WHAT ARE WHITE BLOOD CELLS (WBCs)?
White blood cells (WBC), also called leukocytes, are a type of cells present in the blood. These blood cells produced in the bone marrow and continuously formed and destroyed. White blood cells help you to protect your body from various infections and diseases.
TYPES OF WHITE BLOOD CELLS:
There are mainly five types of white blood cells. They may include:
These cells help to break down bacteria and have a longer lifespan than many other white blood cells. They constitute 5.3% WBC count.
This type of white blood cells create antibodies to fight against viruses, bacteria and other potentially harmful invaders. They compose 30% of WBC total count.
This type of blood cells are most numerous type of white blood cells, constituting 60 to 70% of circulating leukocytes.
They help to defense when infection strikes. They kill and digest fungi and bacteria. Neutrophils are the most abundant white blood cell, They found 62% in adults and their diameter is 10 to 12 μm.
These small white blood cells seem to sound like an alarm when infectious agents invade your blood. These blood cells secrete chemicals such as histamine and help to control immune response of your body. They compose 0.5% WBC total count and are the rarest white blood cells.
This type of blood cells attack and kill parasites and cancer cells and help with allergic responses. They compose about 2-4% of the WBC total and are rare in blood.
A white blood cell count or WBC count is a blood test which is performed to measure the number of white blood cells in the blood. To perform this test a blood test is needed. Most of the time, there is no need to take special steps before performing this test. But it will be better to tell your doctor if you are taking certain medicines because some drugs may change the test result.
It may include:
WBC Normal Ranges:
The number of white blood cells in the blood of a healthy person is 4500 to 11000 per microliter (4.5 to 11.0 x 109/L).
Low WBC Count:
If the white blood cell count is below 4500 per microliter, then it is considered as low white blood cell count or leukemia. If the number of white blood cells in the blood decreases, then you may be vulnerable to many diseases. To avoid diseases, you need to keep their level normal. Apart from this, you are also at risk of AIDS and hepatitis due to lack of white blood cells.
High WBC Count:
If the white blood cell count in the blood is more than 11000 per microliter, then it is referred to as high WBC count. It is also called leukocytosis.
WHITE BLOOD CELLS FUNCTION:
White blood cells protect your body from various infectious diseases and external harmful effects. White blood cells don’t allow clots to form in the blood and work to destroy bacteria of the disease by producing antibodies. In addition, these cells act to remove infection and strengthen your immune system.
WHITE BLOOD CELL COUNT AND DIET:
If you’re white blood cell deficient or have a low WBC count, you can increase them by including certain foods into your diet. Foods to increase white blood cells in the body may include —
1. Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is considered vital for strengthening your immune system and you can get it from citrus fruits. Plenty of vitamin C is found in lemon, oranges, grapes and pineapple. This vitamin can also be taken as a medicine, but these medicines are expensive.
Vitamin C not only increases the white blood cells present in the blood, but it also helps your body to fight many types of bacteria by increasing your antibodies. But taking vitamin C in your diet to strengthen the immune system is not right. According to experts, a person should consume around 200 mg of vitamin C per day. If you want to take it as a medicine, you should ask your doctor before taking it.
2. Vitamin E:
Vitamin E is considered most essential nutrient for increasing WBC count. It leads to increased levels of immunity and antioxidants. Vitamin E mainly helps in the production of cells that destroy deadly bacteria.
In old age, the immune system is weakened, in such a way, by taking vitamin E, their immune system is restored again. According to one study, taking vitamin E can reduce the risk of heart attack by up to 50 percent.
According to experts, 60 mg of vitamin E should be taken daily in the diet. Cereals and seeds allow you to supply a reasonable amount of it. On the other hand, if you smoke and do not exercise, then you need to take 40 to 100 mg of vitamin E daily to keep your immune system right. With this, even if you are not considering increasing white blood cells, consuming vitamin E is considered better for you.
