Continued from  page 1
Top 10 Foods and Habits to Increase
White Blood Cell Count
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Last updated August 7, 2017 (originally published July 12,2011)

By Michael Chang, Contributing Columnist

4. Zinc Increases Immunity Functions to Better Protect
Your Body

This mineral can significantly increase white blood cell
production, so that your body can more aggressively fight
infections. Not only does it increase more antibodies, but it
also released killer cells to fight cancer.

Zinc supplements are a great way to ensure your necessary
dosage of this immunity-boosting mineral. However, too
much can, in fact, inhibit your immune system. A target
daily amount should be from 15-25 milligrams. You can also
get your source of zinc from foods, such as oysters, zinc-
fortified cereals, turkey, and beans.

According to a 2009 University of Maryland Medical Center
study, HIV positive individuals —the population who suffers
from low WBC count due to deficiencies in the immune
system—who took zinc had less infections and a better
immune system response.

Eating oysters are a great way to boost your zinc levels and
thus your immune system. Oysters contain 74 mg of zinc
per serving, which is 493% of the daily recommended
value, according to the
National Institutes of Health.

Consuming Vitamin C-rich Fruits Regularly to Increase
White Blood Cell Count

As an immunity enhancer, Vitamin C increases the
production of white blood cells and antibodies needed to
combat infections in the body. It can also quicken the
immune system response.

According to a 2001 University of Texas Health Science
Center study, those who consume a gram of Vitamin C daily
saw in improvement in immune function and protection
against viral infection.

In order to boost your immunity, simply consuming around
200 milligrams daily is more than sufficient. While you may
opt to take Vitamin C supplements, you can get your
necessary dosage by eating a few servings of fruits and
vegetables throughout the day. Common sources of vitamin
C include tomatoes, oranges, kiwis and grapefruits.

You may not know that bell peppers are also a great source
of Vitamin C, even more than oranges. In fact, red bell
peppers have 3 times as much Vitamin C as an orange (210
mg versus 70 mg for an orange).

Beta Carotene-Rich Foods Boost the Immune System

Beta carotene can significantly protect your immune system
by improving white blood cell production and
strengthening their ability to fight off infections. As an
antioxidant, these beta carotenes can eliminate free radicals.

Beta carotenes can also
protect against cancer by
stimulating immune cells, also known as macrophages to
destroy cancer cells. According to a 1997 Institute of Food
Research study published in the Journal of Laboratory and
Clinical Medicine, individuals who took 15 mg of beta-
carotene daily experienced enhanced cell-mediated immune

Included in beta carotene-rich foods are carrots and other
red, yellow, orange, and dark-green leafy vegetables. Who
knew that bell peppers and carrots could do wonders in
keeping your immune system strong, your body healthy
and cancer free?

Eat Vitamin A-Rich Foods to Stimulate White Blood Cell

Critical to the formation of white blood cells, vitamin A
improves the ability of antibodies to attack foreign bodies
in the bloodstream. It ensures that you have more
immunity boosters and that they are better at their job.

Great sources of vitamin A include kale, liver, butternut
squash, and sweet potato. Sweet potatoes, baked with the
skin on, have over 28,000 international units of Vitamin A,
according to the
National Institutes of Health.  That's about
5 to 6 times the recommended daily amount. Cantaloupe
melons are also a great source of Vitamin A. Melons vary in
size of course, but an average size cantaloupe melon has
5687 international units of Vitamin A ( a half a melon has
2334 international units).  

Be careful of over-consumption of vitamin A, however, as it
can cause its own set of health issues, such as jaundice and
nausea, among other symptoms. (Read more about
A overdose.)

Taking Growth Hormone, GM-CSF, to Boost WBC Count

A growth hormone—GM-CSF—can potentially increase the
levels of your white blood cells. While this is a more drastic
measure, many AIDS patients may require this added boost
to their immune system in order to extend their life.
According to a 2009 Harvard Medical School study,
infusions of this growth hormone increased the WBC count
of some individuals in just a matter of weeks. If the other
natural remedies of boosting your immunity are not
working, particularly if you are an HIV/AIDS patient,
resorting to GM-CSF may be a last-resort option.

Losing Weight Can Improve Your Natural Immune

Obesity can prove to be very detrimental to your immune
system, so shedding a few of those excess pounds can
improve your overall health. A high level of fat cells triggers
pro-inflammatory chemicals, which then, in turn, damages
healthy tissues. This can affect your body’s natural ability
to generate enough WBC and antibodies to fend of the
foreign bodies in your bloodstream.

It’s not just about your physical looks anymore. Losing
weight is important to keep your in healthy shape to better
fend off infections and sickness.

Reduce Levels of Stress to Better Fight Illnesses

People deal with stress in a myriad of ways. Some like
physical exercise (which also boosts immunity). Some like
to escape into television or movies. And others enjoy
spending time with friends and family. Whatever is your
preferred method of relaxation, ensure that you find a way
to de-stress from all the issues of your life.

While short-term stress can, in fact, boost your body’s
natural immunity due to increased levels of cortisol, long-
term stress makes you much more vulnerable to illnesses.
The steady stream of stress hormones actually suppresses
the immune system and white blood cell production.

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Bell peppers are packed with Vitamin C
which helps to maintain normal white
blood cell counts.