Antibodies are proteins found in the blood that function to help rid your body of viruses and bacteria. Also called immunoglobulins, antibodies are produced by the immune system when viruses or bacteria are detected. Each different type of virus or bacteria has a different kind of antibody that is generated to destroy it. There are many things you can do to increase your number of antibodies and stay healthy. One way is to eat foods rich in the vitamins and minerals that stimulate the production of antibodies.
According to Dr. Bill Sears, a professor at the University of California at Irvine, the amount of vitamin C contained in oranges not only increases the amount of antibodies being produced, but also stops viruses from entering the body at all.
Most doctors sing the praises of garlic for its simulative power on antibodies. Dr. Sears explains that garlic causes the body to multiply the anti-bodies that it already has produced and makes them stronger.
Being a rich source of dietary protein, salmon helps stimulate the immune system and promotes healing within the body. Dr. Sears says that the omega-3 fatty acids contained in salmon increases antibodies and can help prevent the body from getting infections.
Broccoli (and other sources of vitamin E)
Broccoli is rich in vitamin E, which stimulates the production of the antibodies that destroy cancer cells. Not only does vitamin E stimulate antibodies that attack cancer cells, it has also been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In a Harvard School of Public Health Study, vitamin E was proved to cut the risk of heart attacks by 50 percent.
Oysters (and other sources of zinc)
Oysters, which are rich in zinc, increase the strength and production of white blood cells. White blood cells not only fight infection, but they also release antibodies into the system. Zinc is especially important for people of an advanced age, as the antibodies of infection reduction that they produce are typically lacking in older people. Other foods rich in zinc are turkey, crab, beans and zinc-fortified cereals.
Carrots (and other sources of beta carotene)
The beta carotene found in carrots, among other sources, is a vitamin that increases the antibodies that fight infection and cancer. In addition to these virtues, beta carotene also attacks free-radical cells that accelerate the aging process. Beta carotene has also been proved to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes.
Whole Grains (and other sources of selenium)
Foods high in the mineral selenium are known to create an increase in the production of antibodies that fight cancer cells, Dr. Sears explains. In addition to creating new cancer-fighting antibodies, selenium functions to strengthen the existing antibodies in the body. Other foods rich in selenium are tuna, lobster, red snapper, shrimp, most vegetables, brown rice, egg yolks, white meat chicken, cottage cheese, sunflower seeds and Brazil nuts.
Living and working out of New York City, Lauren Reinhard has been writing since 2005. In addition to several websites, Reinhard's writing appears in "The Rapscallion Report." She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater from Long Island University, C.W. Post.