WHEN IT COMES TO BEAUTY... DETOXIFICATION IS WHERE IT'S AT
Like the sewage system, your lymphatic organ is your body’s first channel of elimination for the removal of waste from the body. And it is exceptionally important that we keep it flowing properly. Our ability to detoxify and keep the lymph clear has a direct effect on the quality of our health and the overall appearance of our skin.
Lymphatic drainage is the process by which hundreds of miles of lymphatic circuits allow waste to be collected from the tissues and be transported to the blood for elimination.
When your lymphatic system is working properly, waste and toxins don’t build up, inflammation is kept low, you are less likely to get a cold or flu, and your skin simply glows. Think post workout or lovemaking glow. That’s what we’re talking about.
Lymphatic congestion however is increasingly common. Partly due to our sedentary lifestyles, but largely because of the environment we live in.
Lifestyle Tip: One of the most recognized benefits of grapefruit essential oil is the presence of ‘limonene’. A phytonutrient that potently affects lymphatic flow and plays a role in the body's detoxification process. This is one of the reasons why using the Olio Maestro System can help boost the activity of lymphatic drainage and support toxin elimination.
Our modern ecosphere is becoming increasingly polluted. There are micro plastics in our food chain, unfiltered medications in our water supply, heavy metals in the air we breathe each day, and all this puts a burden on the organs of elimination. It is the challenge of modern woman to keep the lymphatic system flowing optimally when it is constantly in cleanup mode.
Causes of Lymphatic Congestion
Stress: The chemistry of stress is degenerative and leads to lymphatic congestion and water retention. When under stress, our bodies are forced to produce an excess of stress-combating hormones. Not ideal when it becomes chronic. The waste products of these hormones are called free radicals, which can lead to inflammation and premature aging so no matter how many beauty products we slather on our skin, our lifestyle changes need to come into play too.
Iodine deficiency: This needs to be tested by a Functional Medicine doctor because you don’t want to have too much iodine in your system. However iodine deficiency is a common cause in women and can lead to lymphatic congestion. Iodine helps to protect us from a toxic environment by supporting lymphatic flow.
Water Retention: The lymph, unlike the blood, moves only via osmotic pressure and muscular contractions and is not pumped via the heart. So if we don’t move it proactively we essentially lose it.
The Environment: As mentioned, we are overwhelming the channels of elimination because of the 10+ million tons pounds of environmental toxins dumped into the environment each year (4.5 billion pounds of which are considered carcinogenic). Toxins that accumulate in the body, get stored in the fat and the brain, and cause various hypersensitivity reactions as well as a stubborn increase in weight-gain.
Lifestyle Tip: I never accept a receipt at the store anymore. Not only is the paper a waste of resources but the coating on the receipts have endocrine disruptive chemicals that affect our hormone balance.
Support Lymphatic Flow And Function With These 4 Easy Dietary Changes
1. Green your diet: More greens, less (actually no) processed foods. Green veggies are alkaline and therefore increase lymphatic flow.
2. Eat the pith: The white parts of grapefruits and pomegranates have long been used as lymph-moving agents.
3. Red your diet: In Ayurveda berries; beets and turmeric are commonly used as lymph movers. In general all red-staining foods tend to be great lymph-pumpers with detoxifying/antioxidant properties. Beets have the added bonus of thinning the bile, which helps to digests good fats and strip away bad fats.
4. Increase your seaweed intake: Seaweed containing iodine is the great detoxifier of the system. According to Ayurveda, iodine is a natural lymphatic agent. The breast, thyroid, prostate and gut all have high concentrations of iodine and are very dependent on iodine for lymphatic flow. So eat your seaweed snacks.