Have you found yourself feeling sluggish lately? It may be due to a clogged lymphatic system. What’s that? Well, it’s quite literally the most important circulatory system in your entire body. It is a complex network of vessels, tissues, and organs that play a crucial role in our body’s immune system. Its primary function is to help remove waste, toxins, and other unwanted materials from our cells and tissues, as well as to fight off infections and diseases.
The lymphatic system transports lymph fluid (a clear, colorless fluid that contains white blood cells) throughout the body, which helps the body to fight off infections and diseases. Along the lymphatic vessels are lymph nodes, which act as filters and help to trap and destroy bacteria and viruses. When this system is in working order, your body will naturally detox itself, which should leave you feeling great majority of the time. However, when the system becomes sluggish or blocked, it can lead to a buildup of fluids, swelling, and an increased risk of infection.
Signs of a Clogged Lymphatic System
Swelling in your fingers
Stiff/sore body in the morning
Cold hands and feet
Dry or itchy skin
Frequent colds and flu
Enlarged lymph nodes
Unexplained injury and illness
So what do you do if you think you have a clogged lymphatic system? There are many approaches to get the system in working order. The obvious approaches are to exercise regularly, drink plenty of clean water, and avoid processed/junk food. Those 3 things will typically help ANYONE that is dealing with all types of health ailments, but can be especially helpful when working to unclog your lymphatic system.
A key component to boosting the lymphatic flow is to incorporate certain foods into our diet regularly. Healthy foods can have a significant impact on the lymphatic system, helping to support its function and promote movement and flow. Some of the ways that healthy foods can benefit the lymphatic system include:
- Reducing inflammation: Many healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are rich in antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory compounds. These can help to reduce inflammation in the body, which can have a positive effect on the lymphatic system.
- Supporting immune function: The lymphatic system is a key component of the immune system, so eating foods that are rich in nutrients and vitamins, such as vitamin C and zinc, can help to support immune function and keep the lymphatic system healthy.
- Promoting detoxification: The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in removing toxins and waste from the body. Eating foods that support liver and kidney function, such as leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, can help to support the body’s natural detoxification processes.
- Improving circulation: Certain foods, such as those rich in omega-3 fatty acids and flavonoids, can help to improve circulation and reduce inflammation, which can help to promote lymphatic flow.
So, What Foods Should I Be Eating For A Strong Working Lymphatic System
The first thing I am going to suggest is not a food… but it is SO CRUCIAL for a healthy lymphatic flow, and that is WATER. Your body obviously needs water for pretty much all of it’s daily functions, but it is essential for the proper function of the lymphatic system. When the body becomes dehydrated, the lymphatic system may not function properly, which can lead to a buildup of toxins and waste in the body. When the body is well-hydrated, lymph fluid can flow easily through the lymphatic vessels and be efficiently filtered by the lymph nodes, allowing for the removal of waste, toxins, and other unwanted materials from the body. Water also helps to flush out toxins and waste from the body through the kidneys and urinary system. This helps to further support the lymphatic system and maintain overall health and wellbeing.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is very easy to incorporate into your diet & it has tons of amazing anti-inflammatory properties! Top your salad, sautée your veggies, or massage it right into your lymph nodes to reduce swelling & promote drainage.
Lemons & Limes
Lemons, limes and other citrus fruits are natural detoxifiers for the body. Add lemon & lime to your water each day to help purify your lymph nodes and rid your body of any built up toxins.
Oranges are super-hydrating. They contain antioxidants and enzymes which all work together to cleanse, support, & protect your lymphatic system.
Apricots are a super rich source of potassium, which is known to trigger your lymphatic system & increase circulation through all your lymphatic vessels.
Berries are so good for your lymphatic system because they are full of antioxidants that help break down blockages in and around your lymph nodes. Try some cranberries on your salad, blueberries in your oatmeal, and raspberries in your smoothies.
Veggies like broccoli, kale, & spinach are full of chlorophyll, a natural component that naturally detoxes your body, and has properties that stimulate lymph drainage & circulation. You can also find chlorophyll drops at your local health store, add them to your water in the morning for a lymphatic boost.
Seeds – Pumpkin, Sunflower
The magnesium & healthy fats in pumpkin & sunflower seeds promote digestion which increases the speed in which toxins leave your body. You can eat these seeds plain or add them to your salads, yogurt, or cereal.
Garlic contains tons of antioxidants that work to reduce swelling, break down bacteria, and circulate the lymph fluids. Plus, garlic is absolutely incredible for your immune system.
Herbs and Spices
Eating herbs & spices like ginger, cilantro, parsley, & calendula are so great for cleansing & rebooting your lymphatic system. Eating them fresh will add an amazing pop of flavor and tons of health benefits.
Brown rice contains a super important vitamin called pyridoxine, or vitamin B6, that is used by your body to reduce swelling & kickstart your immune system.
Avocados are another super rich source of healthy fats that promote digestion & detoxification.
Seaweed, spirulina, & kombu are amazing for the whole body, inside & out. They are nutrient dense & full of potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, protein, & antioxidants.
Nuts like peanuts, almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts and cashews are full of vitamins & nutrients that support proper lymphatic drainage.
There are many herbs that can be very helpful for the lymphatic system. Prepare teas that promote lymph health with herbs like, Echinacea, astragalus, wild indigo root, goldenseal, cilantro, poke root, and parsley.
Some Other Helpful Ways to Unclog the Lymphatic System
Hot and Cold Showers
The hot water helps dilate the blood vessels, while the cold water shrivels them. This creates a “pump” action that forces out the toxic fluids that have remained in the body. This therapy is not recommended for pregnant women or for those who suffer from cardiovascular disease.
Use Dry Brushing
Brush your dry skin in a circular motion for 10 minutes by using a natural bristle brush, and then take a shower. You can combine dry brushing with hot and cold showers for better effects.
Avoid Wearing Tight Clothes
By wearing excessively tight clothing, you are reducing circulation in the lymphatic system. Tight clothing can cause blockages in the lymphatic system, which can lead to an accumulation of toxins.
Our bodies have 3 times more lymph fluid than blood, but there is no organ to pump it. The pumping action of deep breathing will help the lymphatic system transport the toxins into the blood before they are detoxified by the liver.
Avoid Foods That Cause Blockages To The Lymphatic System
Conventionally raised meat
In closing, it is important to incorporate healthy, nutrient-dense foods into your diet everyday. It is one of the easiest and most effective ways to support the health and function of your lymphatic system. By choosing foods that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and other essential nutrients, you can reduce inflammation, support immune function, and promote lymphatic flow. By making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can support your body’s natural detoxification processes and promote optimal lymphatic flow, allowing you to enjoy a healthier, more vibrant life.