5 Foods That Destroy Your Immune System

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on


A strong immune system is vital for staying healthy. Getting enough sleep, exercising, and good nutrition are all things that support your immune system. Conversely, running on a sleep deficit, living a sedentary lifestyle, and eating unhealthy foods will make your immune system weak. Let’s take a look at some of the absolute worst types of food for your immune system.

Foods That Destroy Your Immune System

Nutrition is a factor when considering the strength or weakness of your immune system. Eating whole, organic foods that are free of additives and chemicals provide the best nutrients without any toxins. This is the food that nourishes your body and supports immune function. But not all foods do that, let’s look at the 5 that are the worst for immune function.

1. Red Meat

A recent study from the University of California suggests red meat can trigger a dangerous reaction that can weaken the immune system. [1] The issue comes from a natural sugar in red meat that our bodies can’t digest. The sugar is believed to cause a host of other health problems—a higher risk of cancer being one of those.

2. Fried Foods

In addition to being full of fats that could increase your “bad” cholesterol, fried foods can also trigger inflammation, leading to reduced immunity. But one study suggests that just cutting back on fried foods—or better yet, getting rid of them altogether—could “help restore the body’s natural defenses regardless of age or health status.” [2] Plus, fried foods accumulate acrylamide, a dangerous carcinogen.

3. Soda

If you’re drinking soda—it really doesn’t matter what it’s sweetened with—you’re likely destroying your immune system. Even diet soda is a bad option. Because soda has no beneficial nutrients, drinkers are less likely to get enough vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium—all necessary for an optimum immune system. And, if that wasn’t enough, phosphoric acid (found in sodas) can also deplete calcium and magnesium in the body.

4. Sugary Snacks

Some sugars—refined ones are the absolute worst—can actually suppress the immune system. One study suggests that the sugar actually targets the cells that attack bacteria. [3] And the effect can even last for hours after you eat something sugary.

5. Processed Foods

One of the most dangerous foods to immune health, in my opinion, is processed foods. How come? Because there are many food companies out there who are using the terms “natural” to describe their product, even though their foods may have a hefty amount of refined carbohydrates, sugar, and hidden flavorings. Even organic processed foods, like cereal and breads, can contain immune-suppressing sugar. Processed foods are basically anything that comes in a package, contains more than one ingredient, and has been cooked and modified mechanically. Eating processed foods can lead to chronic irritation in the body. A recent study even suggests that the toxins of a modern diet completely outweigh the possible nutritional gains. [4] All this is leading us to weaker immune systems, higher rate of illnesses and diseases, and all-around poor health.

Natural Immune System Support

If you want a healthy immune system, in addition to getting rid of these foods, you could also try eating some that boost your immunity instead. These include vitamin C-rich foods like green vegetables and citrus. Exercise is also a healthy component, as is stress reduction and vitamin D supplementation. Oregano oil is also a powerful harmful organism cleanser and may have some benefit for immune health.

But, now, that you know about these 5 foods that could be hurting your health, what will you do about it? Share your thoughts in the comments!

References (4)
  1. Samraj, A. N. et al. A red meat-derived glycan promotes inflammation and cancer progression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 112 (2).
  2. Vlassara, H. et al. Protection against Loss of Innate Defenses in Adulthood by Low Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE) Intake: Role of the Antiinflammatory AGE Receptor-1. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 94 (11).
  3. Sanchez, A. et al. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. he American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 26 (11).
  4. Myles, I. A. Fast food fever: reviewing the impacts of the Western diet on immunity. Nutrition Journal.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • I think eating red meat in moderation can’t
    all be that bad. Red meat can be a source of good nutrition for young people. If
    it is processed red meat like hot dogs that mostly contains mycotoxins and
    nitrates, then I would agree that it’s totally bad for health (natural sugar in red meat + eating more processed food with added sugar= health problems) To maintain a
    healthy immune system I don’t take too much fatty food during breakfast. More
    on fresh fruits which is the best source of vitamins (instead of taking
    multi-vitamin pills). Having a good night sleep is important so I avoid taking
    heavy meal and beverages that can keep awake, like alcohol and caffeinated
    drinks. I also avoid stress and make sure I wash my hands properly before meal.
    Thanks for sharing this article.

  • Robin Meeks Blankenship

    I agree that eating red meat is beneficial. I encourage vegetarians to eat meat at least once per month for good health. Where we BUY our red meat is what is important. I eat only grass-fed beef and pork and free-range chickens purchased directly from the farmer. I feel good also that I am buying from someone who is slaughtering no more than 8 animals at a time and is doing so in a humane manner (animals never see it coming and don’t have the opportunity to generate the death hormones that poison the meat.

  • Shanna

    You have a point, I would eat red meat once a month, and it would be totaly sustainable to eat once a month, but the problem is stinking for 2 days, uhm I dont like that, I wish I could eat sardines once a month too but then I stink even more. And I believe that if the food makes me stink thats because its toxic, inside me, and it cant help that way, maybe if I try raw meat (as all other animals do) and don’t stink I could do that. In addition I am not aware of any animal eater that only eats animal products once a month, they all eat it every day, 3 times a day, in every meal, so that is just a delusion.

