Supporting Your Lymphatic System
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Three Ways to Support Your Lymphatic System

Tips on taking care of lymphatic system and its role in “detoxing” your body.

By Karen Truhe, M.P.H.

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The lymphatic system is part of your body’s immune system that is responsible for helping remove waste from your cells.

You may find some supplements claims that read they can “cleanse” your lymphatic system, but there’s no science to support these claims.

The lymphatic system does play a role in “cleansing,” though it works together with your liver, kidneys and other organs to remove and detoxify your body. A few simple guidelines can ensure your lymphatic system stays strong and healthy.


Lymph is made up of mostly water, so the best thing you can do to support your lymphatic system health is to stay well hydrated. The National Academy of Medicine recommends a total water intake (from all foods and beverages) of 91 ounces per day for women and 125 ounces for men.


Exercise is another key lifestyle factor that can benefit the lymphatic system, as muscle movement helps remove waste from the body. Any type of exercise will help. Practices such as Tai Chi that employ deep breathing are popular for patients who suffer from lymphedema—a swelling in an arm or leg most often from a blockage in the lymphatic system—and they have the added benefit of reducing stress and promoting relaxation.


A healthy diet is also necessary to support the lymphatic system. As the lymphatic system works in concert with the liver to clear the body of waste products and toxins, certain foods can be beneficial. Brussels sprouts and other vegetables in the Brassica group, as well as beets and garlic, are all known to contain nutrients that can help rid the body of toxins. Watermelon works as a natural diuretic, ridding your body of excess sodium. It also consists of 92 percent water, which can help with your daily hydration goal. 

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