How to Increase White Blood Cells

image001Leukocytes or white blood cells typically make up 4000-10,000 WBCs for every microliter of blood. If your white blood cell count drops below 3500 WBCs for every microliter of blood it causes a condition called leukopenia that causes cramps, fever, sore gums, diarrhea, sneezing, headaches, sore throat, etc. These are signs that your immune system is weak and you are susceptible to infection. If this condition occurs there are steps that can be taken to return your white blood cell count to a normal level.

How to Increase White Blood Cells

1. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Ideally your diet should include a proper ratio of all the essential nutrients your body requires. This is typically defined as a 2:1 ratio of fruits and vegetables to meat and fish.

  • Fruits and vegetables. Fruits such as figs, melons, oranges or strawberries and vegetables like pumpkin, carrots, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, beets and spinach are known to naturally increase your white blood cell count.
  • Green tea. Green tea is a great source of antioxidants that helps the body fight off infections. Drinking Green tea can help boost the immune system which leads the body to create more WBCs. A study indicates that green tea can replicate some viruses, which means that you may not lose as many the white blood cells to fighting the virus.
  • Protein. To determine the amount of protein you should consume each day, determine your body weight in pounds and divide this number by 2.2. This will determine your weight in kilograms. You should consume between .8-1kg of protein for every kilogram of body weight to increase your white blood cell count. Foods like fish, lean meat, eggs, soy and cheese are excellent sources of dietary protein.
  • Omega-3 fatty acid. Ingesting omega-3 fatty acids increases phagocyte activity. Phagocytes are the white blood cells that consume bacteria. Fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel or salmon and flax oil are good sources of omega-3s.
  • Zinc. Zinc increases the aggressiveness of white blood cells that fight infection, allows white cells to produce more antibodies, helps the body produce more white blood cells and increases the number of cells that help the body fight off cancer. Consuming zing-fortified cereal, zinc supplements, crab, oysters, dark meat, beans, turkey or beef can increase your zinc intake.
  • Vitamin A, E, C and folic acid. Increasing your intake of vitamin A will increase lymphocyte white blood cells that attack cancerous cells and foreign invaders that can cause infections. Vitamin C helps to synthesize white blood cells. Folic acid increases neutrophil white blood cells. If you do not get an adequate supply of folic acid in your diet your white blood cell count will lower.
  • Certain foods to avoid. Vegetable oils, foods that are very rich in sugar or polyunsaturated fats will hinder the growth of your white blood cells and weaken your immune system.

2. Take Herbal Supplements

Herbal Supplements




Echinacea tablets contain the immune system booster echinacoside. Consume 500mg tablets 2-3 times each week to increase your total number of white blood cells.



Consuming 500mg of the amino acid L-theanine each day to reduce cortisol hormone levels in the body that can weaken the immune system when you are stressed.



500mg tablets of astragalus herb contains flavonoids that will increase white blood cell production.



Wild indigo plants have properties that can improve both cardiovascular function and increase your production of white blood cells. Take one wild indigo capsule per day.



Garlic high in allicin helps to flush out microorganisms that cause disease. Ingesting garlic as part of your diet or taking a 500mg supplement each day will give your body a chance to replenish white blood cells.

3. Exercise Regularly

Exercising regularly will strengthen the immune system by allowing you to produce more white blood cells and making existing cells stronger. Exercise can also reduce stress that can weaken the immune system. Those that do not have time for a full workout routine should make the effort to include at least half an hour of moderate exercise in their daily routine. Walking, swimming, biking, hiking and physical sports can help to fulfill this requirement.

4. Seek Professional Help

If you are not having success boosting your immune system on your own a doctor or dietician can provide immune boosting supplements that can help improve WBCs. These supplements can interfere with other medications you might be taking, so do not start to take these mediations without consulting a medical expert first. You may also find that some medications including antihistamines or diuretics will lower your white blood cell count. Your doctor can determine a more appropriate dosing of these medications to improve your immune system function.