HealthTree Logo
search more_vert
person Sign In / Create Account
Weakened Immune System from CLL? Utilize Nutrient-dense Food and Hydration
Posted: Jan 29, 2023
Weakened Immune System from CLL? Utilize Nutrient-dense Food and Hydration image

CLL and the Immune System

CLL is a blood cancer that often leads to a weakened immune system. Patients are encouraged to eat nutrient-dense foods to support their immune system in order to fight off illness, infections, reduce inflammation, and help reduce fatigue. 

"Nutrient-dense foods are foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients important for health, without too much saturated fat, added sugars, and sodium." AHA 

Examples of Nutrient-Dense Foods

Some nutrient-dense foods CLL patients can incorporate into their diet include:

  • Whole grains (whole wheat products, oats, quinoa, barley, and brown rice)
  • Leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, collard greens)
  • Lean meats (seafood, chicken, turkey)
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage)
  • Berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
  • Legumes (lentils, chickpeas, black beans)
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
  • Fermented foods (yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut)
  • Plant-based fats (extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, sesame oil) 

Veggies Difficult to Eat? Cooking Tips to Enjoy Your Meals

Seasoning vegetables with herbs, spices, a dash of healthy oil like extra-virgin olive oil, and cooking via sauteeing or baking can help improve the flavor of a meal so you can enjoy what you eat and even add additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

Water and Your Immune System 

Staying hydrated throughout the day is also important for strengthening the immune system. 

  • Water helps flush out toxins and waste, helping your body to function properly
  • Water helps regulate body temperature
  • Water is a key component of lymphatic fluid which contains white blood cells that help the body fight infection
  • Water helps the body transport nutrients through the bloodstream and absorb them
  • Water supports the health of mucous membranes which act as barriers to protect the inside of the body 

Tips to increase fluids 

  • If drinking water is boring, flavor it by adding a splash of 100% fruit juice 
  • Eat foods that are naturally high in water content like cucumbers, strawberries, watermelon, and tomatoes

Consult Your Doctor and Dietitian Before Trying Supplements 

Supplements can be a helpful way to achieve nutrient density if your appetite is poor. However, if taking supplements, consult with your doctor and/or dietitian to review any that should be avoided while on certain CLL medications. 

Help support your weakened immune system to better fight against illness by including nutrient-dense foods and water throughout your day!

The author Megan Heaps

about the author
Megan Heaps

Megan joined HealthTree in 2022. As a writer and the daughter of a blood cancer patient, she is dedicated to helping patients and their caregivers understand the various aspects of their disease. This understanding enables them to better advocate for themselves and improve their treatment outcomes. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family. 

Thanks to our HealthTree Community for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Sponsors:


Follow Us

facebook instagram youtube