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9 Worst Foods For Lymphatic System Drainage

13th May 2022
worst foods for lymphatic system

The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in your bodily functions and the well-being of your organism. The system collects excess fluid and drains it from cells and tissue helping your body detoxify. It also transports fat and protein from your digestive tract to your bloodstream, waste products and toxins out of your body. As a part of the immune system, the lymphatic system helps you fight foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses.

When the lymphatic system functions poorly it causes the tissues to swell with fluids which are called lymphedema. The health condition often results in swollen legs and arms or other parts of the body. National Cancer Institute divides the illness types into two groups- hereditary, also known as primary lymphedema, or developed, which in this case is called secondary lymphedema. This condition is chronic and cannot be treated but controlled and limited when it comes to its progression.

Worsening of lymphatic functions may be caused by certain diseases like cancer and the symptoms may worsen when you consume foods that flare up your condition. Certain types of food clog your lymphatic system and are the worst foods for lymphatic system health and flare up the condition. You can improve your health by avoiding some of them. When it comes to lymphatic drainage and swollen nodes you should be avoiding:

1. Processed Foods

According to Harvard Health Publishing, processed foods can hinder immune and lymphatic system functions thus leading to health problems. Some of the processed foods are high in added sugars like packaged baked goods, granola, breakfast cereals, and condiments like ketchup, BBQ sauce, or marinara sauce. Chips and processed meats like bacon, sausage, or hotdogs are considered the worst foods for the lymphatic system as well.

2. Red Meat

Indulging in a diet rich in red meats, processed food, and not enough fruit and vegetables in combination with them will disrupt your microbiome thus leading to decreased immunity and high risks of inflammation. Beef, veal, pork, and lamb fall into this category and cause lymphatic problems, according to

3. Caffeine & Alcohol

Coffee and caffeinated drinks can be consumed in moderate amounts but having an excessive number of them can dehydrate your body thus causing your lymphatic system to clog with toxins and your body to swell. If you cannot quit caffeine, keep in mind you can have it in the recommended amount of 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. This equals approximately 4 cups.

Diuretic dietary supplements or medications might help with certain amounts of fluid drainage but do not help with lymphedema.

Alcohol and caffeine-rich drinks help you get rid of fluids in your body but, at the same time, make the lymphatic tissue diаlate and cause more swelling which worsens your condition.

4. Excessive amounts of salt

Salt in excessive amounts is part of the worst foods for lymphatic system drainage. Reducing your salt intake is crucial as salt promotes fluid retention. Even though it is not categorically proven to be a cause of worsening lymphedema it may cause problems in people who are sensitive to salt and exacerbate their symptoms even more as they consume high-sodium foods. Instead of cutting salt completely off your dietary regimen, you could try to consume no more than the recommended 2300 mg daily and less than 1500 for people who have cardiac disease, kidney problems, or diabetes.

5. Toxic transfat

Some experts claim the main cause of inflammation are artificial trans-unsaturated fatty acids, also known as trans fats. They are synthetic, also known as partially hydrogenated fats which remain solid at room temperature and are very unlikely to spoil. This group of synthetic long-chain fats is the most common one of this type which can be part of inflammatory foods.

When broken down into chyle (milky-like liquid) which contains endotoxins. It enters the small intestine and later on the bloodstream with the help of the lymphatic system. Fats are digested and absorbed gradually which lets them raise endotoxin levels in the blood for several hours. For this and other reasons trans fats have been blamed for said to be highly inflammatory which means that patients who suffer from lymphedema should avoid them at any cost.

6. Sugars

Excessive amounts of sugar cause insulin resistance which allows glucose levels to remain high for long periods. Thus sugars contribute to tissue damage in the lymphatic system because of the rapid increase in glucose levels.

High glucose levels cause the formation of glycation end products (AGE) which are pro-inflammatory pathogens and cause damage to skin tissues. AGE-s also trigger damage in the nerves, blood vessels, retinopathy, or other diabetic complications.

7. Insufficient amount of fluids

We’re not talking about soft drinks, alcohol or caffeine but water. Does drinking water help with lymphedema? Yes, it does sufficiently improve your condition. A problem with fluid retention occurs when your body lacks water which makes it retain as many liquids as possible to maintain a better fluid and chemical balance. For this reason, drinking a lot of water is essential to maintaining good health. However, some sources of information claim you should be careful not to drink too much bc swelling might become worse.

8. Low-protein diet

In the case of lymphedema low protein foods might be harmful and among the worst foods for lymphatic system health. They contain essential amino acids which are required by the human body and their low levels may lead to malnutrition and muscle wasting.

9. Others that are considered the worst foods for lymphatic system are:

  • Conventionally raised meat
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Conventional dairy
  • Soy

What foods trigger lymphedema?

Certain foods might flare up your lymphedema symptoms because of the way they are processed- the additives and high amounts of salt and fructose. Those ingredients may cause your condition to flare up and are included in foods like – salty processed meat, dairy products, soy-based products, meat from conventionally raised animals, and modified fats.

What can damage the lymphatic system?

As we already mentioned above there are two types of lymphedema- primary and secondary with the primary being the one that is less common compared to type 2. Primary lymphedema is hereditary which means that somebody along the family line passes the condition to you.

Secondary lymphedema is a lot more common in cancer patients, especially those who suffer from breast cancer and have undergone mastectomy. When lymph nodes under the armpits are cut out along with cancerous tissue patients are very likely to start suffering from lymphedema. Because the lymph nodes are not there to drain excess fluid from this body area, they will retain it causing swelling.

Cancer and radiation therapy are often the cause of the development of lymphedema bc tumours and scar tissue from radiation treatment and surgical interventions can cause damage or injury to the lymphatic system.

When treating cancers in the head or neck areas there is a fair chance for swelling of the face, eyes, neck, or lips to occur.

How can I cleanse my lymphatic system naturally?

Changing your habits will have a positive effect on your lymphatic system health. Using natural methods such as different food, drink swabs, and

1. Eating Plenty Of Raw Fruits And Vegetables

Eating the rainbow will help your body get the necessary vitamins, fibre, and minerals as well as water which will help you maintain a good fluid level in your body. This in its turn will help the lymphatic system get rid of all toxins, bacteria, and all other types of waste and prevent tissue dilation and swelling.

2. Wear Loose Clothes

Clothes that are too tight, especially in the groin area might cut off natural lymph flow. This will prevent the lymphatic system from detoxifying the body, especially “At night between 10 pm and 2 am is when the body naturally goes through a major detoxification process, so make sure you’re allowing the lymphatic fluid the most freedom to move,” experts say.

3. Get Moving!

Physical movement increases pressure in lymphatic vessels which manually helps fluid move all along the body. You can try walking, yoga, biking, tai chi or similar are among the popular recommendations.

“If you’re walking, try moving your arms up and over your head and out to the sides,” specialists recommend. “Even if you’re at your desk, do some squats and move your arms up and down to get the flow going.”

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