Refined carbohydrates (sugar of any colour, white flour products, etc.) depress immune function and should be removed from the diet in anything but small amounts. Consuming just three ounces of honey or fruit sugar (or fruit juice) or sucrose (sugar) results in a drop by up to 50% in white blood cell activity for between one and five hours!
Study has found that the function of phagocytes was altered by ingestion of sugars (glucose and other simple carbohydrates) for at least five hours. On the other hand, fasting for 36 to 60 hours significantly increased the phagocytic index.
We now know that sweets of any kind lower our resistance and make us vulnerable to all types of common infections. Many mothers have learned that the best treatment and prevention for colds is a good diet with no junk food and sweets.
The researchers also studied the effect of fasting on neutrophil activity. They found that fasting (subjects ingested only water but no food) enhances neutrophil activity at least up to 60 hours. Furthermore, the research discovered that fasting with fresh fruit or vegetable juice enhances the activity of both neutrophils and natural killer cells for several days.
The bottom line message is this: there’s nothing wrong with having your glass of freshly squeezed orange juice with all it’s fiber for its Vitamin C content. It’s however not wise to load up on cookies and candies and processed and refined flour products when fighting off a cold. Also, when you don’t feel good, don’t force yourself to eat. A juice fast may well be just what your body needs.
What could you do to increase your neutrophil activity? Is it time to consider reducing the amount of sweets you eat? See blog on sweet cravings for some helpful hints!