A familiar scenario prevails today where we often observe people consuming unhealthy food from the restaurants or local street vendors. Today meals are commonly eaten on the go because of lack of time to cook at home or excess work pressure. And so it is important to understand the nature of unhealthy dietary habits and how to alter these to protect your immune system from its damaging effects.
What do poor eating habits include?
Poor eating habits include over-eating or under-eating and not consuming healthy diet and eating food rich in fats & drinks high in sodium or sugar. Junk food is indeed tastier because of the high fat content in it. But it does not fulfill your nutritional requirements as it is processed really fast inside the body. It leaves your hungry within an hour or two after your last meal. So essentially, it is food that has been consumed in vain as it doesn’t nourish your body. Instead the high fats in the unhealthy food can lead to deterioration of the body cells. Studies have also indicated that junk food being is associated with the growth of cancer cells. Under-eating too deprives your body directly because of the consumption of nutrients lower than the optimum levels required for maintaining normal body functions.
What are the effects on the immune system?
Your body is comprised of protective cells called the immune cells. The immune cells also require nutritional elements such as vitamins and minerals for their growth, just like any other body cell. When you consume junk food that comprises of only certain food groups, you deprive your body of nutritional gain. Due to this, immune cells fail to mature or are formed in insufficient numbers to defend the body against various ailments. Also, the organs in your immune system such as Thymus, Lymph nodes, Spleen, which are actively involved in filtering out of infectious agents, start malfunctioning. This can have chronic and irreversible harmful effect on the immune system.
Excessive eating habits also lead to weight gain. Obese people find it increasingly difficult to perform day-to-day activities and become susceptible to diseases like autoimmune disorders, infectious diseases, hypertension, diabetes and innumerable other ailments. These illnesses further weaken your immune system.
How to cope and change your poor eating habits?
Poor eating habits can become the perpetual cause of stress in your lives as the body continues to get overweight or underweight. As your body shape can get deformed, you may suffer from self- esteem issues and lack of self confidence. This indirectly affects your social connections at family or work So, to be ahead in this competitive time, you need to actively involve yourself in seeking a healthy lifestyle by opting out of unhealthy eating habits.
Consume balanced diet rich in fibre, vitamins and mineral content
Include lots of green leafy vegetables and fruits in your diet.
You should neither skip your meals nor do binge eating on multiple occasions.
Devise a plan to restrain your temptations to consume unhealthy food and set realistic goals.
Discuss with your physician as well as dietician and seek health advice & perform medical tests if advised.
Discuss with your family to seek emotional support during the habit transformation.
Our body is strong enough to fight most of the harmful diseases and ailments that affect humankind. It is up to us to build its strength through the right diet and self care.