Top 9 Daily Habits That Harm Your Immune System

Updated: 09/12/2019

Your immunity is the most vital defense mechanism of your body. It is directly associated with the healthy functioning of the body. The stronger your immune system is, the more protection you’ll have against infections that may attack your body. Besides, a weak immune system may make you more prone to frequent colds, recurring infections, sinus infections, and slow wound healing, and causing anemia, lethargy, and fatigue. Apart from your regular exercise and diet, your daily lifestyle habits also influence your immune system. Let’s have a detailed look at some daily habits that harm your immune system.


I. Habits That Harm Your Immunity

1. Neglect Personal Hygiene

Proper hygiene is essential for a good immune system. Your immunity will certainly suffer if you forget your personal hygiene. For instance, eating without the hands will expose the body to various germs, which causes diseases and infections. Practice good hygiene by taking a bath daily, brushing your teeth twice every day, cooking food in a clean environment, wearing clean clothes, and keeping your nails clean, etc. Avoid using belongings of other people because viruses and germs may be transmitted.

2. Overdose On Sugar

Eating or drinking something sweet may affect your immune system. Refined sugar may lower the ability of leukocytes or white blood cells to destroy germs. Sugar inhibits vitamin C from getting into the leukocytes (white blood cells), which results in a weakened immunity. Thus, avoid using too much sugar to have a strong immune system. If you need to consume something sweet, choose fruits such as oranges, mangoes, apples, kiwis, strawberries, watermelon, and others that have natural sugars to help satisfy your craving. More importantly, these fruits are abundant in vitamin C, which will help your immune system work properly.

3. Be A Night Owl

You may have a weak immunity if you like doing projects or watching television late into the night or work nights. Poor sleep habits may reduce the functioning of your immune system and the level of killer cells. Plus, sleep deprivation lowers the protective cytokine production. While you sleep, your immune system produces different types of cytokines, which are helpful for protection your body from diseases and infections. Avoid scrimping on sleep. Always get 7-8 hours quality of sleep every day.

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4. Not Use Sunscreen

A little bit of sunshine may assist your body in producing vitamin D that in turn helps to strengthen your immune system. However, too much sun exposure without using sunscreen may harm your immunity. Unprotected sun exposure may aggravate annoying issues such as yeast or herpes infections. This occurs because ultraviolet light leads to immunological changes in your body. Moreover, it may damage or destroy certain cells near the surface of the skin, which are the initial line of defense against chemical toxins and infectious agents. Thus, always wear sunscreen when going out in the sin. Remember to use sunscreen even during the winter or rainy months.

5. Forget To Drink Water

It’ll surely affect your immunity if you do not consume enough water to replenish what the body needs. Proper hydration is important for a strong immune system. A healthy person needs to consume about eight to ten glasses of water every day. But it varies from your daily activities and geographical conditions.

6. Be Around Secondhand Smoke

As all we know, smoking is not good for health. Plus, exposure to secondhand smoke may be not good for your immune system and health. Secondhand smoke suppresses immune cells, thus wreaking havoc on your immune system. The toxins in cigarettes may alter the number of different immune cells while impairing the functioning of others. Along with that, exposure to secondhand smoke may make your more vulnerable to respiratory infections, allergies, asthma, and even lung cancer. Try avoiding secondhand smoke and spending time with individuals who smoke. Also, encourage anybody in your daily life to quit smoking.

7. Drink Alcoholic Beverages Daily

Overconsumption of alcohol weakens or murders a few of the antibody cells needed to kill virus-infected cells. Plus, it impedes the production of red and white blood cells, which will weaken your immunity over time. Along with that, alcoholic drinks have many negative health effects because alcohol prevents the ability of your body to absorb essential nutrients, leading to deficiencies. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages or drink it in moderation to protect your immune system.

8. Consume Too Much Caffeine

Consuming too much coffee along with other caffeinated beverages is bad for your immune system. Excessive caffeine may raise the level of stress in the body, thereby stimulating your nervous system. A high level of stress may cause the production of stress hormones such as cortisol that is known to suppress the immunity and make you more likely to infections and other health issues. Elevated cortisol is also associated with health problems related to the blood sugar, high cholesterol, and heart. Thus, limit yourself to just one to two cups of coffee per day.

9. Eat Junk Food

Overconsumption of junk food may be not good for your immune system. Junk food also causes obesity because it is often rich in fat. A diet rich in saturated fat may harm the immunity by attacking healthy cells. It may also lead to reduced control of infections, increased inflammation, increased risk of allergic and auto-inflammatory diseases, and increased rates of cancer.

