The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body. They include protecting your body from illness-causing invaders, maintaining body fluid levels, absorbing digestive tract fats and removing cellular waste.
Lymphatic drainage has been proven to reduce swelling, relieve pain, detoxify the body and speed up the regeneration of tissues and cells. That’s why it’s important to keep your lymphatic system working at peak performance.
6 Facts about the Lymphatic System
- It is the least understood and most undervalued of all the body systems, yet if it stopped working we would die within 24-48 hours
- It is approximately twice the size of the blood circulation system and manages almost double the volume of fluid daily
- There are between 400-800 lymph nodes in the body that constantly monitor and filter the lymph to remove toxins, waste and pathogens
- Swelling of the lymph nodes (or ‘glands’) in the neck are an indication that the body is in the throes of fighting an infection
- The gut is lined with millions of lymphatic vessels (called lacteals) that absorb the fats and fatty acids that we ingest and transport them directly to the heart where they enter the circulatory system as fuel
- It is considered the most important body system in Ayurvedic medicine, which considers it to be the ‘water of life’
Here are Ways to Boost your Lymphatic System
Quit Sedentary Lifestyle and Keep Moving
For healthy lymphatic systems, exercise daily. Exercising provides enough oxygen to cells and tissues to send toxins to your liver and kidneys where they can be filtered and removed from your body. Also be active throughout the day.
Deep Breathe To Stimulate Your Lymphatic System
Deep breathing feeds oxygen to the blood and can improve lymph flow. Take the time to practice deep breathing throughout the day. Breathe in through your nose, hold it for four seconds and then exhale through your mouth for two seconds. You can increase timing to get better results. But take your time and don’t hold your breath too long! Do this two or three times a day.
Go for a Lymphatic Massage
This is a special massage targeting the flow of lymph using pressure and rhythmic circular movements to help move it towards the heart. It allows for the drainage of waste and fluid, but it also feels wonderful.
Lymphatic Systems Love Iodine Rich Foods
Iodine supports the lymph at a cellular level. Make sure you get enough iodine by taking a supplement or eating iodine-rich foods such as seaweed (nori, dulse, kelp), mushrooms, Himalayan salt, and beets.
Drink Plenty of Water For Your Lymphatic System
Chances are you do this already. Keep yourself hydrated by having lots of fluids. Drink lukewarm lemon water each morning and then two more liters throughout the day is a great way to cleanse your body. You can have this in fluids form like fresh fruit juices, herbal tea, lemon ginger infusions, fruit infused water or just water.
Enjoy More Red And Green Foods
Red foods including beets, pomegranates, berries, cherries, and cranberries provide phytonutrients to stimulate lymph. Green foods, then provide chlorophyll to purify the blood and cleanse the lymphatic system including spinach, kale, dill, cilantro, romaine, parsley, basil, arugula, collards, etc.
Dry Brush Your Skin
Dry brushing supports lymphatic flow by improving circulation. Doing this before your morning shower for about five to 10 minutes rids your body of toxins that build up overnight. Try to do it at least three to five times a week. Gently brush upwards on your tummy, chest, and neck towards your heart. Just be light-handed as the brush can be rough on delicate skin. This also helps in getting rid of cellulites.
If you can adopt even a few of these tricks into your daily routine, you can improve your lymphatic system function for improved health.