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Habits That Hurt Your Immune System

By Sara Butler

Many people are concerned with the strength of their immune system these days and that's not a bad thing. Your immune system plays a vital role in your health, obviously, which is why making sure you're supporting its healthy function is vital no matter what else is going on in the world.

There are some things you may be doing that hurt your immune system. In fact, some of these things are so common that you may be doing them but not even realizing that you're doing more harm than good when it comes to your immune response. Here are a few things you may want to avoid doing because they're hurting your immune system's health.

You Eat Too Many Processed Foods

Processed foods are not good for you -- or your immune system. These foods are commonly high in added sugars and saturated fat, which are both things that can weaken your immune system. Eating too many processed foods can lead to chronic inflammation, which puts your immune system under constant stress. Cut out the processed foods and you'll be doing your immune system a big favor -- and you'll likely feel better physically, too.

You Don't Get Enough Sleep

Your body uses the time you sleep as an opportunity to rest and rebuild. When you don't give it enough of what it needs, then it can make it difficult for your body to fight off infection. In fact, not sleeping enough hinders the body's ability to release immune cells called cytokines. These cytokines help your body to fight off illness, so not having enough of them can be a real problem.

The solution to this issue is simple: Make sure you're getting enough sleep, about eight hours, each night.

You Don't Deal with Stress

Everyone experiences stress, but not finding an effective way to deal with it can have a negative impact on your immune system. Stress triggers the release of a hormone called cortisol in your body. Cortisol works, in part, to suppress the body's inflammation response. If there's always a high amount of cortisol surging through your system because you're always stressed, then the inflammatory response your body uses to know when to launch immune cells to fight infection decreases.

Find an effective way to deal with the stress in your life. It can be something as simple as listening to your favorite music, reading a book, or taking a walk.

Caring for your immune system is important, so don't sabotage it.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sandy, Utah.

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