Selenium helps you to grow WBC count. A research has found that this antioxidant helps your body in fighting infections. Selenium and zinc together gives better results than medicines to strengthen immune system of older persons.
Selenium acts effectively in asthma and bacterial response due to infection. For this reason, it is considered a better option in the use of increasing white blood cells.
Broccoli can be a great option, if you are seeking to increase white blood cell count. It supplies minerals and vitamins in the body and helps to improve your immune system. It can be eaten raw or cooked. In addition to increasing white blood cells, you can consume this vegetable because it proves beneficial for you in every way.
5. Red Capsicum:
To increase WBC count, you should consume capsicum. Capsicum can be consumed twice a day to meet body’s need for vitamin C. Apart from Vitamin C, it is also a great source of beta carotene. Vitamin C and beta carotene are also considered to be better for your skin and eye health. It keeps your eyes healthy for a long time.
Spinach contains sufficient amounts of vitamin C, antioxidants and beta carotene. Its intake makes your immune system strong to fight against external infections and bacteria. Like broccoli spinach should also be cooked on gas for a while. Due to less cooking, the amount of vitamin A in spinach remains adequate. You can also drink spinach juice.
Everyone knows that curd should be consumed regularly, but no one can tell what properties are present in the curd. Let us tell you that vitamin D is found in the curd. Vitamin D protects your body from many diseases and improves your immune system. With its regular intake, you become naturally healthy and protected from bacteria caused by cold and congestion.
8. Black or Green Tea:
Both green tea and black tea are considered essential for your health. Flavonoids and antioxidants are present in it in plenty, which act to increase the number of white blood cells. In a research conducted in the past years, it was found that consuming these two for a long time is good for your health. By taking green or black tea, you are safe from the risks of cancer and other cardiovascular diseases.
Almonds are beneficial for you in many ways. It contains many nutrients such as protein, vitamin E, fiber and copper. It not just only makes your immune process smooth, but also protects you from many diseases. It keeps cholesterol levels right and keeps your blood pressure and sugar under control. Due to these benefits of almonds, you should consume it everyday.
Garlic found in every home keeps you away from many diseases. Many blood disorders can be overcome with regular intake of garlic. Its consumption causes rapid increase in white blood cells. Apart from this, it also works to cure blockages in the veins. Not only this, garlic also provides protection against infection due to changing weather.
A research conducted in 2012 found that garlic acts as a miracle drug to increase white blood cells and strengthen the immune system. In addition, it also protects you from free radicals.
To increase white blood cells, you can consume food mentioned above, but it could be very beneficial if you slightly change your lifestyle. By adopting the following habits, you can easily increase your white blood cells in the blood by strengthening your immunity —
I] Meditation or Yoga:
Many incurable diseases can be prevented by meditation or yoga. If a person does yoga practice regularly, then he/she stays away from many diseases.
Cobra posture is important in the yoga required to increase white blood cell. This yoga pose activates the thymus gland. This gland is located just below your throat and on the upper part of the chest. This gland forms cells that fight diseases.
II] Get Enough Sleep:
Getting enough sleep keeps your mood right. With this, your energy level remains good and you stay away from the problem of strokes and weight gain. Getting enough sleep gives your cells time to regenerate. So you should get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep a day.
III] Avoid Alcohol and Smoking:
You will know that it is harmful for you to consume any substance including alcohol and smoking. This causes adverse effects on many parts of the body. This worsens the immune process and makes you vulnerable to many diseases.
IV] Drink Plenty of Water:
Water helps to keep your muscles energetic. In addition, it normalizes the level of fluids present inside your body. Apart from this, more water should be consumed during summer season. It makes your digestive system function smoothly. But note that for this you should avoid the consumption of alcohol, soda and other harmful substances.
It’s very necessary to keep white blood cells of the body at healthy levels to stay away from many diseases. For this, you can include above mentioned food and vegetables into your diet. Live a healthy lifestyle. Do workout, stay away from smoking and alcohol, drink plenty of water and take plenty of sleep.
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