Most people are pretty well aware of what their cardiovascular system is for, and what their digestive and respiratory systems do.
But what if I asked you what your lymphatic system does?
<Insert sounds of crickets chirping.>
Truth is, most people are clueless about their lymphatic system! But trust me, if yours isn’t working right, it’s only a matter of time before you get seriously sick.
Your internal janitorial crew
Your lymphatic system works alongside your circulatory system to clean your cells, but its “cleaning fluid” is lymph—not blood.
Lymph is a milky liquid made up of white blood cells, nutrients and chyle (a fluid created in your intestines when you digest fats).
Here’s how your “janitorial crew” carries out its job:
After you eat, chyle and nutrients are absorbed into your bloodstream. Your blood moves throughout your body, eventually making its way to your tiny capillaries.
Then lymph trickles out of your bloodstream through the ends of your capillaries. From there it gets to work bathing your cells, delivering nutrients and mopping up wastes.
When it’s done it makes its way to your lymphatic vessels.
Then your lymph vessels start pumping this “dirty mop water” away from your cells. Most people don’t realize this, but you have just as many lymph vessels and capillaries as you have blood vessels and capillaries!
The dirty mop water eventually reaches one of your lymph nodes (located in the head, neck, armpits and groin). The lymph node filters out the wastes (plus viruses, bacteria or even cancer cells that might have been picked up along the way) and destroys them.
(Note that when there are a lot of toxins in your lymph, sometimes the lymph nodes get overwhelmed and swell up, especially in your neck. That’s when people say they have “swollen glands” but they’re really swollen lymph nodes.)
Once the filtering is done, then the clean lymph goes back into your bloodstream to start its work all over again.
But what if something goes wrong?
If this “sanitation cycle” isn’t working right, you are susceptible to several health problems including:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Low energy
- Repeated viruses or infections
- Fluid swelling in your limbs or other areas of the body (edema)
Lymph’s other partnership—your immune system!
Your lymphatic system also works in partnership with your immune system, and the main players here are your bone marrow, thymus gland and spleen.
Your bone marrow is where most of your immune cells are produced from specialized cells called stem cells.
Once the immune cells are produced, they travel to your thymus gland. There they mature and are assigned a specific role to protect you. Then they answer their “call of duty” and migrate to the area of your body that they’re guarding.
The thymus also produces hormones which help to trigger immune responses when you need them, such as when you ingest a dangerous virus or get bitten by a bug.
Your spleen also produces immune cells. In addition, it filters and cleanses your blood and it acts as a storage site for extra blood which may be needed if you ever lose a significant amount all at once (such as with a serious injury).
So without these players working like they should, you run the risk of having weak immune functioning and bleeding to death, and are more susceptible to viruses, infections and diseases of all kinds.
Take care of YOUR precious lymphatic system!
Here are ways to make sure your lymphatic system is working in tip-top shape to cleanse and protect you:
Get regular exercise
Unlike your circulatory system which has your heart to pump blood through your body, your lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump to move lymph around.
So, YOU have be the pump—by engaging in regular exercise! Especially helpful are up-and-down movements like jumping rope and using a rebounder.
No more excuses. Pick an activity, get your doc’s OK and GET MOVING.
Drink enough water
Water is essential for having proper blood levels and to flush wastes out of your cells. Eight 8-oz. glasses a day should be your minimum.
Stop creating the garbage
A great way to help your lymphatic system in its role of cleaning your body is to create less garbage to begin with!
That means ditching the processed foods and fast foods and instead having a diet of real foods—fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy and healthy fats.
Plus having good digestion helps more wastes and toxins to be eliminated in the digestive process (i.e. when Nature calls), so they never even reach your cells and stress your lymphatic system to begin with!
The Great Taste No Pain health system can help you achieve this important goal.
Great Taste No Pain teaches you the few simple principles of food combining--pairing foods together to help encourage smooth digestion and improved nutrient absorption.
Not only can this help encourage more regular bowel movements, but it can also help curb other digestive problems like acid reflux, gas and bloating.
Give those immune cells a good home
Although your bone marrow and spleen produce most of your immune cells, the majority of those cells (about 70 percent) take up residence in your gut.
So, it’s crucial to make sure that you provide a healthy intestinal environment to house these life-saving protectors—and the key to that is a real foods diet and supplementation with a full-spectrum probiotic formula like Super Shield.
Super Shield’s carefully selected blend of 13 robust probiotic strains take their place along your gut wall, helping to keep it strong and support sound immune function.
Practice deep breathing
Proper movement of air through your lungs also helps pump fluid through the lymphatic system:
1- Get comfortable in a sitting or lying position and put your hands on your chest and stomach.
2- Focus on breathing from your abdomen instead of your chest.
3- Breathe in through your nose, hold the breath for a few seconds and then exhale through your mouth. The time it takes to exhale should be about twice what it is to inhale.
4- Try to do four 8-breath cycles one to three times every day.
Consider possible iodine deficiency
Most people associate iodine deficiency with thyroid goiter, but it can also cause congestion of the lymphatic system.
If you suspect you may be deficient, ask your doctor to do a test.
And if you want some (non-salt) dietary sources of iodine, fish and shellfish are your best bets.
Congratulations! You are now an expert in your lymphatic system and have a new appreciation for how it is keeping you healthy and alive!
To your health,