Trying to steer clear of cold and flu viruses and other infections? Let’s talk about detox; one of the most important — yet often overlooked — aspects of supporting our immune health.
Why should we care about detox? Regular detoxification is critical to vibrant health, as it supports optimal function of every single organ in our bodies — especially the immune system.
Without proper purification, the entire body becomes “clogged” with toxins and other poisons that contribute to heavy metal toxicity, chronic fatigue syndrome, neurodegenerative disease and leave our systems weakened and more prone to sickness and infection.
No one is immune from this
If you think you’re safe simply because you don’t spend your days in a waste dump — think again. We are all exposed to approximately 80,000 serious toxins throughout the course of our everyday lives. Just as the hectic pace of modern life has created more stress than the body and mind can handle, the toxins in modern life overwhelm a body that was designed for a purer world. If your lifestyle includes risk factors like daily alcohol consumption, aluminum cookware or radon exposure because you blasted into rock to build your home, your exposure levels could be much higher, leaving your health compromised.
The system we don’t think about
We tend to over-rely on the natural function of certain vital organs — like the kidneys and liver — to act as cleansing agents that will purify the blood as it circulates throughout the body.
We tend to think about supporting these detox pathways through diet and lifestyle. But while such changes are helpful, the secret to a robust immune system — and lasting health — lies in the lymphatic system.
How the lymphatic system supports immune function
The lymph system is one of the most sophisticated organs of the body. Comprised of a vast network of lymph nodes, tissue and organs, it produces and carries immune cells to fight infections, cancer and other diseases throughout the body.
The cells of the lymph system circulate everywhere — even in the brain — to remove metabolic and other waste from each and every cell. They also are deeply integrated into our digestive functions, especially the liver and intestines.
While the primary circulatory system — your bloodstream — is powered by the heart, the lymphatic circulatory system is mostly powered by nothing more than movement.
When the lymph system is overwhelmed or impaired, detox and elimination are impaired too. This creates symptoms of its own — think brain fog, stiffness and cellulite — as well as vulnerability to infection and disease.
4 easy ways to support your lymph
Follow these 4 easy steps for a healthy and happy lymph system that will help you detox and strengthen your immunity:
1. Toss the toxins: Whenever possible, eat an organic and anti-inflammatory diet filled with enzymes and bioflavonoids from fruits and veggies. Avoid highly processed foods and artificial ingredients or dyes (especially sugar!)
2. Convert from conventional: Swap out your traditional cleaning products for green alternatives to household items like air fresheners, personal care products, cosmetics, laundry detergents, etc.
3. Live and let lymph: Breathwork, laughter, meditation, dry brushing and lymphatic massage are just a few super accessible ways to stimulate circulation.
4. Sweat it out!: Whether you prefer a sauna or spin class, a serious sweat session will help your body expel the toxins clogging your system.
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