The Way Processed Foods Harm the Immune System

By Dr Ernst
November 9, 2016

If you could make ONE CHANGE in your life that would LOWER your risk of heart disease, help you lose weight and make you feel happier and more energetic, would you do it?

Any person in their right mind would loudly exclaim, “YES, I would do it!”

It’s widely known, and I am sure you would agree, that processed foods aren’t good for your body as they are packed with sugar (especially fructose/HFCS), synthetic and rancid fats, preservatives, additives and even genetically modified ingredients (GM). Some of them even have things like sawdust and insect organs in them. What may come as a shock is that processed foods are actually MORE harmful to you and your immune system than other, more obviously harmful lifestyle activities (smoking, drinking etc)!

A recent published article in NUTRITION JOURNAL, points out that the modern westernized (processed food) diet is setting the stage for immune-suppressed diseases:

“While todays modern diet may provide beneficial protection from nutrimental deficiencies, our overabundance of calories and the macronutrients that compose our diet all lead to increased inflammation, reduced control of infection, increased rates of cancer and increase risk for auto-inflammatory disease”

Does this hit you as hard as it did me? We are literally eating ourselves towards an early death!

Examples of Common Processed Foods:

  • All Breakfast cereals
  • Breads, Crackers & Cookies
  • Meat Products (lunch meats, bacon, sausages etc)
  • Drinks: Milk, Soft Drinks, Fruit Juices
  • Convenience Foods: Microwave Meals or Boxed Dinners
  • Savory Snacks: Chips, Crisps, Puffs etc

Let’s be honest (and glaringly transparent) – I use to have a diet filled with these types of foods and would say to myself: “It could be worse. At least my processed pizza has a vegetable topping ;-).”

What I didn’t know what the connection between food and my intestinal & Immunological health. Nearly 100 Trillion bacteria, fungi, viruses and living microorganisms live inside your intestine. It’s such a large gathering of cells its now been termed your MICROBIOME (and it is the LARGEST collection of cells in your body – even outnumbering your body cells 10 to 1!).

Did you know your Microbiome helps to:

  • Combat inflammation and stop the spread of viral and bacterial disease
  • Produce vitamins, absorb minerals and eliminate toxins
  • Reduces risk for allergies, both seasonal and food
  • Normalizes your weight
  • Balances your mood and mental health
  • Has been linked to 80% of your Immune Strength!

When you eat processed foods, you harm, damage and even destroy your Microbiome. This results in your body’s innate ability to heal becoming weakened from within. Compound this with the many other interferences in your healing and one can quickly see how it can feel impossible to overcome any health condition.

But There Is Good News!

A recent study found that it only takes 2 weeks (14 days) for you to improve the strength of your Microbiome and Immune System. Their suggestion: swap out ONE processed food meal for a meal of fermented foods. Just one! (Just imagine if you did this for every meal for 2 weeks!)

But why limit yourself? How about you take ANOTHER baby step and start cooking, from scratch, one more meal per week. So switch out one processed food per week for a fermented food, and switch out another meal per week with a full meal made from scratch. That’s one less trip through the drive-thru. That’s one less dinner out of a box or a can. And you know how good a home cooked meal can be. So much better than anything out of a paper bag.

 But back to fermented foods, because we’re on a microbiome rant right now. Fermented foods are loaded with TRILLIONS of healthy living bacteria ready to add strength and power to your weak Microbiome. And they taste great too!

Here’s My List of Fermented Favorites:

Kombucha, Kevita, Kimchi, Pickles, Sauerkraut, Kefir, Raw Cheese, Cultured Raw Veggies, Miso & Cultured Coconut Yogurt.

And listen, if you want to learn more about your microbiome and how you can heal or protect it to maintain your HIGHEST levels of immunity, digestive health and mental well-being, join me for my event in JUST TWO DAYS. It’s all about the microbiome and you’ll leave nearly an expert on the topic. Just click below to register and use the promo code “AskDrErnst” for free tickets.



headshotDr. Aaron Ernst, D.C. is host of News Talk 1110 WBT’s “AskDrErnst” show and clinic director of Maximized Living Charlotte.

He specializes in providing customized nutritional and detoxification total body healing programs, utilizing the 5 Essentials of Maximized Living.

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