While most people know about the immune system and its importance, they overlook the lymphatic system. The two systems go hand in hand. The lymphatic system is just as important as your immune system.
What Is the Lymphatic System?
The lymphatic system comprises lymph, lymph vessels, lymphocytes, and lymph nodes. Lymph is a fluid that contains white blood cells or lymphocytes. It is a water-based liquid that also contains proteins, lipids, pathogens, minerals, and waste. Your lymph vessels carry this liquid through your body.
Lymph nodes are small organs whose primary job is to filter the lymph fluid. Your lymph nodes are mostly around the upper part of your body, like your neck and underarms.
As the lymph fluid moves through your body, some of it will leak into the surrounding tissue. The lymphatic system will inform your immune system if the fluid is dangerous or not. And then, it filters out the protein and nutrients your body needs and discards the waste.
What Is the Purpose of the Lymphatic System?
The lymphatic system has many jobs, but its fundamental purpose is to keep your body healthy. It informs your immune system when harmful bacteria or pathogens have entered your body. This alert notifies your immune system that it needs to send white blood cells to fight the bacteria.
In congruence with communicating with your immune system, it also:
- Keeps Fluid Levels Balanced
- Moves Fluid Through Your Body
- Helps Your Body Identify Cancer
- Produces White Blood Cells
- Removes Abnormal Cells From Body
What Can You Do to Improve the Lymphatic System?
If you have noticed swelling, especially around your legs or ankles, your lymphatic system may not be working properly. There could be a few reasons for that. If you eat a lot of processed foods or live a sedentary lifestyle, your lymphatic system may have a blockage or is sluggish. But there are ways to combat that.
- Exercise- the lymphatic system needs stimulation to function properly. Simple exercises like walking, jogging, or gardening can help get it pumping again. Movement and muscle contraction are key.
- Diet- eating a diet high in processed foods and sugar can slow down the lymphatic system. Instead, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and lean protein.
- Massages- Getting a message from a licensed massage therapist can help remove any blockages in your system. A licensed massage therapist will know how to perform a lymphatic massage to remove blockages and ease swelling.
These days, people are more focused than ever on staying healthy and protecting their immune systems. And while this is a good thing, don’t forget about your lymphatic system.