Struggling with swelling, fatigue, sluggish detox and every other symptom of lymphatic congestion under the sun? 

Trawling the internet and adding to the ever-growing list of things you need to do to get your lymph draining? You’ll want to read on.

In the world of lymphatics, the question on everyone’s lips is: “What can I do to help my lymph!?” Most people want to be proactive and do everything they can to give their lymph some lovin’.

Lymphatic conditions like lymphoedema, lipoedema, sore breasts and cellulite can be incredibly uncomfortable, but discomfort can lead to high levels of motivation when it comes to making changes and getting results!

But, what if you could reduce your symptoms, have healthier lymph, clearer skin, speed up weight loss and improve your natural detoxification ability by actually doing less?

What? Doing less is the answer for better draining lymph?

Sounds too good to be true, but it’s totally possible… as long as you are willing to do less of the things that are getting in the way of your lymph working at its best. 

Removing some of the drivers of inflammation, oxidative stress and toxicity goes a long way when it comes to resolving symptoms like lymphoedema and is just as important as using your Dual-Action Lymphatic Gloves, taking saunas or supplements.  

Disclaimer: Yes, skipping the naughty stuff can be totally hard, unfun and turn you into a social pariah at barbecues but I promise you’ll thank yourself later. The good news is that no one is forcing you to do anything, you get to choose your hard. Having lymphoedema and drinking wine is hard. Not drinking wine to reduce your lymphoedema… also hard.

Less is more, so here’s the 5 things to do less of to reduce lymphoedema!

Less added sugar, more fresh fruits

less added sugar more fresh fruits for lymphoedema

Added sugar stimulates the release of insulin which can cause your kidneys to hold on to salt and water, increasing fluid retention. A struggling lymphatic system doesn’t need extra fluid to cope with, so by minding your sugar intake, you’ll be taking a load off! 

It’s why this is first on our list of things to do LESS of in order to reduce lymphoedema. 

The World Health Organisation recommends limiting added sugar to 6 teaspoons a day for adults. That’s about 24g a day. To put that into perspective, a can of soft drink contains about 40g of sugar! A serving of Kellogg’s Sultana Bran packs contains 12.8g of sugar (and let’s be honest, who eats the recommended serving size when it comes to cereal?)

By ‘added sugar’ I’m really referring to any processed food with sugar on the ingredients list (plus there’s about 50 different code names for sugar on labels) so when in doubt, stick to fresh fruit for your sweet fix and limit sweetened drinks, alcopops, cocktails and junk foods. Most packaged foods (even savoury sauces and premade meals) contain an excessive amount of added sugar.

Less sodium, more quality sea salt

Excess salt contributes to swelling for many people for the simple fact that in the body, where salt goes, water follows! Therefore, higher sodium levels in body tissues can result in fluid retention. 

Sodium is a crucial electrolyte that the body needs however we can access this from fresh fruits and vegetables as well as good quality salt like Celtic sea salt. Intake of sodium from processed and pre-prepared foods can be excessive so when in doubt, ditch the processed stuff! Celtic sea salt is low sodium and rich in other minerals, plus it is the tastiest salt on the market. You’ll never go back, especially once you see how it aids in lymphoedema management!

Less seed oils, more extra virgin olive oil

Anything that contributes to oxidative stress, inflammation and damage to the lymphatic vessels will naturally worsen lymphatic conditions, so whilst I’m over here emptying your pantry, let’s touch on industrial seed oils. 

Cooking oils like canola, rapeseed and vegetable oils are highly processed and often hydrogenated meaning that they are less stable and prone to generating inflammation in the body rather than reducing it. These oils (especially when heated) can contribute to oedema by creating oxidative stress. 

Tip them in the bin and replace with extra virgin olive oil which reduces inflammation and is best used drizzled raw on foods. For cooking at high heat, think coconut oil or even ghee (butter that has been clarified of lactose and casein) which remains more stable at higher temperatures.

Less seed oils, more extra virgin olive oil to reduce lymphoedema

Less alcohol, more sparkling mineral water

If you’re reading this over your evening glass of wine, slowly and calmly put it down.   

The last thing you want when your body is saturated with extra lymph is to add to the issue with alcohol. Alcohol can speed up the rate at which lymph is accumulating within your tissues which is the opposite of encouraging lymphatic drainage!

Unfortunately alcohol is proinflammatory and must be detoxified by the liver and so it also adds to your overall toxic load. Give your liver a break and fancy up your sparkling mineral water with citrus, cucumber & herbs like mint or rosemary or try a low sugar kombucha if you’re looking to reduce your lymphoedema.

What’s the best alcohol to drink for lymphatic health? None! I won’t even sugar coat it for you.

Less dairy, more whole foods

Just in case you were speed-reading to the end of this article with the hopes of keeping ice cream as a regular part of your dessert repertoire, think again. I’m taking no prisoners today. 

Aside from the inflammatory effects of casein and lactose (two of the major proteins in dairy) dairy products made with cow’s milk are thick, cold foods. Ever notice that you seem to produce more phlegm after eating a lot of yoghurt or ice cream, especially if you have a cold? 

Energetically, dairy can contribute to congestion in the body – the thickening and stagnation of bodily fluids; including the lymph. Congested lymph is counterproductive in our mission for optimal lymphatic drainage. Replace the white and beige foods with fresh fruits and vegetables, warming spices and organic meats and you’re set.

When it comes to reducing lymphoedema, less definitely is more. And, ultimately, you need to be willing to let go of some things in order to get to where you want to be. 

And the thing is: it gets to be as fun (or as boring) as you want it to be!

Though, if you’re no whizz in the kitchen or you’re just struggling for ideas on how to swap all these things out – outsource your woes!

Rather than spending hours and hours asking Google, ask someone who is trained to know. 

Try a trained naturopath and/or nutritionist that can help you make this transition easy for you. You might even want to consider the expert team at Chelsey Jean ;) 

Book a session with us today if you’re located in Brisbane. Or, if you’re interested in learning more about how to max out your lymph health – whether to reduce lymphoedema or just for your overall well-being? Discover our full range of services today.

You may just discover a world of tips, tricks, solutions and teachings, ready to get you there the realistic way. 

“Very professional & know their stuff, yet relaxed and friendly. Most importantly I’m enjoying the results of treatment. Highly recommend this team.”

~ Jeanna