If you are struggling with swelling, edema, or lymphedema, you may want to consider looking at what you are eating. Your diet has a huge impact on these conditions, and making lifestyle changes could help you. As a naturopathic physician and lymphatic therapist, I believe in getting to the root of the issue to help patients reach their optimal health goals. I believe that lifestyle choices in regards to food, can help improve your overall health in a variety of ways. If you or someone you know is struggling with swelling, edema, or lymphedema, check out these five tips.
What is the Difference Between Edema and Lymphedema?
Edema is swelling that can occur in any part of your body due to disease, surgery, birth defects and other issues. Lymphedema, on the other hand, is swelling that is caused by a buildup of lymph fluid. (1) The lymphatic system drains your body of excess fluid and if it is damaged, the fluid can eventually build up and cause swelling. These diseases can be detrimental to your health because it puts your body at risk for infection. Here are a few lifestyle changes that you can make to try to protect your body from swelling, edema and lymphedema.
Foods I Recommend for Swelling, Edema and Lymphedema
#1. Eat a Plant Based Diet to Reduce Swelling, Edema, and Lymphedema
Eating a plant based diet can dramatically help individuals who suffer from edema, lymphedema, or any type of swelling. This includes eating foods such as ancient grains, fiber dense rice, quinoa, farro, greens, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and berries. There is a lot of benefit in this diet due to the amount of nutrients and minerals you receive from all of these plants. I find that a key deficiency that many people struggle with, especially those who have edema or lymphedema, is lack of magnesium. By eating these plant-based foods you can not only increase your magnesium intake, but also provide your body with the nutrients it needs to help your body manage your fluid levels.
Ideally a low carb diet with a less extreme keto focus is key.
#2. Try Eating Keto to Reduce Swelling, Edema, and Lymphedema
The Keto diet has quickly gained popularity as a method to lose weight, but can also help with reducing swelling. This diet consists of eating low carb, high fat foods that puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this occurs, your body becomes more efficient in burning fat. (2) This is a good alternative to being fully plant based for those who still want to incorporate meat into their lifestyles. Make sure that if you choose to go this route it is with organic, grass-fed lean meat such as chicken and turkey.
#3. Eat Paleo to Reduce Swelling, Edema, and Lymphedema
The Paleo diet consists of eating foods that our early ancestors ate as hunters and gatherers. This includes seeds, nuts, berries, fruits, veggies, meat and fish. Similar to Keto, if you are eating animal products it’s important to stick to healthier alternatives that are organic and grass-fed. The intent is to limit the toxic burden that your lymphatic system has to manage. Limiting your exposure to pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, and chemicals, will have a positive downstream effect on overall health.
Tip: If you drink alcohol, purchase organic whenever possible to limit any extra toxicity it may contain.
#4. Eat For Your Blood Type to Reduce Swelling, Edema, and Lymphedema
This may not be something you have heard of, but eating for your blood type could help you reduce your swelling, edema and lymphedema. If you follow a diet designed for your blood type, there is a chemical reaction that occurs and your body could digest food more efficiently. Although this may not be for everyone, it could be extremely beneficial for others. Here is a great resource to check out if you are interested in learning more about this lifestyle change. (3)
#5. Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Reduce Swelling, Edema, and Lymphedema
Eating foods that are rich in anti-inflammatory properties is a great way to maximize and enhance the core minerals, nutrients, and Omega’s healthy fats your body is receiving. In addition, eating a lot of spices, herbs, and colorful fruits and vegetables is very cleansing for the body. (4)
Five Inflammation Fighting Foods
- Green Tea
It is important to stick with the lifestyle that you believe will be best tailored to your personal needs. Regardless of which one you choose, remember to stay away from processed foods as they will only make your swelling worse. Here are a few other items to try to stay away from or limit considerably.
Foods That Are Bad For Swelling
- Refined-Processed Foods
- Foods with hormones, pesticides, herbicides and insecticides
Remember that nature provides an array of amazing foods for us that contain various benefits. I highly encourage you all who suffer from these conditions to start your journey toward reduced swelling with one of these easy lifestyle changes. For a complete list to help reduce swelling and promote your lymphatics, download my FREE Lymphatic Food Protocol.
For individuals dealing with constant swelling, fluid retention and edema – I recommend using an amazingly powerful lymphatic homeopathic promoter that you can use daily – you can order it here. It works wonders in reducing swelling and clearing overall inflammation in the lymphatics.
If you are interested in learning more about how to reduce swelling or any other health concerns that you may have, book an appointment with me here.
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