Diet for Lymphedema

A diet for lymphedema consists of nutritious foods and should incorporate the following recommendations:

  • Lower salt intake
  • Eat less fats
  • Have two to four servings of fruits every day
  • Have three to five servings of vegetables every day
  • Eat foods with a high fiber content like whole-grain breads, cereals, fruits and vegetables
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Do not smoke
  • Maintain your ideal body weight. A registered dietician can help you calculate this.

Exercise is one of the best natural remedies for lymphedema. In case of severe swelling, consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program. Low impact aerobic exercises along with activities like walking or swimming can help improve your cardiovascular fitness. Start your exercise routine with a five minute warm up and include a ten minute cooling down period at the end. Avoid lifting weights until you clear it with your doctor or therapist. Discontinue any exercise that causes sudden unexpected pain or swelling in a limb. If swelling does occur, then rest and elevate that limb.