Top 8 Doctor-Recommended Foods To Support Your Lymphatic System
Today, I’m going to share with you several key and important foods that you can use to support your lymphatic system. One of the things I’m really excited to share with you, I actually have a background and credentialing in supporting patients’ lymphatic systems. I’m a lymphatic drainage therapist, and I actually educate medical providers, I train them on how to support the lymphatic system of their patients. And there are certain disorders and diseases of the lymphatic system that I specialize in.
This, for many of my patients, tends to be a broken record, what I’m going to say, but I’m really excited to share these tips. If they’re new to you, they’re going to greatly enhance your lymphatic process. And before I get into these specific foods, it is really important that every day you seek to choose activities and lifestyle practices that will support your lymphatic system. And why is the question that I often hear from patients.
Why it’s Important to Support Lymphatic Flow
Your lymphatic system is a dual player in your body. It has a core function of supporting your immune system, your immune state. So, if your immune system’s a little weak, or it’s gone haywire and it’s attacking, you’ve got autoimmunity, your lymphatic system’s really important to support.
And then, also, it’s what is our garbage disposal system. It’s our toxic waste removal process. And we often will see through sweat, we remove toxins, and we excrete them through kidneys and the bowels. So, if you find you might be a little bit more toxic, you have a weaker immune system, these foods and adding them in on a daily basis, and sometimes multiple times throughout the day, you are going to really enhance your lymphatic process. So, I’m really excited, because these things are powerful, and I recommend them all the time to my patients.
1. Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Herb Duo
So, number one is a duo of herbs that I absolutely adore. There’s a lot of clinical research in terms of their anti-inflammatory properties and the capacity for them to enhance and speed up the lymphatic flow. And with the lymphatic system, we actually need to employ things that will move the fluid in a healthy way.
So, ginger and turmeric. Those two herbs are the herbs I’m recommending, and they are really powerful at supporting your lymphatic process. Ginger you can add as a powder, you can mix it into certain foods. I make ginger tea. Same with turmeric. Turmeric has a really nice blend with ginger, so there are often teas that you can find that have turmeric, ginger. There’s golden milk, if you’re not familiar with that. I love golden milk to have at night and add to your nighttime routine.
But ginger and turmeric, for my patients, when I recommend two to three cups of ginger and turmeric tea on a daily basis, they notice intensive fluid reduction. So, even if you’re holding on to a little excess water weight, maybe you want to drop two or three pounds, a lot of times it’s fluid. And enhancing your lymphatic process will greatly support that. And you’ll notice a reduction in that fluid retention.
And similarly to the fluid retention processes of ginger and turmeric, pineapple. Particularly the enzyme bromelain in pineapple is fantastic for enhancing lymphatic process. I love to use pineapple, fresh, chopped up. You can puree it, you can even squeeze it and have the pineapple juice. It is wonderful, particularly bromelain, at enhancing the blood flow process that is connected to the lymphatic system.
So, often with patients who bruise easily, or the bruise is there for a long period of time, maybe they’ve gone through surgery and we need to minimize the bruising… And patients who have chronic vascular insufficiency, it’s called CVI. And there’s a direct pairing between CVI and your lymphatic system, because CVI, chronic vascular insufficiency, is where there’s a pooling of excess red blood cells. And the red blood cells don’t get swept up and taken and transported by the vascular system. They actually leak into the lymphatic system.
And it’ll often be seen on individuals’ legs from two or three inches below the knee down to the ankle. And it’s this reddish kind of rusted color, and it’s blood cells that are just stagnant. Pineapple is what we can use to really enhance that process. And pineapple is great, as well, for fluid reduction. And I just love the bromelain. The action of bromelain is very supportive of your lymphatic flow.
3. Citrus Foods
The third food group here are citrus foods. We are referencing here grapefruit and assorted oranges, tangerines, limes, and lemons, and even the mix of them. So, having a lemon-lime tea or juicing an assortment of your citrus foods and infusing them into water, that’s what I recommend. And what we used to serve at my wellness center was a blend of citrus fruits.
And then with that, I actually add in a fruit called cranberry. And cranberry is a really powerhouse supportive food for your lymphatic system, because cranberry is a fat emulsifier. And cranberry helps move excess fat that is in your lymphatic system. It helps it move out. And your lymphatic system does get rid of fat cells. So, that’s really important, because we don’t want them to get sticky. We want them to be mobile. And the emulsification, that process through cranberry, helps get the flow moving and decongest that system.
5. Dandelion Greens
Now, another thing that you can add to your daily diet, and you could use tincture, you could use the greens, or you could make teas, are dandelion. Using dandelion greens, I love, in your regular salads. And then also brewing up dandelion tea is very supportive of your lymphatic system, because it moves bile out of the liver. So, it’s a very pro-liver supportive herbal.
But in the process of bile production, bile moves toxins out of your digestive process. And one of the most comprehensive, complex structure, of the lymphatic system – the lymphatic vessels and the lymph nodes – the bulk of it is in your digestive process. So, moving your bowels and getting bile moving via dandelion tea actually supports your lymphatic process. And the act of bowel contents moving through the small and large intestine actually motivate your lymphatic system. It’s something that a lot of people don’t realize, but when you’re constipated, you’re not getting that lymphatic movement in the lower torso.
6. Omega-3-Dense Foods
Next, I recommend eating healthy fats, particularly omegas. Omega-3-dense foods, reaching for chia seeds and flax seeds and hemp oil. These are going to be all good things. Healthy fat in your fish, healthy proteins, even nuts and seeds are going to really give your body the healthy fats that it needs to reduce inflammation, which tends to bog down the lymphatic system. So, that is a secondary byproduct of supporting the lymphatic system. So, we lower our inflammatory factors by enhancing healthy fats in your daily intake.
7. Nettle Tea
Now, another tea that I love to recommend is nettle. Nettle is a lesser-known tea that’s fantastic for the lymphatic system, but it is so powerful at moving fluid. It really gets the kidneys and the bladder engaged. And a lot of folks do notice slight reduction in fluid retention. It’s not as powerful, I will say, as ginger and turmeric. Those are my number ones. But nettle is highly effective at just overall supporting your lymphatics.
8. Fermented Foods: Prebiotics and Probiotics
And then last and final, reach for fermented food. So, you want to reach for kimchi and your kefir and beet kvass, miso – all of the fermented foods that are going to be prebiotic and probiotic dense. That really helps support the digestive process. And the more we can support our digestive process, because the bulk of our lymphatic structure is in the gut, then it really helps to support that whole gut process and lymphatic flow.
So, those are my food tips today, and I know these will be really helpful, and I look forward to hearing which ones you try, and which ones you find the most effective for your own body.