what does spleen do inside our body? tips for improving spleen health?

The spleen is a fist-sized organ in the upper left side of your abdomen, next to your stomach and behind your left ribs and it weighs about 6 ounces, about five inches long, three inches wide, and one and a half inches thick in healthy individuals. The spleen is a busy organ and is often on the front lines of your body’s defence against infection.
It works very closely with your blood and lymph, and can be affected by infection, malignancies, liver disease, parasites, and other conditions. The word “spleen” has come to be used metaphorically as a synonym for “anger”. This is because in medieval times, the spleen was thought to be the literal, physical source of a hot temper. People thought that “venting” their spleens would remove excess anger.
It’s an important part of your immune system, but you can survive without it. This is because the liver can take over many of the spleen’s functions. Some people are even born without a spleen or need to have it removed because of illness or injury. Without a spleen, however, your body will lose some of its ability to fight infections.
Spleen removal has been shown in animal studies to reduce athletic performance hugely but It is being research for human body as well.
Removing your spleen is a major surgery and leaves you with a compromised immune system. For these reasons, it’s only performed when truly necessary. The benefits of a splenectomy are that it can resolve several health issues such as blood diseases, cancer, and infection that could not be treated any other way. Having a ruptured spleen removed can save your life.
Other parts of your body, like your lymph nodes and your liver, are able to step in and take over many of your spleen’s functions. Because the spleen is so important to your immune system, people without spleens are more vulnerable to infections. This is why your doctor may tell you to take extra precautions, such as getting vaccinations, once your spleen has been removed. You will also be prescribed oral antibiotics to take daily; this is another way to prevent infection. Still, it’s not uncommon to be without a spleen, and many people are able to enjoy full lives without one.
The spleen also stores blood. the blood vessels of the spleen can expand significantly. In humans, around 1 cup of blood is kept in the spleen, ready to be released if there is a significant loss of blood, after an accident, for instance. Interestingly, when a racehorse is at rest, up to half of its red blood cells are kept in the spleen.
Anything that relates to the spleen is referred to as splenic; the spleen receives blood through the splenic artery, and blood leaves the spleen through the splenic vein. Although the spleen is connected to the blood vessels of the stomach and pancreas, it is not involved in digestion.
The spleen contains two main regions of tissue called white pulp and red pulp.
Red pulp: Contains venous sinuses (cavities filled with blood), and splenic cords (connective tissues containing red blood cells and white blood cells).
White pulp: Mostly consists of immune cells (T cells and B cells).
One of the spleen’s main jobs is to filter your blood. It affects the number of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body, and the number of platelets, which are cells that help your blood to clot. The spleen is part of your body’s lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps remove cellular waste, maintain fluid balance, and make and activate infection-fighting white blood cells for the immune system. It’s also responsible for making substances that play an important role in inflammation and healing.
The spleen is like a security guard for the body, letting healthy blood cells pass through it and stopping unhealthy ones in their tracks. The spleen recognises old, or damaged red blood cells and removes them from your body by breaking them down and saving any useful components, such as iron, in the process. This keeps the blood circulating in your body clean and functioning at its best. It acts as a filter for blood as part of the immune system. spleen also helps fight certain kinds of bacteria that cause pneumonia and meningitis.
If the spleen detects potentially dangerous bacteria, viruses, or other microorganisms in the blood, along with the lymph nodes, it creates white blood cells called lymphocytes, which act as defenders against invaders. The lymphocytes produce antibodies to kill the foreign microorganisms and stop infections from spreading. Around one-quarter of our lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) are stored in the spleen at any one time.
The most common bacteria that cause infections in people without a functioning spleen function are pneumococcus, meningococcus and Haemophilus influenzae type B. These bacteria can be transferred from person to person through droplets of saliva or mucus, such as when a ‘carrier’ sneezes or coughs near or on you. In a healthy person, this rarely causes illness, however vulnerable people, such as those living without a functioning spleen, may become ill if their immune system is unable to keep the bacteria in check.
The spleen also produces compounds called opsonins, such as properdin and tuftsin, that help the immune system.
When blood flows into your spleen, your spleen performs “quality control”; your red blood cells must pass through a maze of narrow passages. Healthy blood cells simply pass through the spleen and continue to circulate throughout your bloodstream. Blood cells that can’t pass the test will be broken down in your spleen by macrophages. Macrophages are large white blood cells that specialize in destroying these unhealthy red blood cells.
spleen stores iron in the form of ferritin or bilirubin, and eventually returns the iron to your bone marrow, where hemoglobin is made. Hemoglobin is an important protein in your blood that transports oxygen from your lungs to all the parts of your body that need it.
Spleen Conditions
Enlarged Spleen (Splenomegaly): An enlarged spleen, usually caused by viral mononucleosis (“mono”), liver disease, blood cancers (lymphoma and leukemia), or other conditions. An enlarged spleen puts one at risk for rupture.
Ruptured spleen: spleen lacerations or ruptures “usually occur from trauma (like a car accident or contact sports).” These emergency situations cause a break in the spleen’s surface and can lead to “severe internal bleeding and signs of shock (fast heart rate, dizziness, pale skin, fatigue)
Splenic infarction: If the blood supply to the spleen is reduced, it is known as splenic infarction. This occurs if blood supply through the splenic artery is cut off by, for instance, a blood clot. This is often very painful, and treatment depends on the underlying cause.
Sickle cell disease: This is an inherited form of anemia; the condition is characterized by a dysfunctional type of hemoglobin. In this form of anemia, red blood cells are abnormally shaped (crescent-shaped) and block the flow of blood, causing damage to organs, including the spleen.
Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count): An enlarged spleen sometimes stores excessive numbers of the body’s platelets. Splenomegaly can result in abnormally few platelets circulating in the bloodstream where they belong.
Accessory spleen: An estimated 10–15 percent of people have an additional spleen. The second spleen is usually much smaller — around 1 centimeter (cm) in diameter. Generally, it causes no health problems.
The main reasons behind most of these conditions are:
viral infections, such as mononucleosis
bacterial infections
parasitic infections, such as malaria
metabolic disorders
hemolytic anemia
liver diseases, such as cirrhosis
blood cancers and lymphomas, such as Hodgkin’s disease
pressure on or blood clots in the veins of the liver or spleen

