Lymphatic Health & Support
So, what is the lymphatic system?
The lymphatic system is a network of tissues, vessels and organs that work together to move a colourless, watery fluid called lymph back into your circulatory system which is the bloodstream.
Your lymphatic system has many functions.
-It maintains fluid levels in your body: The lymphatic system collects excess fluid that drains from cells and tissue throughout your body and returns it to your bloodstream, which is then recirculated through your body.
-It absorbs fats from the digestive tract. Lymph contains fluids from your intestines that contain fats and proteins and transports it back to your bloodstream.
-It protects your body against foreign invaders. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system. It produces and releases lymphocytes which are white blood cells and other immune cells that monitor and then destroy the foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi that may enter your body.
-It transports and removes waste products and abnormal cells from the lymph.
As you can see the lymphatic system plays a vital role in our health and well-being.
If you can think back to the last time you were sick, fighting a cold or felt run down. Do you remember feeling small, tender bumps around the sides your neck? Those lumps were most likely swollen lymph nodes which are the sign of a normal and healthy immune response. When we are sick or run down, our lymph nodes spring into action and begin fighting off pathogens and other foreign particles.
If a healthy lymphatic system starts to suffer and become under pressure and sluggish due to illness or a poor lifestyle, it can lead to a range of issues, including tissue swelling, fluid retention, poor skin tone, excess weight, cellulite, headaches, joint pain, fatigue and greater chance of becoming ill as the immune response is weakened.
So how can we support the lymphatic system?
Getting the lymphatic system healthy and functional will enable it to remove the toxic sources of aches, pains, swelling and reoccurring infections.
Make little changes such as avoiding toxins, chemicals, and foods that are hard to digest such as processed foods that are laden with pesticides, preservatives, and artificial ingredients.
Instead start increasing some of these foods in your diet.
Water is vital to life. Drink plenty of clean, preferably filtered water. Water will keep the lymph fluid hydrated and flowing smoothly.
Cranberry is an excellent emulsifier of fat. It will help break down excess fat for the lymphatic vessels to carry away. Choose fresh cranberry fruits and juices, not the sweetened and pasteurized processed ones.
Leafy Greens - Chlorophyll is found in dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, wheatgrass, barley grass, turnip greens, dandelion leaves, broccoli, and mustard greens. It has powerful cleansing properties and beneficial effects on the blood and the lymph fluid. Leafy greens are so important for many aspects of our health.
Nuts and Seeds contain essential fatty acids which we know as healthy fats. Seeds like chia, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil and avocado, play a role in fighting inflammation. They also strengthen vascular tissue, help in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, and aid in the removal of fat-soluble wastes.
Garlic boosts the immune system immune and fights harmful pathogens. It improves circulation and helps in the cleansing of toxins. It boosts the function of your lymphatic system. Use garlic in its raw form and grate it over your food for the most powerful effects.
Ginger is very beneficial for digestion and circulation, two systems that are directly linked to the lymphatic system. It also has anti-inflammatory effects.
Turmeric just like ginger helps reduce inflammation, thins the blood, and improves circulation. These effects help to support the functions of the lymphatic system.
Seaweed helps the body to detox and eliminate excess fluid that can build up in tissues and slow the lymphatic system down.
Citrus fruits aids hydration, provide powerful antioxidants and enzymes, and help cleanse and protect the lymphatic system. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices of all kinds will deliver more hydration, enzymes, and antioxidants to the body.
Along with eating foods that support the lymphatic system, what else can you do?
Hydrotherapy – Hot and cold showers.
Get moving. Exercise of any kind will support the lymphatic system and get the lymph moving.
Stretch or practice yoga.
Look at your cosmetics and skincare products, you absorb toxins through your skin.
I will cover each of these topics in more detail over the next few weeks. Each area deserves its own post and I will go through the understanding behind each topic and how to implement it easily into your daily routine.
I hope you have enjoyed learning about the lymphatic system and how to support it to ensure your health and wellbeing is always your priority.