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18 Best Foods For Lymphatic System (Improve Drainage)

Eating these best foods for lymphatic system health can improve the way your body processes toxins and waste products. Increasing lymph flow and stimulating your lymph nodes will help your immune system and can improve health conditions.

best foods for lymphatic system

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Helping your lymphatic system drain better means less congestion and back up of toxins. There is not necessarily just one best way to get the lymph flowing, but instead there are many techniques and practices that work together to increase lymph drainage.

If lymph gets backed up, an array of symptoms can occur and there is more likliness for disease to show itself and a greater risk of lymphedema. Eating the right foods is one of the effective ways to rid the body of toxins through better lymph flow.

The Importance of the lymphatic system

The lymphatic system is part of the immune system. One area the immune cells are located in is the lymph. The lymphatic system also helps the circulatory system when working properly.

The waste retained in the body's tissues are removed from the lymphatic system. These unwanted chemicals, toxic matter, and excess fluid are transferred via lymph into the blood stream to be exited from the body.

A healthy lymphatic system removes this waste promptly and effectively. Additionally, when lymph is backed up, lymph nodes are not working properly, lymph vessels are congested, or lymph fluid is not properly hydrated, immune function may be lowered.

Job of Lymphatic System

There are three primary functions of the lymphatic system: first is the maintenance of fluid balance, second is the facilitation of the absorption of dietary fats from the gastrointestinal tract to the bloodstream for metabolism or storage, and third is the enhancement and facilitation of the immune system.

your lymph system Includes:

  • Lymphatic Vessels

According to this journal article, the job of the lymphatic vessels are as follows:

Lymphatic vesels have the uniques task to regulate fluid homeostasis, assist in immune surveillance, and transport dietary lipids.
  • Lymph Nodes

Lymph nodes have the job of trapping and killing harmful materials and returning it to the circulatory system. They also contain special white blood cells called lymphocytes that kill bacteria for a healthy immune system.

lymph node inflammation
  • Lymph Fluid

The lymph fluid takes the killed off viruses, bacteria, and effected cell waste into the blood stream to be filtered out of the body though the kidneys and the liver.

 20 Foods That Help The Lymphatic System


Cranberries are an excellent food choice concerning lymphatic health. This fruit breaks down fats. Fats and fatty acids are found in lymph due to them being absorped by the lymphatic system. The emulsifying of fat allows lymph nodes as well as blood vessels to be less congested.

Additionally, cranberries are great for inflammation in the body. They also help to reduce oxidative stress. This is because of their high phenol content which is a type of antioxidant.

Other Berries (Raspberries and Blueberries)

These berries are also high in antioxidants and play a vital role in keeping inflammation down in the body. They are easy to insert into you diet. The berries are also high in vitamin C content. This means they may help in the production of lymphocytes to fight bacteria and diseases.


According to Ayurvedic tradition, pomegranates are one of the foods consumed to help maintain healthy lymph flow. The pith of the pomegranate peel can be dried and consumed. This part of the fruit contains vauable nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, polyphenols which assist in better lymphatic flow.

Tumeric has gained attention for its compound curcumin. This ingredient has been shown to positively effect the immune system and overall health. Studies have also shown curcumin to aid certain cancer treatments, specifically that of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. 

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma is a type of cancer associated with the lymphatic system. These studies have shown a reduction in cancer cells and management of symptoms.

Curcumin is found in turmeric and is known for its antioxidant and strong anti-infammatory properties. Turmeric is something we take on a regular basis and swear by.


Another high quality food that is known for its anti-inflammatory properties is garlic. This food is great for cleansing the lymphatic system as well as strengthening it. Garlic helps fight infections which decreases congestion in the lymph nodes and helps with decrease swelling in the lymph nodes.


Cherries are another one of those red foods that the lymph system is happy to have the help of. This is due to cherries antioxidant qualities. Additionally, cherries are a good source of vitamin C which helps aid the immune system, therefore, benefiting lymph drainage.

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are another great food choice when it comes to maintaining a healthy lymphatic system. However, use caution in your green choices. Spinach tends to be a go to for many, and this green can actually become problematic for some peope due to underlying conditions.

If this is the case, then the lymph nodes can actually become alarmed causing lymph node inflammation. I speak from experience with this. 

However, the nutritional and health benefits to leaf green foods cannot be denied, including the ones in spinach. The chlorophyll contained in these foods help with the removal of toxins and the flushing of the lymph nodes and lymph vessels.


Drinking some lemon water in the morning is a great way to activate your detoxification pathways and it balances the the acid levels in your body. The vitamin C found in lemons also helps your immune system. All of these things aid in getting a sluggish lymphatic system to work properly. 

Another lymph-friendly food is beetroot. It contains the pigments called betalains. These pigments exhibit excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which are both important for a healthy working lymphatic system.

Additional antioxidants of beetroot such as rutin and caffeic acid have been found to be highly absobant, therefore increasing the antioxidant properties of beetroot even more. This helps with the filtering process of toxins by the lymph system.

Majistha (Red Root) and Other herbs

Majistha, also known as the herb red root,  provides the body with the valuable antioxidant glutathione. Glutathione is important in toxin removal and promotes proper working of lymphatic drainage.

Using specific herbs is another great way to get lymphatic fluid moving. The post below gives a thorough list of the top herbs to increase lymphatic drainage and help a sluggish lymphatic system.

herbs for lymphatic drainage

Seeds (Flax seeds, Chia seeds, Hemp seed, and Pumpkin seeds)

Seeds such as flax, chia, hemp and pumpkin are highly valued when it comes to providing nutrients that are beneficial to lymph health. 

These seeds are a good souce of soluble fiber and a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. These elements are good for both helping waste to move throughout the body including in the lymphatic system. They also help keep inflammation down. 

Seeweed and Spirulina

Seeweed and Spirulina both help with the stimulation of lymph drainage and lymph node function. They are both high is chlorophyll and promote the cleansing of toxins from the body.

Seeweed is also used as a way to stimulate and rejuvenate lymph movement and better circulation throughout the body. This can be used in the form of a bath as well. Here is a trustworthy seeweed detox bath product you can try. 

Watermelon (Melons)

Melons are hydrating fruits which add to flushing out the lymphatic system by keeping it well-hydrated. In addition to this, they also contain nutrients which assist lymph drainage and upkeep.

Watermelon specifically helps the lymphocytes (white blood cells) of the lymphatic system work better with appropriate levels of glutathione. This antioxidant is found in watermelon.

What Other Things should I be doing for my lymph system?

Your lymph gets a boost by incorporating other activities into your weekly routine. Some of these things include dry brushing, deep breathing, regular exercise, rebounding, sauna usage, and more. This post goes over the best activities to do more in-depth. 


  1. https://bodyballancer.co.uk/lymph-lovin-foods-cranberries/
  2. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2022.887113/full
  3. https://schoolofba.com/detox-your-lymphatic-system/
  4. Clifford T, Howatson G, West DJ, Stevenson EJ. The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease. Nutrients. 2015 Apr 14;7(4):2801-22. doi: 10.3390/nu7042801. PMID: 25875121; PMCID: PMC4425174.
  5. https://www.mdpi.com/2227-9032/11/3/395
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557833/

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