13 Worst Foods for the Lymphatic System in 2023

We have gathered the worst foods for the lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system is your body’s waste elimination system and oversees transporting of toxins and excess fluid out of the body. Depending on how well your lymphatic system functions depends on how well your body can eliminate toxins and protect you from harmful diseases.

Various factors influence your lymphatic system like how often you exercise, your sleep patterns, hydration levels and diet. Focusing on diet, these are the worst foods for the lymphatic system.

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Why Is the Lymphatic System Important?

It’s hard to care about something if you’re not even sure what it is, or what it does. The lymphatic system is a significant part of your immune system as it helps in removing toxins, waste and pathogens from your body as well as protecting you from infections and other health conditions. If your lymphatic system becomes clogged, the toxins can’t be removed, which means cells can’t function properly, making you more susceptible to illnesses.

It’s comprised of a network of tissues, vessels and organs that work together to “move lymph, a colorless, watery fluid, into your bloodstream”. By eating a well-balanced diet that is full of whole organic foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and healthy oils and fats, you can ensure that your lymphatic system is ready to combat those horrible toxins.

Worst Foods for the Lymphatic System

While this isn’t to say that you must remove all these items from your diet all together, it is simply saying that if you include these into your regular diet, be sure to counteract them with proper foods that support the system.

13. Energy Drinks


While energy drinks are a great way to stay awake and moving in life, it can be the downfall of your health.

Not only are they packed with sugar, but they contain way too much caffeine which is bad for your immune system and cause inflammation. Caffeine makes your body dehydrated, which hinders proper lymphatic drainage.

12. Low Fiber Foods


Fiber is known for its abundance of health benefits, especially when it comes to constipation. The lymphatic system is connected to having a healthy gut.

Which means that if someone is consuming low fiber foods, it can cause constipation which only aids in the downfall of your lymphatic system. Making sure you’re adding fiber into your diet is crucial.

11. Gluten


Foods with gluten are known to tear away at the immune system. Gluten also causes people to experience bloating and abdominal distress.

For someone who is experience swollen lymph nodes, adding gluten into your diet will only add to the problem. Gluten rich foods include certain breads, pastas, oats, wheat barley and rye.

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10. Artificial Sweeteners


Some sweeteners are said to create inflammation, which disrupts lymphatic movement.

Swapping away artificial sweeteners with all-natural, low-sugar replacements is a good idea; you could feel better.

9. Dairy Products


Conventional dairy may also cause problems with your lymphatic flow. This is due to the toxins and hormones introduced into the animals.

To avoid this issue, you should choose milk from organically raised animals instead. Avoid consuming conventional dairy for better lymphatic flow and general health.

8. Soy 


Soy inhibits the enzymes essential for appropriate meal digestion in the digestive tract. This causes bloating, indigestion, and constipation, among other issues.

It worsens with time, causing lymph system blockage, nasal problems, irritable bowel syndrome, and colds.

7.  Low-Protein Diet


In the case of low lymphedema, protein foods might be harmful and among the worst foods for lymphatic system health.

They contain essential amino acids required by the human body, and their low levels may lead to malnutrition and muscle wasting.

6. Sugar 


Excess sugar also causes insulin resistance, allowing glucose levels to stay high for extended periods.

Because of the quick rise in glucose levels, carbohydrates lead to tissue damage within the lymphatic system.

5. Transfats


Some experts claim the leading cause of inflammation are artificial trans-unsaturated fatty acids, also known as trans fats, which enter the small intestine and later the bloodstream with the help of the lymphatic system. Fats are digested and absorbed gradually, which lets them raise endotoxin levels in the blood for several hours.

For this and other reasons, trans fats have been blamed for said to be highly inflammatory, which means that patients who suffer from lymphedema should avoid them at any cost.

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4. Excessive Amounts of Salt 


Salt in excessive amounts is part of the worst foods for lymphatic system drainage. Reducing your salt intake is crucial as salt promotes fluid retention.

Even though it is not categorically proven to cause worsening lymphedema, it may cause problems in people who are sensitive to salt and exacerbate their symptoms even more as they consume high-sodium foods.

3. Caffeine & Alcohol 


Coffee and caffeinated drinks can be consumed in moderate amounts, but having an excessive number of them can dehydrate your body, causing your lymphatic system to clog with toxins and your body to swell.

Alcohol also dilates the blood vessels, increasing the fluid in your body’s tissue which can be hard to remove for the lymphatic system.

2.  Low-Quality Red Meat 


You are likely to experience problems with lymphatic flow due to eating this kind of meat. This is because of the hormones and toxins that are fed to the animals.

Beef, veal, pork, and lamb fall into this category and cause lymphatic problems. We recommend that you choose organic meat instead.

1. Processed Foods 


Processed foods can hinder immune and lymphatic system functions, leading to health problems. Some processed foods are high in added sugars, like packaged baked goods, granola, breakfast cereals, and condiments like ketchup.

Chips and processed meats like bacon, sausage, or hotdogs are also considered the worst foods for the lymphatic system. 

How Can you Support the Lymphatic System?

There are several ways that you help improve your lymphatic health. Like mentioned, eating whole foods is a great way to keep yourself healthy. Another amazing way is by staying hydrated and regularly moving.

While you don’t have to go all out to exercise, making sure you’re at least taking nice walks and staying a bit active is a great way to keep yourself healthy.

Drinking herbal teas, like green tea, dandelion root tea or nettle tea, can be great to detox and support the lymphatic system.

Other detoxing foods include leafy greens, citrus fruits, ginger and garlic. Implementing these in your regular diet are great additions.

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