Green veggies are the source of a chemical signal that is important to a fully functioning immune system. They do this by making sure intra-epithelial lymphocytes (IELs), which are special immune cells in the gut, function properly. In experiments, researchers fed mice a vegetable-poor diet for several weeks and found that 70-80% of these IELs disappeared! They equated what they saw in mice to people with inflammatory bowel disease. So its important to eat your vegetables to reduce your risk of this ailment. In addition, blueberries are great for their antioxidant qualities which help fight free radicals that can cause cancer and heart disease. Green tea is another antioxidant that boosts the immune system with its polyphenols which have been shown to prevent the formation of tumors.
-excerpted from the Del-Immune Difference winter 2011 newsletter.