  • Shanna

    I totally don’t believe in blood type died, its not based in anything realistic, its ridiculous at my point of view, I eat 150 different plants every day and I beg my friends to tell me the truth and they say I don’t smell at all even after 4 days no shower. I do eat chlorella, spirulina and moringa which cleans the body and neutralize smell. But make sure these don’t come from China, In fact you shouldn’t eat anything from China, even organic. I only consume Ojio products for all these 3 items (chlorella, spirulina and moringa, and also cacau) and would never trust any other brand.
    Grass fed beef is a fake nomenclature: All beef is grass fed at some point, and then they switch to grains. So you should be looking for 100% grass fed beef to ensure it’s not grain fed. Grain fed beef has little or no omega content, 100% grass fed beef does have omega content. I don’ t eat beef or any other animal because its simply not sustainable and I am not here to destroy the planet although most people wouldn’t care less, I know.
    Now another thing is that if you don’t consume milk or cheese you will not stink when eating any vegetable, as far as I understand only milk and cheese provide an ecolli strain that generates stinky gas (which probably shouldn’t be in us) and if you are dairy free you wont produce the stinky gas at all no matter what you eat, trust me!
    LOL it not my body chemistry, its just how it works, and remember: Humans are the only ones that cook the meat and egg and pasteurize the milk before eating, so no, its not my body chemistry, its our food and it happens to all of us, leave a piece of meat in the counter for a couple days and you will see parasites and you wont be able to walk in the house. Leave some greens or apple in the counter for a couple of days and nothing will happen, so what is the body chemistry to do with putrefaction? lol

  • Robin Meeks Blankenship

    You make some good points; this is why I like to talk to vegans and vegetarians especially because I always clean up my diet after being inspired by their testimonies. I’ve noticed that the first thing impoverished people around the world do as soon as they can afford it is start eating more meat; not good for the planet as you noted. There is at least one big vegan group in my city that hold monthly meetings and potlucks and who do outreach activities in the community and after reading your post I have made a note to join their group very soon as I have been meaning to do so. Now you’ve given me some things I don’t know about to look into: moringa, Ojio products. I do get some chlorella and spirulina but could probably up my intake of these two important “perfect” foods. Agree with you about anything from China: that country has a world-wide bad reputation and shouldn’t be trusted at all and I am old enough to remember when Nixon went there to promote free trade with them and I knew he was making a big mistake, but a lot of American businessmen and stock holders have been making a lot of $$$ dealing with them, to the detriment of the rest of us.. What a disaster for America that has been and continues to be…They are buying up American farmland (and around the world) like crazy right now and I have a concern about that. A Chinese businessman has been trying to get my Mom to sell her 80 acres to them for years and years (she was warned by neighbors that they were using an American middle man to do the negotiations for them) and she won’t even consider doing so, although they offer her a very, very good price well above market value. She won’t budge. 😉
    Totally agree about grass-fed beef. My family raised beef cattle on grass but then it was sold and put into feedlots to fatten on antibiotics and grain. We never ate any of the beef we raised; it was too valuable as something we sold for money. I buy my beef (and pork) direct from the farmer who slaughters 8 animals at a time in the most humane way possible. But I don’t eat it very often, mostly in the winter. It has gotten so much easier to dine in restaurants now, too and avoid meals containing meat! Any place that is cooks to order is very accommodating.
    I understand the blood type diet has its distractors. Some of it still makes sense to me: I’m Type A and husband Type O, and our food preferences seem to agree with what the book says. It especially makes sense to me what macrobiotics teaches about people from different parts of the world should be eating different types of food (and blood type seems to play a role there, too). Eating seasonally is smart, too, so I am never tempted by the out of season produce available in grocery stores and prefer to buy from the many available farmer’s markets here in Alabama in the warm weather months and my local cooperative box is available year around because our climate here is so mild and we are close to Florida when we can’t grow in December and January. By February we start getting local greens and radishes available locally 🙂 Lot of greenhouse growers here, too, that get a early headstart on the growing season. Thanks again for your input 🙂

  • Shanna

    That is great 🙂 I am glad to know that there is more people concerned about the environment. If we just ate organic we could save the world and our own freedom. Every time we buy GMO soy,GMO corn and mass produced animals food products we are financing the monopoly that will soon slave us all, If we could get everyone to buy organic, Monsanto, Dow and Nestle would go bankrupt and our freedom would be saved, but most of us only care to eat toxic food and watch television so eventually that will be all we will be allowed to do, check out the new world order and the 2030 agenda, which is basic giving control of the world to the food industry that will slave us, we will haveto pay tax to breath, to walk and to everything else, and humans deserve it, we are selfish and all we want is to work, donate all money to be big food and farma industry and watch television, so guess what, that will be ALL that we will be allowed to do in very short time. And this is the most scarry part of it and nobody cares, so I think Monsanto, Dow and Nestle are correct, why bother giving healthy food and freedom to a mass of selfish ignorant humans that couldn’t care less for anything else other than TV, let them be slaved and kill them all! Humans deserve slavery, not freedom! It will be the best for all, unless we start eating organic, but for the most, organic is a joke and meat and medication is fundamental for human survival in this planet, a mass of senseless ignorant people, I see pictures of kids starving in Africa laying down around very nutritious weeds, oh boy let them starve to death! I couildnt care less! we lost the connection with the planet due to capitalism, and China is polluted due to capitalism, while socialist everyone in China was healthy, breathing clean air, drinking clean water and eating healthy food, now take a look what happened there after just 20 years of capitalism! It is a failure, that let the rich become so rich (trillionaires) and now they will take over control, buy every government, buy the Vatican, buy the Pope, and slave this stupid ignorant mass that cant eat dandellions. Monsanto is doing the right thing hahaha, humans don’t deserve health.

  • Bethany Marie Williams

    Dairy is a problem too!

  • Angela Sue Dilts Peterson

    I don’t agree with your post and simple reasoning. The causes and reasons are more complex than what you list, and it all boils down to how our government and big food industry influence the garbage farming, garbage meat production and garbage eating. Read Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma.

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