Our body constantly protects us from harmful bacteria, viruses, and other harmful organisms daily. The lymph nodes are the principal architect of that process. Not only the lymph nodes, but the entire lymphatic system is very important for the performance of the immune system. In the lymph nodes, lymphocytes fight off infections and toxins from the body. Lymphocytes are cells produced in the lymphatic system that are responsible for combating viruses and other contaminants that enter the body. For example, when an infected cut turns yellow, it contains dead cells that have been expelled by the lymph nodes.
Although lymph nodes exist around the body, they are only visible when they get enlarged and palpable. They are most noticeable behind the ear, around the neck, under the chin, around the groin, and under the armpits.
The lymph nodes house the white blood cells, which are used to dispatch any invading organisms in the body. They prevent such dead cells from re-entering into the blood and damaging healthy cells and organs in the body. They are the stop-gap for harmful substances that can infect body cells, examples of these harmful foreign substances are nicotine, industrial chemicals, agricultural chemicals, and preservatives. After combating these kinds of invaders, lymph nodes swell around the area where these infections may have initially occurred. These swollen areas can help point to the origin of an ailment; for instance, if you have strep throat, the lymph nodes underneath the neck become swollen to indicate a throat infection.
In like manner, the lymph nodes connected by lymph vessels can also remove waste from cells, organs, and tissues whilst helping to regulate the immune system. When there is an irregularity with the immune system, due to certain diseases or cancers, all the lymph nodes in the body can react by swelling up and working overtime to bring the body back to its normal state. The lymph nodes could be likened to soldiers because they serve as a collective defense system for the body.
One of the major threats to proper lymph node function is stagnant lymph flow along the vessels which might go on to cause the build-up of dead cells and toxins. This can reduce the efficiency of the immune system and cause numerous health problems. When this happens, it can accumulate and gather in a specific area of the body, resulting in swollen cells and tissues around that particular place, this is very harmful to the body.
Generally, during illnesses, doctors examine the body for swollen lymph nodes to better point out the areas of infection. The lymph nodes work alongside various ducts, adenoids, tonsils, bone marrow, and the spleen to keep the body healthy. If the lymph nodes become overwhelmed and cannot clear off the dead cells and toxins, they can flow back into the blood vessels and circulate through the body thereby leading to serious health issues.
The nodes make use of muscular contractions to carry the lymph through the vessels. One of the primary ways of stimulating stronger muscular contractions that facilitate better lymph flow is exercise. It is essential to keep the lymph vessels healthy and this can mostly be done by consuming foods for swollen lymph nodes. This is because the less the lymph nodes and tissue have to clean out toxic chemicals from the body, the less they will likely be overwhelmed with fats from foods we eat. Healthy lymph nodes mean that your body has more capacity to carry out the filtration and elimination of harmful substances. A proper diet and hydration supported with exercise can ensure the proper functioning of lymph nodes. Here are some of the best foods for swollen lymph nodes.
8 foods for swollen lymph nodes
1. Leafy greens
Different vegetables are packed with various enzymes and antioxidants that help the body combat and filter out the body's impurities with ease. Leafy green performs excellently in breaking down toxins; they possess chlorophyll, an essential detoxification agent that can aid the cleansing of blood vessels and lymph nodes. They facilitate lymph circulation which enables infections to be dealt with by the lymph nodes efficiently. A lot of these leafy greens also come packed with water content, so they also provide optimum hydration. Leafy greens also offer other health benefits such as cancer prevention, improvement of bone health, and boosting the immune system.
2. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds contain a healthy source of vital fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The killing of toxins in the lymph nodes and the subsequent removal of the harmful substances through the lymphatic vessels requires reasonable amounts of fatty acids in the body. Eating nuts and seeds is an excellent way to account for such fatty acid amounts. They have a reasonable amount of fiber which is good for eliminating harmful chemicals from the body and regulating gut movements. Nuts and seeds provide healthy fats because they possess alpha-linolenic acid; these boost the red blood cells and also reduce inflammation of the lymph nodes. Good examples of nuts and seeds that should be added to your diet include chia seeds, pumpkin, flax seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, and lots more. They are best taken fresh and raw or mildly cooked.
Garlic is essential for boosting the immune system, and it has strong medicinal properties. It can fight off harmful microbes and macrophages in the body while improving circulation and releasing toxins from the body. Garlic naturally enhances the working of your lymph nodes in addition to adding antibacterial properties to the body system. This makes fighting infections easier and greatly benefits the lymph nodes. Natural raw garlic roots are prescribed for the purest nutrition content. Garlic also provides other vital benefits like blood pressure and cholesterol reduction, and improved cardiovascular health resulting from aiding fluid circulation.
Ginger is a unique clove from a medicinal root-like plant. It is known for aiding digestion and blood circulation, which works to serve the function of the lymph nodes. Aiding digestion ensures the adequate breakdown of food into processed form and the proper removal of waste materials. This reduces the working load of the lymph nodes in eliminating toxins and waste substances. While the circulation advantage helps the lymph, fluids move through the lymphatic vessels with ease and without obstruction. Ginger houses gingerol, which gives it its powerful medicinal properties. It can also help to efficiently lower blood sugar and aid heart function.
5. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are full of antioxidant properties. They contain vitamin C which is suitable for fighting off free radicals and toxins in the body. They also facilitate hydration which is required for better function of the lymph nodes. The powerful enzymes and antioxidants in vitamin C can assist in clearing out the toxins and help the lymph nodes combat infection. Citrus fruits that you can consume include lemon which supports detoxification and watermelon which can aid hydration.
Turmeric is widely known and appreciated for its blood-thinning properties in the body. As a cooking spice, it possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and medicinal characteristics. It also helps reduce inflammation and aid blood circulation, like ginger and garlic mentioned above. All these attributes contribute to the essential functioning of the lymph nodes and the immune system. It offers other benefits like preventing cancer cell growth in the body, boosting the immune system, and cholesterol reduction.
Bananas are excellent sources of vitamin B6, which is a vital vitamin required by the body. Adequate vitamin B6 in your diet can help allow the lymph nodes to produce lymphocytes, which are essential for the lymphatic system to fight off infections. This will help the lymph nodes recover quickly after infection. Vitamin B6 can generally improve the health of lymph nodes and other lymphoid organs. You can add other rich vitamin B6 foods to your diet like potatoes, salmon, avocados, and turkey.
Herbs that possess adaptogens help improve the function of the lymph node and its vessels. Adaptogenic herbs are healthy herbs with stress-relieving properties; they are anti-inflammatory and can alleviate the congestion of the lymph vessels. These herbs can improve blood flow and muscle relaxation, which aids the means of movement for lymph fluids and ensures good functioning of the lymph nodes. Such herbs include goldenseal, astragalus, and echinacea.
The lymph nodes are very important for the immune system to operate effectively; one must keep them in good shape. The foods in this article can support the creation of a good diet for lymph nodes. This will hinder or help to manage swollen lymph nodes around the body. While consuming these foods, it is important to also embrace constant hydration and exercise. Other foods to eat for swollen lymph nodes include seaweed, cranberry and olive oil.