also if you want a healthier spleen, keep these tips in mind:

1. Eat warm, cooked meals: Food that is warm and cooked decreases the work of the digestion system, which must warm up food and break it down. Precooked and warmed foods, such as soups, stews, daal and curries, are more easily absorbed and create less work for the Spleen. Foods that are too raw or too cold — excessive quantities of raw vegetables or food straight from the refrigerator — which snuff out “digestive fire” should be avoided. In particular, green salad and raw vegetables with a high water content can facilitate swelling and the accumulation of cellulite.
2. Promote digestive fire: Having some raw ginger before or during meals or adding warming spices such as black pepper, ginger, cardamom and cinnamon to food helps increase the Spleen’s ability to digest food properly.
Eating pungent foods such as onions, leeks, fennel and garlic also help increase the body’s digestive fire.
3. Eat slowly and mindfully: Taking the time to relax during meal times and properly chewing food reduces the amount of work that the digestion organs must do in order to break down food. Relaxing the mind and body during meal times activates the “rest and digest” parasympathetic nervous system, which optimizes the body’s ability to properly digest food.
4. Eat frequent meals: Small, frequent meals are more easily digested than large, heavy ones. Proving the body with energy in the form of food every few hours or so prevents blood sugar crashes and weakness.
5. Eat carbohydrate-rich vegetables: Seasonal, well-cooked root vegetables such as winter squash, carrot, rutabaga, parsnip, turnip, sweet potato, yam, pumpkin, and legumes such as garbanzo beans, black beans and peas are easily digested and nurturing to the digestive system. Moderate quantities of cereals and pulses sustain good spleen function. Rice, wheat, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, lentils, dried beans, chickpeas and peas of all kinds should be eaten every day. They can be accompanied by generous portions of vegetables, and sensible portions of meat or fish. But keep in mind sugar is bad for spleen. Excessive sugar which overworks the pancreas is not good for the spleen. It is important to avoid foods that are “damp”: Alcohol, fat, fast sugars and excessive quantities of dairy products — for example, “fromage blanc”, which has a moisture content of 80 per cent.
6. Stimulate the Spleen: The TCM Spleen is stimulated by sweet taste, as is the pancreas, which is stimulated to release insulin by rising blood glucose levels. However, too much sweet taste will damage the Spleen over time (consider how elevated blood sugar can cause insulin resistance). Small amounts of sweeteners and cooked fruits can provide a little bit of stimulation and energy to the Spleen, aiding in digestion and mental power. Add some rice syrup, barley malt, molasses, stewed cherries and dates to your snacks or for small desserts after meals.
7. Eat small amounts of protein: If Spleen Qi deficiency is already present, eating small amounts of protein frequently can help regenerate the Spleen’s ability to digest and absorb food and provide energy and strength to the body.
8. Eat fatty fish, beef, chicken, turkey or lamb: Try to avoid dairy products except for organic butter (ghee) and raw goat’s milk. Vegetarians can add more legumes, grains and non-animal sources of protein to their diet.
9. Practice mindfulness and other centering exercises: The Earth time of year (late summer) is a time of centering, unity and harmony. Practicing mindful meditation or deep breathing exercises (breathing slowly and intentionally into the abdomen) help relax the body, reduce stress, mental exhaustion and burn-out, which are common at this time of year.
10. keep personal items personal: Don’t share personal items like silverware, toothbrushes, or drinks with other people, especially if you know they’ve been sick with an infection like mono.
11. protect your body from harm: If you play football or other contact sports, wear safety gear, including padding, to help protect your spleen and other organs from injury.
12. sex safety: Use a condom every time you have sex with a new, untested partner to protect you from sexually transmitted infections.
13. reduce alcohol consumption: If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation to protect your liver and avoid cirrhosis. (Moderate drinking means no more than one drink a day for women, and two for men.)