If you’re anything like me you don’t like getting sick. I imagine most people don’t. Why would you want to go around feeling like garbage when you don’t have to? Well, you can add two more immunity boosting superstars to your list because kale and garlic contain some pretty powerful goodies for your immune system.
If you’re not a regular reader of our blog you might not be aware that I’ve kind of been on a “building your immune system with juicing” kick lately. If you’re really wanting to kick up your immunity, I suggest you read some of the other articles I’ve written recently once you’re done with this one!
First, you’ll want to read about ginger’s anti-viral properties, and as a bonus how it can raise your body heat, and then I’d definitely read about these 3 herbs you can juice to boost your immune system. Last but not least I’d recommend you read about 5 ways that lemon juice boosts your immunity.
If you do read all of those articles you’re kind of getting a complete stay free from being sick package all in one here! 🙂
Alright, let’s get to how kale and kale are going to help keep you stay well during the “sick season.” I’ll start with garlic first.
Garlic Supercharges Your Immune System
Before I got into the details about what garlic does for your immune system, I wanted to mention that most studies or tests I came across used raw fresh garlic, or an extract of. This means that garlic juice made from raw garlic is a perfect way to get these immunity boosting goodies into your body!
Garlic Increases White Blood Cells
White blood cells are known as immunological cells, or simply as your immunity cells. They are produced inside of bone marrow and are stored in your blood and lymphatic tissues (1).
One study found that there was a strong connection between extracts of garlic and the immune system. This study demonstrated that an extract of garlic was able to significantly increase the amount of certain types of white blood cells. Specifically, there was a significant increase in the mean CD4 and other immunological cells studied (2).
Garlic Aids The Immune System During Times Of Need
I couldn’t help but mention something interesting I found included in an article written by the University of Maryland. There it was mentioned that garlic may help the immune system function better during times of need, such as in cancer. In fact, there was a study where 50 people with inoperable colorectal, liver, or pancreatic cancer took an aged garlic extract for 6 months. It was found that their immune activity improved after doing so (3).
Catch Fewer Colds With Garlic
The same article referred to a different study where people took garlic supplements and a placebo for a 12 week period during cold season (November-Febuary). The people who took garlic rather than the placebo had fewer colds and when they did get a cold, their symptoms went away faster than those who took the placebo (3).
I don’t know about you, but I can sure do without catching a cold, and if I did it’s good to know that I might be able to lessen the amount of time I had it!
Antibiotic Properties Of Garlic
Allicin is a compound found in garlic that has been found to have all kinds of positive health benefits. In it’s pure form it’s been found to exhibit antibacterial activity against a wide range of bacteria. It’s specifically been shown to have antifungal activity, particularly against Candida albicans, be effective vs. multi drug-resistant strains of Escherichia coli, have antiparasitic activity, including some major human intestinal protozoan parasites, and antiviral activity (4).
Some pretty powerful stuff!
How Kale Boosts Your Immune System
Kale Activates Intraepithelial Lymphocytes
Since we already talked a bit about what white blood cells are above I won’t need to re-hash that. In short, intraepithelial lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that are found in the skin, the epithelial layer that lines the intestine, the biliary tract, the oral cavity, the upper respiratory tract and lungs, and the reproductive tract. The largest amount of them reside within the small intestine where they serve to protect against pathogens or immune-induced pathology. Put simply you want more of these guys around (5)!
Kale contains a phytonutrient that stimulates these cells. As Michael Greger M.D. puts it “leads to the activation of our immune foot soldiers (6).” Dr. Greger also quoted Lora V. Hooper; a researcher from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute who states that kale, along with other cruciferous vegetables “are essential for sustaining intestinal immune function (6).”
Sulphoraphane In Kale Aids The Aging Immune System
As we get older, our immune systems ability to protect against cancer, fight disease, and infections lowers. A lot of this is due to oxidative stress damage caused by free radicals.
Sulphoraphane is a compound found in broccoli, kale, and other cruciferous vegetables which has been found to be able to restore immune function. It has been found to be especially effective at restoring cells that are responsible for identifying infectious agents to other immune cells (7). More human trials are needed, but initial results are very promising!
Antioxidants In Kale Boost Immune System To Fight Cancer
Yes, you read that right! Kale not only contains antioxidants that directly combat cancer, but it also contains antioxidants that boost the immune system to do so. I found this really interesting, and the two antioxidants responsible for this are called quercetin and kaempferol. While it’s known that antioxidants inhibit cancer cell growth and help program them to die (apoptosis), research found that quercetin and kaempferol were able to stimulate the immune system directly to fight cancer (8).
How’s that for an immune system boost!?!?!?
Juice Recipes That Use Kale Or Garlic
What good is this information if you don’t have an easy way to put it to use? Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of juice recipes to choose from that use both kale or garlic.
These recipes below all contain garlic in them!
Little Red Head (Scroll down to recipe #3 on-page)
Greens on A Vine (Scroll down to recipe #2 on-page)
Broccoli Everywhere (Scroll down to recipe #5 on-page)
The Cilantro Honcho (Scroll down to recipe #19 on-page)
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