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Feb 2024

5 natural ways to increase your white blood cell count

Posted By Suborna Fermi Posted on Feb 03, 2024

A strong immune system is extremely important to defend your body against diseases and infections. White blood cells are an essential component of your immune system. Having low white blood cell counts can make your immune system susceptible to various diseases. However, there are several ways you can increase your white blood cell count to strengthen your immune system.

What are white blood cell counts, and what do they do?

When your body is at risk of getting infected with bacteria and viruses, white blood cells are then assigned to kill the pathogens. Apart from that, white blood cells also aid in the production of antibodies and generate healthy immune responses. Analyzing the level of white cell count is necessary to diagnose and monitor certain health conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, infections, allergies, and a few types of cancer. Your body has several types of white blood cells, and each has its own distinctive function. Types of white blood cells include:

  • Neutrophils: These are the most abundant type of white blood cell and are the main cells that respond to infections.
  • Lymphocytes: These are the second-most common white blood cells. There are two types of lymphocytes, including type B cells and T cells. Type B cells help produce antibodies in response to infections, while type T cells target infected cells in coordination with immune responses.
  • Eosinophils: Eosinophils are primarily responsible for allergic reactions and responses against parasitic infections.
  • Monocytes: These types of white blood cells are the first to respond to an infection.

What causes low white blood cell counts?

Low white blood cell counts, also known as leukopenia, can be caused by a range of reasons, such as:

  • Infections
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Bone marrow disorders
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Inherited disorders
  • Radiation therapy
  • Severe infections or sepsis
  • Medication

5 foods that help increase white blood cell counts:

Several studies have found that having a balanced diet and limiting alcohol consumption can significantly increase WBC counts.

  • Fish: Cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, tuna, and mackerel, contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids promote white blood cell functions.
  • Lean proteins: Lean proteins, including eggs, fish, seafood, skinless poultry, lentils, soy, and beans, are helpful to increase white blood cell counts.
  • Yogurt: Yogurt helps to increase WBC counts, and it also contains vitamin D. Try to eat plain or Greek yogurt. However, eating flavored yogurt may not be as helpful as plain yogurt. Therefore, you can add your favorite fruits to the yogurt as a sweetener.
  • Garlic: Garlic has immune-supporting properties that help fight infections. It is beneficial to reduce high blood pressure and also slows down the hardening of the arteries.
  • Almonds: Almonds are rich in vitamin E and healthy fats that help boost the immune system.

Eating only fresh foods may not significantly increase white blood cell counts, but it is also important to treat the underlying cause. If you are suffering from low WBC counts, then consult with your healthcare advisor; they will recommend specific medication for your condition.