Immune system chart

Foods That Weaken Your Immune the System

Want a Strong Immune System? Avoid These Foods

A big reason many of us are affected by health conditions is due to a weak immune system, what we eat and drink can have a negative impact on how our body fights off infection and disease. In this article, I will talk about some of the worst foods that you can eat that may weaken your immune system.

Most of us would like to be as healthy as possible, the best way to do this is to try and eat healthy, exercise and get plenty of rest, what you may not realize is that there are foods that can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to certain kinds of disease.

Why are certain foods are bad for your immune system?

The simple answer is because these foods can cause toxic exposure and stress to your body which can weaken your immune system. Not eating certain foods may prevent a weak immune system.

Foods to avoid for a strong immune system

Foods that contain gluten

Gluten-free foods have become all the rage over the last decade. Gluten is a protein found in grains like barley and wheat. The reason gluten may weaken your immune system is because it is hard for your body to digest.

Gluten Foods

Why does this happen?

Because when your body digests gluten it triggers the production of a protein called zonulin, this protein breaks down cells within the intestinal walls helping toxins and unhealthy particles to reach your bloodstream, when this happens, it can cause issues with your immune system, this is one of the reasons you hear so many people talk about eating gluten-free foods.

Hydrogenated oils

We have all heard that oily foods are not good for us, especially those oils considered hydrogenated oils. Hydrogenated oils are popular due to their long shelf life. This kind of oil is made by forcing hydrogen into the oil at high temperatures, this turns the oil into what is called a trans fat which is not healthy.

Using unhealthy oils for cooking is not healthy and may break down your immune system. They can also cause inflammation and damage tissue, this is caused by free radicals these oils produce.

Vegetable Oils

Besides weakening your immune system hydrogenated oils can also cause issues with cardiovascular health which may also contribute to a weak immune system.

If you can try sticking to high-quality cold-pressed oils from avocado, coconut or extra virgin olive oils.

Diet sodas

There has always been a lot of controversy over diet vs regular soft drinks. Are diet sodas really a better option? Not really. While diet sodas are sugar-free, they contain harmful ingredients and artificial sweeteners, these include things like aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin. None of these are beneficial to your immune system.

Some studies have shown that these artificial sweeteners can reduce the number of gut bacteria and affect on your metabolism.

Sugary foods and snacks

We have all heard that sugar is bad for us and something we should avoid, the reason for this is that the wrong kind of bacteria thrives on sugar, the more sugar bacteria has to feed on the faster it grows, this forces out good bacteria which is what the body needs for good health. A lot of bad bacteria in your body can cause several unwanted side effects, these can cause problems with blood sugar levels and alter your mood.

Sugar can directly affect your immune system by reducing vitamin C which is important for a healthy immune system.

I have read a lot of informative articles on the bad things sugar can do to your body, because of this I have actually gone weeks where I have eliminated sugar from my diet and it is amazing how well I feel afterward. If you don’t believe me, you should try it for a week or two, you may be surprised how much better you will feel.


Most people I know love a fresh cup of coffee in the morning, besides coffee, there are other foods and drinks that contain high levels of caffeine. Unfortunately, too much caffeine can affect your immune system. While coffee helps give you a short burst of energy coffee has one side effect that boosts cortisol levels. (Cortisol is a hormone that is released in a response to stress) Too much cortisol can have an effect on your mood and metabolism.

You don’t necessarily need to completely give up coffee but it is recommended that you limit your coffee intake to no more than 2 cups per day.

Besides coffee, there are other beverages that contain high levels of caffeine that include energy and soft drinks.


Most of us are aware that alcohol in excess is not good for your health One of the reasons alcohol can affect your immune system is because drinking excess amounts of alcohol can disrupt sleep patters also known as the circadian rhythm.


Heavy drinkers tend to wake up in the middle of the night. Sleep is important because its the time when your body rejuvenates itself, an interrupted sleep cycle can affect your immune system and make your body more susceptible to disease.


The above are just a few foods that can affect your immune system if you can’t completely give them up, cutting back on them may help you maintain a strong immune system which will help your body fight off infection and disease.


Effect of artificial sweeteners on the gut

Hydrogenated oils and cardiovascular health.

Caffeine effect on cortisol stimulation.

Cynthia Conner

Cynthia Conner

Cynthia is a contributing author to her passion is health and weight loss. As someone who has struggled with her own weight issues. 

Cynthia now shares her personal experiences from different dieting methods and reviews some of her favorite supplements that have helped keep her keep her weight under control.

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