Friday, August 26, 2011

How to Increase White Blood Cells with Food and Exercise

White blood cells (WBC) provide immunity to the body to ward off diseases. There are five different types of white blood cells. They are lymphocytes, monocytes, basophils, isonophils and neutrophils. Generally the WBC counts in the body ranges from 4000-10000 cells/mcl. If the count falls below this level the immunity of the body against diseases comes down. There are foods and medications which can help to increase the white blood cell count.   
Carrots: Wikimedia Commons; Kander

Ways to Increase White Blood Cell Count

  • Healthy diet is the best way to increase the white blood cells. The diet should consist of vegetables, beans and whole grains. Fish and lean meat are also of great help.

  • Vitamins C helps to boost the WBC count. Foods containing vitamin C like oranges, guavas, carrots and berries should be included in the diet

  • When the body is attacked by the free radicals, white blood cells die. Antioxidants provide protection against free radicals. Certain fruits, nuts, olive oil and vegetables contain vitamin E which is a very good antioxidant.

  • Regular exercise helps to increase WBC count. It is necessary to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. Exercise may not increase the WBC count. But it helps to spread it more evenly.

  • Green tea contains polyphenols that help to increase the WBC count. It helps to create antibodies that fight invading micro-organisms such as viruses and malignant cells.

  • Yogurt can help to boost WBC count. Yogurt contains active cultures or friendly bacteria. This strengthens the immune system.

  •  Zinc stimulates the production of WBC. It is necessary to get at least 15-25 mg of zinc a day. Certain cereals contain this mineral. Lentils, nuts, peanuts, legumes, beef and turkey are also rich in zinc.

  • Protein found in eggs and dairy products help to increase the WBC count.

  • Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids help to boost the immune system by increasing WBC. Flax seed, salmon, mackerel, cereals and walnut are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Make some of these foods a part of your diet.

  • If you are not getting enough nutrition from your diet, take foods rich in folic acid. Some of the foods rich in folic acid are wholegrain bread, potato, cabbage, beetroot and banana.

  • Eating 2-3 cloves of raw garlic every day for a month helps to boost WBC count.  Though it is generally safe but should not be taken on an empty stomach. People who are on a blood thinner should consult their doctor before starting on garlic.

  • Drink at least two liters of water a day.

  • Minimize the consumption of sugar and other sweets

  • Avoid polyunsaturated fats contained in vegetable oils.

All these measures will help to boost the white blood cell count in the body.