White blood cells, also known as leukocytes, play an important role in the body's immune system and help fight infection. White blood cells (WBCs) are your body's immune cells. They circulate in your circulation and operate as guards to keep viruses, germs, and other infectious organisms at bay.
Maintaining a normal amount of healthy white blood cells may help lower infection risk and is an important component of overall health. You may be more susceptible to infections if you have a low WBC count, known as leukopenia.
Importantly, excessive quantities of white blood cells are undesirable. Increased WBC counts, often known as leukocytosis, indicate that the body is reacting to a stressor. Physical stressors, such as an infection, cancer, or an autoimmune illness, may raise WBC counts, as can emotional stressors.
Here, we will explore natural ways to raise the white blood cell count, which may be recommended if test results come back low.
Immune System and White Blood Cells
The immune system is the body's defense mechanism against harmful pathogens and infections, and white blood cells, also known as leukocytes, are an integral component of the immune system responsible for identifying and neutralizing foreign invaders.
Choosing a variety of meals to enhance your immune system is one of the greatest strategies to remain healthy. Eating antioxidant-rich foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is essential for immune system function and ward off infection and disease.
It's important to consume nutritious meals, particularly those high in protein, Vitamin C, vitamin B12, and folate 2, to ensure your immune system has enough white blood cells to function properly.
What causes low white blood cell levels?
Low white blood cell (WBC) levels, also known as leukopenia, can be caused by a variety of underlying conditions or factors. Some possible causes of low WBC include certain medical conditions such as bone marrow disorders, infections, cancer, or autoimmune diseases. Medications, including chemotherapy drugs and antibiotics, can also cause a decrease in WBC levels.
Nutritional deficiencies, such as a lack of vitamin B12 or folate, can also lead to low WBC counts. Chronic stress or physical exertion can also impact the body's ability to produce enough white blood cells. In some cases, the cause of low WBC levels is unknown and referred to as idiopathic. It's important to have a complete medical evaluation done in order to identify the specific cause of low WBC levels and the appropriate treatment can be recommended accordingly.
8 natural ways to raise white blood cell count
Here are 8 natural ways to increase your white blood cell count and boost your immunity.
White blood cell activity is increased by omega-3 fatty acids and other healthful lipids. There are many types of omega-3s. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are found in oily fish (EPA).
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which can only be obtained from the diet, is found in some nuts and vegetable oils. Although the body can convert ALA into EPA and DHA, it is more efficient to eat them.
Omega-3 fatty acids may also have a function in the creation of molecules that control immunity in the body and help protect the body from harm caused by overreacting to infections.
It is important to choose a variety that incorporates living and active cultures. If you use plain yogurt and mix in some fruit, spices, and your preferred sweetener, you'll get a lower-sugar snack that's also high in calcium.
Live cultures in yogurt have been found in studies to protect the digestive tract from gastrointestinal ailments and to promote resistance to immune-related diseases such as infection and even cancer.
Yogurt's beneficial living cultures, such as lactobacillus acidophilus, may help prevent or lessen the duration of colds and other diseases, however, further study is required. Yogurt is also high in protein, which the body utilizes to build white blood cells.
Carotenoids like beta-carotene are powerful antioxidants that support immune system function. 6 Carotenoids are prevalent in bright yellow, orange, and red fruits and vegetables, although they may also be found in primarily green fruits and vegetables.
It's crucial to eat a range of colored fruits and vegetables because different kinds of carotenoids are known to work together to enhance the body's immune system.
Green tea has been used for centuries to treat a variety of diseases. It is high in antioxidants, which help the body fight infections, as well as flavonoids and epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, which boosts immune function and helps the body fight infection. Green tea also includes the amino acid L-theanine, which boosts T-cell production of germ-fighting chemicals. So, for the greatest benefits, consume green on a regular basis.
Seeds and nuts
Foods rich in Vitamin E may boost your immunity because they include antioxidants that encourage the development of killer cells, which help eliminate cancer cells and pathogens. Vitamin E boosts the creation of B-cells, which aid in the formation of antibodies, which are useful in the killing of germs. To receive your daily dosage of vitamin E, eat foods like almonds, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, broccoli, and spinach.
Folic acid and vitamin B
Folic acid, as well as vitamins B6 and B12, aid in the production of white blood cells in the body. Sunflower seeds, chicken, turkey, dry almonds, avocados, spinach, and bananas are all high in vitamin B6 . Folic acid-rich foods include lentils, dry beans and peas, leafy greens including broccoli, spinach, asparagus, and okra, and citrus fruits.
Folic acid supplements are also available. Low-fat yogurt and milk, fortified morning cereals, poultry, clams, trout, and salmon are all rich in vitamin B12. Remember to see a doctor for suggested dosages of these supplements or foods that are appropriate for your health circumstances, as well as any prescription medicine.
Berries are high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which are compounds found in fruits and vegetables that act as antioxidants and protect cells from damage.
One cup of strawberries has 100 milligrams of vitamin C, which is roughly the same as one cup of orange juice. Bioflavonoids are abundant in dark berries such as blueberries. Rather than eating just one kind of berry, eat a bowl of mixed berries or change the berries you select from day to day for the best immune system boost.
Here's some good news for chocolate lovers everywhere: According to certain research, cocoa and cocoa extracts may improve several components of the immune system and operate as potent antioxidants. Unsweetened cocoa and cocoa powder may benefit immune system function as long as sugar and fat are kept to a minimum.
Studies on cocoa are often conducted on extracts; however, the quantity of extract used may be extrapolated to a corresponding amount of cocoa. Recent research has also focused on cocoa in general, as well as dark chocolate.
Regular use of cocoa/extracts has been proven in studies to lower the risk of heart disease, assist in boosting good cholesterol, and perhaps repair blood vessel damage in diabetics.