Your lymphatic system is very important and yet it is often forgotten. Did you know that your lymphatic system works closely with your fat cells and can therefore help with weight loss? A not optimally flowing lymphatic system can cause early obesity. So it’s important to keep your lymphatic system friendly! How? Lymphatic system expert Gerald Lemole explains two eating habits that can help you with this.
A good lymph flow ensures the removal of toxins.
Malfunctioning lymph and obesity
There is a link between poorly functioning lymphatic vessels and the onset of obesity.
In a 2008 article in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Dr NL Harvey from Australia wrote that the lymphatic vessels, which work together with the fat absorption of our body, are close to the adipose tissue. Therefore, they regulate the movement of certain immune cells that need fat to fight infection. Harvey also showed evidence linking poorly functioning lymphatic vessels to the onset of obesity.
It is especially important to realize that lymphatic vessels and fat are very closely related. This is because all the fats that are absorbed by the digestive system, plus those made in the body itself, are transported through the lymphatic channels to be processed by the liver, or sent as messengers to various organs.
Leaking lymph due to being overweight
If someone is overweight (and develops the set of symptoms that make up metabolic syndrome, such as high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar), the fats from the lymphatic tissues can leak into the adipose tissue around it. Over time, this slows down the amount of lymph flow from the gut to the liver – leading to serious problems transporting important proteins, hormones, immune cells and other molecules that send signals in the body. That, in turn, creates a vicious cycle of health problems where fat damages lymph flow and the restricted lymph flow can contribute to fat gain and related health problems.
Support your lymph and weight loss with these two eating habits
Most of the tips and strategies recommended in Lymph for a Healthy Lymphatic System also have a positive effect on weight management. Of course, exercise plays a role in burning energy, but your eating habits mainly determine whether you can control your weight. These are two other important rules you can implement in your eating habits to support your lymph.
1. Eat mostly unprocessed food, no processed food.
The most important thing you can do to control your weight is to focus on whole foods. That means food in its natural state, for example fish, beans and vegetables. So no products that have an expiration date until 2043.
There are two reasons for this: Whole foods are full of micronutrients that improve important systems, reduce inflammation and fight disease. If you eat it in a balanced way (and in normal amounts), unprocessed food works to your benefit – and that of all your body systems – by providing you with fuel. When you eat processed foods, you not only deprive yourself of the opportunity to ingest all kinds of vitamins, minerals and other substances, but you flood your system with toxic ingredients that cause your system to function chaotically. If there’s one mantra to follow, it’s this: unprocessed foods, no processed foods .
2. Try fasting.
‘Intermittent fasting’ is defined in medicine as drinking only water for 16 hours, combined with normal eating for eight hours (or other schedules, eg eighteen and six, twenty and four, twenty-two and two, and so on). For example, you might not eat anything after 8 p.m., skip breakfast the next day, and eat lunch and dinner afterwards.
Research in animals and humans has shown that this has benefits. It’s like stopping guests at the front door so your body has the time and energy to clean things up.
When we eat, the blood and lymph flow in the intestines greatly increases; less goes to other organs such as the heart. Fasting prevents this; your white cells are increasingly available to prevent and heal damage. Try doing it once or twice a week to lower your risk of heart disease, improve your insulin response, lower your weight and belly fat, as well as your LDL cholesterol and blood pressure.
An added benefit: food tastes even better after fasting. Another benefit of fasting is that it increases the production of ‘satiety hormones’ (which make us feel full). Thus, the appetite is reduced after a while after any type of fasting, resulting in a lower calorie intake over time. Many people interpret the effect of the fast as ‘my stomach has shrunk’ because they feel full after eating smaller amounts of food than usual.
Some people fast for an entire day every week or two weeks; others fast for several consecutive hours within twenty-four hours. Fasting for 12 hours between dinner and breakfast can be effective. Fasting for eight hours is less effective, but still recommended.