The lymphatic system is one fo the most important systems when it relates to general health and wellbeing. The lympahtic system is an extenstion of the immune system. A sluggish lymphatic system will weaken immunity and cause you to feel sluggish, backed up, plugged up, bloated and just generally tired. When the lymphatic system is plugged up the aches and pains in the body are more common and headaches are also more often.
For these reasons and many others including hydration, removal of toxins and so much more you want to ensure that your lymphatic system is flowing and draining properly. If it is not, your lymphatic system will become plugged and cause issues that can lead to pain, headaches, a weakened immune system and more.
There are certain foods that support lymphatic health, which we’ll cover in a later article. There are also foods that damage that lymphatic system to a greater degree than others. That is what this article is about today. It is important to know the food and specific types of foods which damage the lymphatic system and make it slow and sluggish. You want to avoid or decrease these foods to the best of your ability to allow the lymphatic fluid to flow and drain out of the body. This drainage system keeps your body clean, hydrated and allows new healthy cells to grow and take place of old sluggish cells. An important process for your health, energy, vitality and digestion!
The 9 Worst Foods For Lymphatic Drainage
Processed Foods Like:
Foods that are processed are not properly nutritionally and molecularly made for lymphatic health. In other words, processed foods create more difficult stress for the lymphatic system. According to Harvard Health Publishing, a prestigious health publishing publication, processed foods can hinder both immune and lymphatic system functions whcih leads to health problems as a whole. Many of these processed foods are high in added sugars like packaged baked goods, granola, breakfast cereals, chips, and even condiments like ketchup, BBQ sauce, or marinara sauce, or other sauces. Chips and processed meats like bacon, sausage, or hotdogs are considered the worst foods for the lymphatic system as well. They clog everything up. Just avoid them.
2. Caffeine & Alcohol:
Both caffeine (from coffee or tea) and alcohol dehydrate the body and deplete it of water. Since the lymphatic system is quite literally made of water you want to avoid these beverages to the best of your ability. If you do partake in any caffeinated drinks or alcohol make sure to prioritize hydration after. Your body needs to replenish to keep the lymphatic system flushing and draining fluids. Remember that caffeine can come from not only coffee but tea as well. Alcohol in any form will pull water from the body.
3. Too Much Meat:
While meat (high quality, grass fed and finished, organic) does have health benefits. Too much protein can create a sluggish environment in the metabolism. This causes resources to be diverted to the gut to metabolize the difficult to digest protein. It is important not only to eat only high quality meat, not processed meat, but to also take a break from eating meat. Take a day or two off eating meat here and there to let your gut reset and metabolize any undigested protein. This sort of ‘meat fasting’ is good for your body. It’s good to cycle things in the body like this anyway.
4. Salty Foods:
Foods that contain too much salt cause the body to become dehydrated very quickly. Hydration is one of the most important things for proper lymphatic flow and drainage. It is important to watch your salt intake and to also pay attention to the quality of the salt that you’re ingesting. I prefer sea salt or himalayan salt. These salts have the best mineral range. Regular table salt is the worse because it’s processed and contains very little mineral range. This pulls from your body more than it gives. I personally like Ava Janes salt from Mexico. It’s rich, delicious and is free of micro-plastics which plague more than 90% of salt now! Click here to get your first bag of salt FREE form them!
5. Artificial Sweeteners:
Artifical sweeteners wreak havoc on the gut, immune sysetem and lymphatic system. They do this by creating unheatlhy gut bacteria which creats dysbiosis. This leads to a compromised immune system and lymphatic system as the body seeks to maintain homeostasis in the gut. The most dangerous artificial sweeteners are aspartame, sucralose and saccharin. There are plenty of natural sweeteners to still get that sweet tooth fix without compromising your lymphatic health. Read this article (click to read) to learn about honey, stevia and other natural sweetener options worth considering.
6. High Sugar Foods:
Not quite as bad as artificial sweeteners, but still high on the list are foods that are high in sugar. Especially liquid forms of sugar such as soda, energy drinks, caffeinated drinks with sugar are the absolute worst. These drinks spike blood sugar and insulin levels faster than anything because there is no fiber, protein or fat to buffer the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. You really want to avoid high sugar foods and when you do have sugar get it from a natural source such as fruit. Fruit has plenty of fiber to buffer the absorption of that sugar and this doesn’t affect your blood sugar levels as negatively as liquid sugar.
When sugar spikes and insulin spikes (a blood sugar hormone) the body creates pro-inflammatory pathogens that the lymphatic system then has to face as an extension of the immune system. In other words, the sugar consumed feeds bad pathogens which then the immune system within the lymphatic system has to battle. It is best to reduce your sugar intake or eat sugar wisely and intentionally. Or, once again find alternative sources of sweeteners such as stevia which have no affect on blood sugar levels. Read more about stevia and how to flavor it for dirnks and recipes in this article here.
7. Transfat Foods Like:
Transfats are synthetically made fats in a lab. These cause inflammation within the body lead to many issues. When these breakdown they create endotoxins within the blood as it leaks through the digestive system into the body. The lymphatic system then has to deal with these frivilous toxins. Transfats come from shortening, margarine, nondairy coffee creamer, as well as the many oils that are used with fried foods. These are one of the worst foods as it clogs the lymphatic system up quite a bit. Avoid them at all costs.
8. Not Enough Protein:
Protein plays an important role in the building blocks of what our body and health need to operate and function. While too much protein can be difficult on the body, too little can be problematic as well. For those that have lymphedema, which is a swelling of different parts of the body it is important to know that there is most likely an amino acid deficiency that is contributing to this on some level. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and these allow your body to rebuild in a strong and healthy manner. Make sure to get enough protein, but don’t overdo it. Your gut will notify you when too much protein is too much protein, so pay attention to your body.
9. Not Enough Water – Dehyration:
Dehydration is such a common thing in our world today. It’s very common for people to be dehydrated yet think that they are hydrated simply because they drink enough water. Water is only part of the hydration equation. Simply drinking enough water is a good start, but not everything. You want to be drinking about 50% of your body weight in ounces of water each day. For every 100 pounds you weigh, you want to be drinking 50% of that (50 ounces) of water daily. This is half of the hydration equation! The other important half is to recognize that there are six important electrolytes that support the intracellular and extracellular hydration. What does that mean? These minerals create what is known as osmotic pressure. This is a charge that notifies the cell wall to open or close to let water in or out.
If you’re dehydrated, or even overhydrated the body can have too much water outside of the cell but not enough water inside the cell because the key electrolytes aren’t allowing the cell to take this water in. The electrical signal isn’t there. This article fully explains (click here to read) the key to hydration and how to make sure your lymphatic system is properly nourished.
That sums up the importance of avoiding these foods and drinks. They clog up and block the lymphatic system worse than just about anything.
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