Green Veggies Boost Immunity: More Health Benefits from these Essential Foods
Mar 13, 2012 02:45PM
Researchers reporting in the journal Cell have found another good reason to fill our plates with plenty of green vegetables like bok choy and broccoli: Tiny chemical compounds found in these healthful greens interact with the immune cells of the gut, known as intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL), by effectively protecting them and boosting their numbers.
IELs, white blood cells that inhabit the lining of many body cavities and structures, are concentrated in the gastrointestinal tract, where their primary purpose is to destroy target cells that are infected by pathogens. Because pathogens frequently enter the body via the gastrointestinal tract, a high IEL count benefits overall health.
Source: Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK