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The Lymphatic System: All You Need to Know

The digestive system is all the rage these days, but what about the lymphatic system? What is it, and why do we care? Although often overlooked, healthy lymph flow is incredibly important. The lymphatic system is integrated with both the immune and circulatory systems, and it has some pretty vital functions. It keeps blood and fluid levels in balance while working with the immune system to fight infection and flushing toxins and excess fluids out of the body. This detox process is becoming more important than ever in our increasingly industrialized world. 🌆🚕🚂

Ready for the good news? Keeping the lymphatic system healthy doesn’t require any elaborate practices or pricey products. It’s actually pretty simple, and you’re likely already doing some of these lymph-friendly activities. Here’s the skinny on making friends with your personal detox assistant:

1. Exercise.

We’ve found yet another reason that it’s good to stay moving. Muscle contraction induced by exercise is one of the best ways to stimulate blood flow. This can be either cardio or strength training, but it’s probably best to strike a nice balance between both of the two. Stretching is also a great circulation-booster – when in doubt, stretch it out!

2. Eat healthy.

Foods high in antioxidants and other phytonutrients (like fruits, veggies, and whole grains) are a wonderful way to support natural detox. Focusing on gut health and cutting down on refined grains and sugar will keep inflammation at bay, so the lymphatic system will have a lighter workload and be able to perform better.

3. Get a massage, and end showers with cold water.

Massages feel great because they break up the tension caused by inflamed areas where toxins have accumulated. Pressure on these “trigger points” will help break up surface tension and get everything moving along. When you hear about the detox benefits of a massage, the lymphatic system plays a major role in the process. And since we don’t all have the time to get massages regularly, here’s a more quick fix: end your hot showers with a blast of cold water. Often referred to as “hydrotherapy,” alternating hot and cold water on the skin helps to stimulate the lymphatic system.

So there we have it. Next time you eat a healthy meal, go for a nice long walk or get some good stretching in, just smile and remember how much you’re helping your body to stay in balance!