Strengthening your lymphatic system is paramount to protect you from infections and improve your overall quality of life. The lymphatic system includes the bone marrow, spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, tonsils, and the lymphatic tissue of the intestine. The hormonal and nervous systems are also involved in the immune defense.
The lymphatic system is, therefore, a complex structure composed of different organs, cell types, and molecules. It is also quite sensitive and consequently susceptible to stress, mental tension, unbalanced nutrition, and hormonal fluctuations.
Simple activities such as breathing correctly or increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables can be very beneficial in stimulating our lymphatic system and promoting the purification of toxins.
Most of us are not even aware of what exactly this system is or how it works. Today, we explain how your lymphatic system works and how you can strengthen it.
Read on to find out.
Lymphatic system: what is it, and what is it for?
The lymphatic system is a complex structure that cleans our body to free it from microorganisms and toxins that can make it sick.
Lymphatic nodes, glands, lymphatic vessels, and other organs make up this system. Its functioning creates a protective barrier against the adverse effects of infections.
In fact, a well-functioning lymphatic system is a key to producing white blood cells, an essential component of the body's immune defenses.
It is also involved in filtering the liquid waste present in the cells and then promoting their elimination through the excretory functions of some organs.
The problem arises when it is chronically overloaded, causing an excessive accumulation of toxins by preventing it from functioning optimally. As a result, the body's inflammatory processes are altered, so problems such as arthritis, cellulite, and weight gain appear.
Fortunately, there are healthy habits that, when practiced regularly, support the purification of the lymph system, making it work smoothly.
We will share some insightful tips to help achieve an adequately functioning lymphatic system so you can start incorporating them into your daily routine.
1. Follow a healthy diet
80% of the immune system is in the gut, so when it is healthy, we are likely able to promptly fight off infections. On the other hand, when it is not, our immune system is weaker and more susceptible to becoming infected.
That is why it is crucial to maintain a healthy diet in order to strengthen the immune system.
It's all about eating right, which means emphasizing eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy products. This also means limiting saturated fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.
Eating well provides multiple nutrients that support optimal immune function. Although, it is essential to keep in mind that too many fat-soluble vitamins and minerals may be harmful.
2. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is essential for the optimal functioning of our body, water transports vital nutrients to the cells to strengthen our immune system, helps eliminate toxic substances from our body, and participates in food's digestion, absorption, and metabolism.
The human body is composed of 60% water, our brain 70%, and blood 80%, forming part of the liquid inside and outside our cells, (intra and extracellular fluid).
It is for this reason that when you do not consume enough water, thirst is the first sign of dehydration, then headaches, fatigue, and lack of energy will soon follow.
3. Get enough sleep
Sleep and immunity are closely related; in fact, not getting enough sleep or having poor quality sleep is linked to increased disease susceptibility. In a study of 164 healthy adults, those who slept less than 6 hours each night were more likely to catch colds than those who slept 6 hours or more.
Getting a good night's rest can strengthen your natural immunity. In addition, you should get more sleep when you are sick to allow your immune system to better fight off the illness.
Adults should try to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, while adolescents need 8 to 10 hours. Younger children and infants need up to 14 hours.
4. Do moderate exercise
Physical exercise has interesting benefits on circulatory and lymphatic health. Its practice promotes the expulsion of wastes present in the blood, thus optimizing the functioning of the lymphatic system.
Cardiovascular activity, stretching exercises, and some physical resistance exercises have interesting benefits for this complex structure.
While prolonged intense exercise can suppress your immune system, moderate exercise can strengthen it. In addition, regular, moderate exercise can reduce inflammation and help immune cells regenerate regularly.
Examples of moderate exercise include brisk walking, cycling, jogging, swimming, and light hiking. Most people should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
5. Manage your stress levels
Relieving stress and anxiety is key to immune health. Prolonged stress promotes inflammation, as well as imbalances in immune cell function.
Medical studies show that: Chronic stress disrupts the immune system. The number of defense cells decreases under stress and immune reactions are much slower. Stress hormones are released that suppress the body's immune response.
Activities that can help you manage stress include meditation, exercise, journaling, yoga, and other mindfulness practices. You may also benefit from seeing a counselor or therapist virtually or in person.
6. Get a lymphatic massage
This is a massage therapy whose purpose is to improve the flow of lymph through the body and to facilitate the expulsion of retained wastes from both the skin and internal organs.
These massages should be performed delicately since excessive pressure prevents the stimulation of the system. The recommended approach is to seek the help of a professional since they also use products that act as complements and stimulants.
Remember that you can start by making several changes in your lifestyle and diet to strengthen your immune system, these include reducing your sugar intake, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, sleeping well, and controlling your stress levels.
Immunity is your body's defense against foreign organisms. Taking care of your health will help your immune system take care of you.
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