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Swiss researchers have recently discovered that an amino acid (a component of protein) called L-arginine, when consumed through diet, may have the ability to boost our immune system by lengthening the lives of a particular blood cell called T-cells. These cells are important because they help fight tumour cells.
Foods particularly rich in L-arginine are the breast meat of turkey, which is also low in fat too. Crustaceans like crab, lobster and shrimp score well. Chicken is also a good option but vegetarian sources include: pumpkin seeds, soy, peanuts, tree nuts (like walnuts), spinach, spirulina and watercress
Geiger et al (2016) L-arginine modulates T cell metabolism and enhances survival and anti-tumor activity. Cell http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2016.09.031
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Seb is a writer and blogger of food and nutrition. He holds a bachelors and a masters degree in nutrition science, and has studied sports and exercise nutrition at postgraduate level. He specialises in plant-based nutrition and believes passionately that we can all live with a little less meat. He writes for www.veggieandspice.com and www.itsaboutnutrition.com