If the holiday season is all about the meal and filled with foods that can trigger inflammation, it can be a less-than-jolly holiday when you’re living with lymphedema. That’s because some foods can exacerbate the condition and cause painful swelling and discomfort.
While you may not be able to prevent all episodes or occurrences of lymphedema, there are a few simple changes you can make that can reduce the potential for swelling.
Common Inflammatory Foods to Avoid or Reduce
Not everyone living with lymphedema has the same trigger foods. Knowing what triggers swelling and inflammation in you is important. But if you aren’t sure about what triggers you, here are a few holiday helpings that are common triggers of inflammation. Avoid or reduce these. Lower your consumption of:
- Refined Sugars (candy, pie, cookies)
- Simple Carbohydrates (bread, potatoes, stuffing)
- Red Meat
- Dairy (whipped cream, eggnog, butter)
- Trans Fats (highly processed foods)
But don’t worry…we’ve got some great alternatives!
Now that you know what could cause problems, what are delicious food options that are safe, healthy and may even reduce inflammation? Change up your holiday menu a little! You and your guests will be making all-around healthier choices. And this year, being healthy is what people want more than anything! You don’t need to sacrifice flavor. Check out these delectable choices.
- Fresh Berries and Fruits
- Dark Chocolate
- Leafy Greens
Enjoy the turkey with a side salad filled with textures and flavors and finished with a bold vinaigrette. Then indulge in a mixture of berries, cherries, orange segments, nuts and chunks of dark chocolate.
Snack Before You Go
If you head to your holiday gatherings on an empty stomach, you may be more apt to eat the inflammatory foods or overindulge in whatever is in front of you. Have a healthy snack such as fresh veggies in hummus or a fiber-rich apple to help manage the hunger. You’ll be able to make more mindful decisions of what you eat.
Mindfulness Beyond the Table
What you eat is important in living with lymphedema. But it’s not the only thing that matters. Be mindful in your activity as well. Movement is a great way to reduce bloat, swelling and inflammation. And if you’re moving, you’re probably not eating. Find ways to enjoy the time you have with your loved ones that involve exercise, especially outdoors, weather permitting.
Whether it’s karaoke and a dance party, taking a stroll around the neighborhood, hiking through nature, walking through a different part of town to see Christmas lights or a friendly game of cornhole, find joy and connection while moving and grooving.
For more ideas on avoiding inflammatory ingredients to manage your lymphedema this holiday season, and for all your compression garment needs to feel and look your best, contact Pretty in Pink Boutique.