5 Foods That Impact Your Immune System & Cause Herpes Outbreaks
Ok so we’ve all heard of how important it is to have a strong immune system. It keeps colds away and it also can keep you from getting herpes outbreaks. Obviously, we want to do everything we can to keep the herpes virus from popping up and causing a painful outbreak.
What we put in our bodies plays a big role in how we feel, sleep our energy levels as well as our immune system. I’m sure by this point you’ve eaten a meal and then after felt like a slug or not so hot. Either you were bloated or it didn’t sit well in your tummy or it kept you up all night. Most likely you ate something that didn’t agree with you because of one reason or another but your body had to work harder to digest it and chances are that lowered your immune system.
A lowered immune system means...you guessed it. A herpes outbreak!
As you know from past episodes we’ve talked about lysine and arginine and foods that combat herpes outbreaks. But what we haven't talked a ton about is foods that can lower your immune system and potentially cause an outbreak. Oh and like I always say, use this as a reference and don’t stress yourself out over it. The last thing I want you to do is get all stressed out and then boom...an outbreak.
Fast food can really put a damper on your immune system. Now we all know that fast food isn’t good for us. We hear that all the time yet we really don’t know the reason. Well, there was a study done on eating fast foods and how it relates to your immune system, basically what happens is it reprograms the way your immune system reacts and puts it on high alert! When your body’s on a high alert stage it really does a number on the immune system and it doesn’t let your body function normally. So think again if you’re using fast food as a crutch and an easy way to get a meal.
MSG is one that I don’t think too often about. I guess because it’s not really in the foods that I typically eat. Or at least I think so. I know that for some people, like my nice, she gets migraines if she eats MSG so one of the things she avoids is popcorn at the movie theater. Ok so what does MSG have to do with your immune system...well it’s pretty harsh on your precious immune system. Ok so studies shown that MSG can make changes to your thymus and spleen. Ok so if you’re like me and are like...ok what does that mean? They both are key players in your immune system. They both make lymphocytes, which take out foreign invaders; your spleen also makes antibodies that help keep you well. So basically it disrupts your immune system. The good news is that studies show that by removing MSG from your diet your spleen and thymus can go back to normal but it might take a while. You can research what foods contain MSG but just to give you a quick rundown; fast food, salty snacks, seasonings, cold cuts, iced tea mixes sports drinks and soy sauce.
Gluten has gotten a bad rap recently. It feels like in the 90’s everyone was on the low-fat diet which meant pasts and mostly gluten foods but now we’re off the low fat and totally off gluten. Yes, there are some people who have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant and can not have gluten. However, gluten can be very harmful on your system. What happens as it passes through your system, it triggers the production of a protein called zonulin, which breaks down the cells of your intestinal walls. When this happens it gives toxins, food particles, and other harmful substances and open door policy to have free rein to get into your bloodstream. A lot of times this causes an unwanted immune response and leaving you feeling less than your best. This goes for people who are intolerant and people who are not. Try to cut back your gluten intake there are so many other options out there now.
Sugar and we’ve heard this a ton just like we’ve heard about how fast food is bad for us. But here's why sugar has a direct effect on your immune system. You know how we talk about good bacteria and bad bacteria? Well, the bad bacteria thrives on sugar… it's an all you can eat buffet for them! And just like other living organisms, the more we eat the more we grow and breed. Same thing goes for these bad bacteria the more sugar we give them the more they grow and then crowd out the good bacteria in our intestines. Another way sugar impacts our immune system is by impacting the absorption levels of vitamin c, and we all know that vitamin c plays a huge role in our immune system. You know how people always say take vitamin c when you’re sick. Anyway, The more sugar in your system, the harder it is for your immune cells to get the vitamin C they need to function, resulting in an up to 40% decrease in effectiveness lasting for hours after you consume the sugar!
Ok so we could go on and on about other foods that can be harmful to your overall health but I don’t want you to walk away and feel like you can’t eat anything. Here’s what I want you to do. Be aware of what you’re putting in your body. The form of foods meaning the most natural ways is the best. I guess what I’m saying is the fewer ingredients the better. I’ve heard the saying that if your grandmother wouldn’t know what it is then you shouldn’t eat it. Fast food is exactly what it is...fast food so maybe if you take the time to meal prep and get your work lunches planned out for the week then you’ll cut out swinging through the drive-through.
Just take a second to think before you eat and think to yourself is this going to be the best thing for my overall health. Herpes or not would this benefit my body.