Are your clean surroundings making you fat? Here's what a nutritionist says | Health - Hindustan Times
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Are your clean surroundings making you fat? Here's what a nutritionist has to say

By, New Delhi
Oct 25, 2023 05:40 PM IST

Living in a hyper hygienic environment can weaken immune system and lead to obesity apart from a range of other disorders, say Nutritionist Munmun Ganeriwal.

If you thought pollution and dusty surroundings are making your susceptible to allergies and illnesses, it looks like, the opposite is also true. Apparently, living in hyper hygienic environment can weaken your immune system and lead to allergies, hormonal imbalances, obesity and even asthma according to Nutritionist Munmun Ganeriwal. A new research published in the Journal of Pediatrics says increase in allergies developed by youth today is stemming from doing too much cleaning. The research says some amount of dirt or simple bacteria can train the immune system to react to foreign things entering it. All this can train the immune system to become more tolerant and fight off the viruses and bacteria. (Also read: The Taste With Vir: Why is obesity a major public health problem now?)

New studies conducted in Finland show that our 21st century life with hyper-hygienic environments weaken immune systems and can lead to obesity and other chronic inflammatory diseases(Pinterest)
New studies conducted in Finland show that our 21st century life with hyper-hygienic environments weaken immune systems and can lead to obesity and other chronic inflammatory diseases(Pinterest)

Nutritionist Munmun Ganeriwal in her recent Instagram post says that if you have developed issues like asthma, allergies, obesity, autoimmune disorders, depression after migrating to a more developed and cleaner city or country, then it could be because your immune system may have developed an imbalance.

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"Research shows that folks in rural environments have smaller chances of developing immune system imbalances compared to those who live in very clean places. New studies conducted in Finland show that our 21st century life with hyper-hygienic environments weaken immune systems and can lead to obesity and other chronic inflammatory diseases," says Ganeriwal in her recent video.

Living in sterile spaces and hyper hygienic environments can weaken immune systems and lead to chronic inflammatory diseases like obesity, asthma, allergies, autoimmune disorders, hormonal imbalances, she says.

"The microbes found in the soil, plants, and animals act as important sources of novelty for us. Contact with nature and environmental microbes have anti-inflammatory effects and can positively influence immunity, metabolism, and gut health," the nutritionist adds.

WAYS TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM AND GET EXPOSED TO ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBES

Ganeriwal suggests some effective ways to expose our immune system to some environmental microbes.

1. Take up home gardening: By merely playing in the dirt, you can boost your microbial diversity which will help develop immunity.

2. Visit farms, parks, gardens: Apart from the fact that the acquired ‘nature’ microbes will help ‘train’ your immune system to function properly, trees are also known to have a healing aspect.

3. Exercise outdoors: Adults who exercise outdoors actually have more diverse microbiomes. Jog on the beach or train outside, do what you like but try to get one exercise session outdoors every week.

4. Get a pet at home: Snuggling with the family pet provide important species of flora that help fill out our inner ecosystem.

5. Avoid over-using anti-bacterial: Overusing anti-bacterial soaps and toiletries wipe out microbes, which are crucial for supporting the immune system to fight obesity and diseases. Don’t get me wrong, it is still important to remain clean at the right times so do wash your hands after the restroom or before eating. But over-obsessing with it can cause problems.

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