II. Natural Remedies To Increase Your Immunity

1. Echinacea

How Does It Work

Echinacea is an excellent way to boost your immune system. According to a 2007 study, Echinacea may help to increase the number of white blood cells and facilitate the ability of your body to fight infections[1].

Get These

  • Echinacea tea – one teaspoon
  • Water – one cup
  • Honey

What To Do

Add Echinacea tea to the water and boil it in a saucepan. Simmer for around five minutes and strain. Consume it every day for best results.

Side Effects Of Echinacea

The long-term use of Echinacea can lead to dizziness and nausea, especially in people who are already vulnerable to these problems.

2. Oregano

How Does It Work

Oregano is a perfect method to boost your immunity because it is abundant in antioxidants. According to a study done in 2013, oregano holds antibiotic and antimicrobial properties, which help to ward off infections and promote health[2].

Get These

  • Dried oregano – ½ to 1 teaspoon
  • Hot water – 1 cup
  • Honey

What To Do

Add the oregano powder to the hot water. Steep for a couple of minutes and strain it. Add some honey to it and consume immediately. You can drink one to two cups of oregano tea every day.

Side Effects Of Oregano

Eating oregano may result in stomach upsets in a few people. Individuals who are allergic to plants that belong to the Lamiaceae family including oregano, basil, mint, sage, and lavender should be cautious because they may develop allergic reactions to oregano. Pregnant women should also stay away from using oregano oil since it may lead to miscarriage.

3. Green Tea

How Does It Work

A recent study shows that green tea is a powerhouse of polyphenols such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which have a positive impact on your immune response[3]. Consuming green tea regularly may alter the function of the white blood cells, which in turn exhibits preventive and therapeutic potential of many health conditions.

Get These

  • Green tea – one teaspoon
  • Hot water – 1 cup
  • Honey

What To Do

You add green tea to the hot water. Steep for several minutes and then strain it. Add a little honey to it when the tea cools down. After that, consume the tea immediately. It’s best to have one cup of green tea two times every day to notice its benefits.

Side Effects Of Green Tea

A Taiwanese study finds that overconsumption of green tea could cause iron deficiency anemia[4].

4. Ginger

How Does It Work

According to a 2013 study, ginger consists of an anti-inflammatory compound called gingerol that may help soothe the inflammation reactions that happen inside your body[5]. It additionally helps to detoxify your body and promote your immune system thanks to its natural antioxidant.

Get These

  • Minced ginger – one teaspoon
  • Water – 1 cup

What To Do

Mix the minced ginger with water and boil the mixture. Simmer for about 5 minutes and strain it. Add some honey to the tea when it cools down a bit. Enjoy this tea at least two times every day. You can also use this spice to season salads and other dishes.

Side Effects Of Ginger

If taken in large amounts, ginger may cause diarrhea. Ginger is not recommended for pregnant women because consuming it may raise the risk of miscarriage.

5. Turmeric

How Does It Work

Turmeric is famous for its curcumin that offers multiple benefits. A study indicates that curcumin has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agents that guard your body against diseases by promoting your immune system[6] [6’].

Get These

  • Turmeric powder – one teaspoon
  • Hot milk – one glass

What To Do

Add turmeric powder to the hot water and mix them well. Consume when this mixture cools down. You must consume this once every day, preferably every night.

Side Effects Of Turmeric

Individuals who use blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin (Coumadin) should refrain from taking large doses of turmeric. Pregnant women should not take turmeric supplements due to its blood-thinning effects.

6. Lemon Juice

How Does It Work

Lemon juice is a chock-full of vitamin C and bactericidal properties, making it become a great immunity booster. Its bactericidal effects may aid in preventing and treating bacterial infections while its vitamin C helps to improve immune responses.

Get These

  • Lemon – ½
  • Water – a glass
  • Honey

What To Do

Get the lemon and squeeze the juice from it. You add the lemon juice to the water and mix well. Add some honey to the mixture and drink it instantly. For quick results, drink it once to twice daily.

Side Effects Of Lemon Juice

Too much of lemon juice in your diet may be not good for your teeth. Because they are highly acidic, taking lemon juice in excess may corrode your tooth enamel.

So, these were some daily habits that you do unconsciously or consciously follow and hence you must stop doing it right away to protect your body. To read more other such articles, please go to our main News & Facts page. Also, do let us know if you have any of the other daily habits that harm your immune system. All of the contents provided in this article are for informational and educational purposes. We recommend you consult a healthcare professional to determine which method is appropriate for you.

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