The lymphatic system is tied to the circulatory system, but, despite this relation, it is too often ignored or forgotten. We remember it only when problems with our lymph nodes arise, usually during some type of infection. We need to be more familiar with this vital system.

The lymphatic system is a part of weight control, the immune system, the cleansing of blood, and the detoxification of our bodies. A huge network of lymphatic vessels recycle blood plasma by removing fluid from the tissues, filtering it, and carrying it back into the blood stream. Lymphoid tissue is also a part of digestion, absorbing fats from the intestines and transporting it to the blood. It also carries white blood cells throughout our bodies to remove foreign waste and dangerous microorganisms.

Lymph Capliaries in the Tissue SpacesSo, the lymphatic system is responsible for the removal of waste, toxins, and harmful material/organisms from the tissues, including excess fat. This has a large impact on fat accumulation and cellulite. The problem is twofold. If excess fat is not removed, the body responds by storing more. If toxins are not removed, fat cells come to the rescue and encapsulate the offending matter, encouraging the storage of unnecessary fat in a form the body is then loath to use as it would free up toxins. Getting the lymphatic system healthy and functional can help it better remove the toxic sources of aches, pains, fatty deposits, and cellulite.

Start treating your lymphatic system better by avoiding toxins, chemicals, and foods that are hard to digest—that means processed foods that are steeped in pesticides, preservatives, and artificial ingredients. Then begin adding more of these foods to your life.


Maybe it isn’t a food, but it is vital to life. Drink plenty of clean, purified water. Water keeps the lymph fluid hydrated and flowing smoothly.


Cranberry is an excellent emulsifier of fat. It will help break down excess fat for the lymphatic vessels to carry away. Choose fresh cranberry fruits and juices, not the sweetened and pasteurized processed ones.

Leafy Greens

Chlorophyll, the green nutrient that captures sunlight, has powerful cleansing properties and beneficial effects on the blood and thus on lymph fluid as well. Look for dark greens for chlorophyll like kale, spinach, wheat grass, barley grass, turnip greens, dandelion leaves, broccoli, and mustard greens.

Nuts and Seeds

Essential fatty acids, the healthy fats found in seeds like chia, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, sacha inchi, coconut, and avocado, play a role in fighting inflammation. They also strengthen vascular tissue, help in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins and minerals, and aid in the removal of fat soluble wastes. Purslane, an herb, is another good source.

Adaptogenic Herbs

Goldenseal, Echinacea, and Astragalus are three herbs that help alleviate inflammation and congestion of the lymph nodes and vessels.


Garlic boosts immune function and combats harmful microbes. It improves circulation and aids in the cleansing of toxins.


Ginger has beneficial effects on digestion and circulation, two systems that are tied directly to the lymphatic system.


Turmeric is related to ginger. It helps reduce inflammation, thins blood, and improves circulation.


Sea vegetables help the body detox and eliminate excess fluid that can build up in tissues and slow the lymphatic system down.


Citrus fruits aid hydration, carry powerful antioxidants and enzymes, and help cleanse and protect the lymphatic system. They aren’t alone. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices of all sorts will deliver more hydration, enzymes, and antioxidants to the body.

Don’t rely on foods alone. Keep your lymphatic system healthy by breathing deeply. Breathing exercises create movement which moves lymph fluid more efficiently while resupplying oxygen and boosting circulation. Get a gentle massage to move stagnant fluid back into the lymph system, break up toxins, and boost your mood at the same time. Physical activity is important to lymphatic health too. This system doesn’t have a central organ like the heart to keep everything flowing. It relies on the movement of our body, breathing, and the contractions of all our muscles to move the lymph fluid along.

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