Build Your Immune System

T cells, also known as T lymphocytes, are a white blood cell of grave importance to your immune system; they allow your body to adapt a response to any pathogen. There are also foods you can eat to trigger production of these critical cells.

3 Ways to Boost NK Cells

Here are a few easy ways to boost our naturally occurring killer cells so that we can fight one of the biggest diseases of all time:

3. Take More Vitamin C – This vitamin is not only good for fighting colds and flu, but it boosts the activation of both T-cells and NK cells so that your immune system has extra armor to protect you against a host of diseases, including cancer. The Journal of Immunology confirms that ridiculously high doses aren’t required. Just 1000 mg a day can help boost the immune system.

4. Get Your Daily E – In addition to boosting the production of killer cells, vitamin E also supports the making of B cells – also utilized by our immune systems to produce antibodies and kill bacteria. You can get the recommended 60 mg a day from nuts, grains, seeds and vegetable oils. Further, vitamin E intake lowers the risk of heart disease.

5. Eat Your Beta Carotene – As the name suggests, this important vitamin found in carrots can help boost killer cells as well as helper T-cells so that your immune system can fight a number of diseases. Foods full of beta carotene include sweet potatoes, kale, turnip greens, spinach, dried herbs, and mustard greens, just to name a few.

Preventing cancer may be as simple as eating whole, natural foods. Who knew?

Foods to Improve Your Immunity

Carrots
The vitamin A in carrots helps trigger white blood cell production; a 1-cup serving of chopped carrots has 21,384 IU of this vitamin, many times the daily recommended intake. You also take in a small amount of vitamin C in a serving of carrots — 7.6 mg — as well as small amounts of zinc and selenium, all of which contribute to T cell counts.
oysters
Packed with selenium, this tasty shellfish helps boost your body’s production of cytokines, a protein that’s known to ward off illnesses.

Yogurt
berries-and-yogurt
Yogurt that contains live cultures is rich in lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium lactis (read: good bacteria), which fight bacteria that cause diseases and raise your white blood cell count.

Green Tea
Green tea is a great source of L-theanine, an amino acid that triggers the release of germ-fighting compounds from your T-cells. (Green tea also helps to boost your metabolism.)

Oranges
One of the best sources of immunity-boosting vitamin C, oranges cause your body to produce higher levels of antibodies and white blood cells.

Crab
Like oysters, crab meat is rich in selenium, a nutrient that strengthens your immune system.

Garlic
Including garlic in your meal plan to increase your T cells is a good option. A study published in the February 2009 issue of the journal “Planta Medica” indicates that compounds in garlic trigger the growth of lymphocytes. Garlic also contains a small amount of zinc — 0.1 mg — and 2.8 mg of vitamin C, another vitamin useful for your immune system. The vitamin C in garlic pumps up your body’s production of white blood cells; adults need 75 to 90 mg of vitamin C per day.

Carrots
Carrots are crammed with beta carotene, a phytonutrient that increases your body’s production of T-cells and natural killer cells.

Spinach
The high amount of antioxidants found in spinach help boost your immune system.

Sweet Potatoes
Like carrots, sweet potatoes are loaded with beta carotene, which boosts your body’s T-cell and NK-cell count.

Mushrooms
morels Rich in compounds called beta glucans, mushrooms boost the production of NK-cells and T-cells in your body to help prevent infections.

Salmon
Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which cause your body’s phagocytes to fight bacteria more effectively.

Kiwi
Like oranges, kiwis are high in vitamin C, which helps protect your body against infections.

Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are packed with vitamin C, which prompts your body to produce more interferon. This antibody covers the surface of cells and fends off viruses.

Broccoli
Broccoli is a great source of glucosinolates, phytonutrients rich in sulfur that stimulate the natural antioxidant systems in your body.

Brazil Nuts Or Almonds
Eating more brazil nuts, a large South American nut, may improve your T cell count, thanks to the selenium content. A 1-oz. serving of these nuts provides you with 543.5 mcg of this mineral, and research indicates that selenium positively influences T cell proliferation and activity, according to a study featured in the June 2010 “Journal of Nutrition.” Adults require 55 mcg of selenium each day. Brazil nuts also supply small amounts of zinc and vitamin C.

Vitamin and Mineral Rich Food
Folic acid, vitamin B 6, riboflavin and thiamin are particularly important to the proper functioning of t-cells and their quantity. The list doesn’t stop there. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals are essential to keeping t-cell count up, and that means eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. Raw fruits and vegetables are the best way to get a maximum amount of these nutrients. Dark leafy green vegetables, cauliflower, broccoli, squash, tomatoes, strawberries and carrots are all nutrient rich produce that may increase t-cells.

Papaya
Papaya, especially the Carica Papaya, has recently been found to increase regulatory t-cells, but it has been used to treat many diseases and cancers for centuries. The fruit, its seeds and even its leaves are found to be beneficial. Try eating some ripe fruit, dried fruit or even drinking some papaya leaf tea. The stronger the tea, the more effective it is said to be.

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