It's not made up of a single organ or gland, and you can't see it on an X-ray, but your lymphatic system is crucial to your overall health. In addition to transporting white blood cells to infection sites, the lymph system helps the intestines digest dietary fats, and it minimizes swelling by routing excess fluids from tissues back to the heart. Here's how to keep your lymphs lively.
Eat 35 grams of fiber each day, including at least 1/2 cup of cooked pinto beans, lentils, or legumes. "Fiber latches onto toxins, excess hormones, fats, and other substances that need to be flushed out of the body," says Ami Karnosh, MS, CN, a Seattle-based nutritionist.
Get a lymphatic facial, which involves a press-and-roll massage. Helping drain fluids from the face will make fine lines less apparent, calm puffy eyes, reduce acne, and relieve sinus pressure.
Drink tea. The calcium and folic acid in stinging nettle or cleaver tea promotes lymphatic flow to reduce swelling and redness in areas near lymph nodes.