What to Eat and Drink for a Healthy Lymphatic System

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably given your lymphatic system little, if any, consideration. And perhaps that’s because you’ve never heard of this little-known but highly-important bodily system. The lymphatic system is one of the most important cleansing and healing systems in your body but few people have even heard of it. It is often the difference between poor and great health.

A long-time mentor to me and someone who inspired my love of healing with food, Harvey Diamond, natural health pioneer and author of the book Fit for Life, told me that a healthy lymphatic system is the “number one factor in achieving good health.” It’s a network of fluid-filled nodes, glands and tubes that bathe our cells and carry the body’s metabolic “sewage” away from the tissues and then neutralize it. It also includes the spleen, thymus and tonsils to remove harmful toxins before they contribute to pain or illness.

If you have any inflammation in your body, you probably have a lymphatic system that needs your attention. That’s because the lymph system carries the waste products of inflammation to your blood where it can be filtered by the liver and eliminated from your body. Bloating, swelling, puffiness, pain, excessive weight, lumps and growths, are often signs that the lymphatic system needs support.

What can you eat or drink to boost your lymphatic system? Here are my top picks:

Pure Water

The lymphatic system works by moving lymph fluid throughout the body, sweeping up metabolic debris as it moves. And, as you can imagine, it needs water to keep the lymph fluid moving properly. So, be sure you’re getting plenty of pure water every day. Everyone’s needs are different but most people benefit from at least 8 to 10 cups daily.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are packed with omega 3 fatty acids that alleviate inflammation, thereby reducing the work required by the lymphatic system to keep the bodily tissues cleansed. I add chia seeds  to my baked goods to make delicious treats that have a poppy-seed like crunch.  Chia seeds are highly mucilaginous, meaning they swell and absorb moisture, which makes them perfect to make quick and easy puddings with a handful of pureed fruit, ˝ cup of almond milk and a few tablespoons of chia seeds. Mix together and then wait several minutes for the chia seeds to work their magic before eating.

Cranberries and Cranberry Juice

Cranberries and cranberry juice (the unsweetened varieties, not the sugar-loaded fruit punch found in most grocery stores) are packed with critical nutrients that boost the lymphatic system’s functioning, including: flavonoids, malic acid, citric acid, quinic acid and enzymes. The latter are only found in raw cranberries, not ones that have been cooked or heated during the commercial juicing or pasteurization processes. Drink one-half cup of pure, unsweetened cranberry juice diluted in water or a combination of water and pure apple juice to sweeten, once or twice daily on an empty stomach.

Flax Seeds and Flaxseed Oil

Both flax seeds and flaxseed oil help to reduce inflammation within the lymph system so the body can eliminate toxins. Be sure to use only ground flax seeds as they tend to go through the digestive tract untouched if they are not ground prior to eating. Add the seeds or oil to smoothies, salad dressings or add the seeds to cooked oatmeal just prior to serving.

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens like arugula, spinach and kale are good for almost everything so it will probably come as no surprise that they are also excellent lymphatic system cleansers. They contain many crucial vitamins and minerals that boost your lymphatic system’s ability to keep your tissues clean and healthy. Be sure to eat a couple of cups of fresh greens daily.

Sprouts

Sprouts like alfalfa, bean sprouts and many others, are among the best lymphatic-system boosting foods you can eat. Not only does the B-complex vitamin and vitamin C content skyrocket when seeds are sprouted, the enzymes become activated during the sprouting process—all of which translates into a stronger lymphatic system when eaten. Add a handful of alfalfa, broccoli, radish or other sprouts to your sandwiches or wraps. Top your Asian noodle dishes with a handful of mung bean sprouts, or use them as a base for your next salad.

Walnuts

Rich in omega 3s, walnuts are highly anti-inflammatory, making them an excellent addition to your next lymph-boosting meal. Be sure to choose only raw, unsalted walnuts from the refrigerator section of your grocery or health food store since the beneficial oils found in walnuts tend to go rancid quickly when exposed to light and heat. That bitter taste many people dislike is actually a sign that the walnuts are rancid. Many people who don’t like walnuts have found that they enjoy the fresh, raw varieties. Add a handful to your next smoothie.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news World’s Healthiest News, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Life Force Diet: 3 Weeks to Supercharge Your Health with Enzyme-Rich Foods.

 

163 comments

Marie W
Marie W1 months ago

Thank you.

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Angela G
Angela G6 months ago

ok

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Tania N
Tania N6 months ago

Thanks for the info.

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Tania N
Tania N6 months ago

Thanks for the info.

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Tania N
Tania N6 months ago

Thanks for the info.

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Tania N
Tania N6 months ago

Thanks for the info.

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Fran F
Fran F7 months ago

Thanks for this info.

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Lisa Zarafonetis
Lisa Zarafonetis7 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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John B
John B7 months ago

Thanks Michelle for sharing the list and relevant links

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Richard E Cooley
Richard E Cooley7 months ago

Thank you.

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