This last year has put a spotlight on the importance of a healthy immune system.
While we are all familiar with what it means to have a healthy immune system, most are not familiar with the role that our body’s lymphatic system has on it. Since it’s Lymphedema Awareness Month,
I figured I would introduce you all to the lymphatic system and how nutrition plays a vital role to keep it in tip-top shape!
Meet Your Lymphatic System!
The lymphatic system is basically our body’s drainage and filtering mechanism. So let’s focus on the “drainage” part of the system first. As our blood vessels carry blood to our extremities the vessels get smaller and smaller. This causes water, proteins, salts, and glucose to leak out of the blood vessels and into our tissues. The lymphatic system is responsible for collecting this fluid (now referred to as lymph) so that it does not accumulate and cause painful swelling. When our lymphatic system is not working correctly or has been damaged it can result in excessive and painful swelling in the extremities called lymphedema. Now, let’s shift our focus to the “filtering” aspect of the lymphatic system. Bacteria, microbes, and toxins are also collected in the lymph fluid. The lymphatic vessels carry them to lymph nodes where white blood cells attack and destroy them. Now that you are more familiar with the mighty lymphatic system, let’s talk about what you can do to keep it healthy!
Nutrition and The Lymphatic System
It’s not surprising that our lymphatic system, like the rest of our body, depends on a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to keep it in peak condition. If our body is experiencing a high level of inflammation, this can put increased stress on the lymphatic system and overtime this can lead to dysfunction and impairment. To ensure that you are supporting the drainage and filtering power of the lymphatic system make sure to take in plenty of water and foods with anti-inflammatory properties and reduce your intake of foods that can increase inflammation within the body.