 30 minutes a day, and practicing relaxation techniques like yoga can help ease stress.