"There is no specific diet for lymphoedema"

Vegetables for Roasting

Plant-Based Lifestyle

We are told that there is no specific diet for lymphoedema and taking vitamins and minerals will not help.  However, I passionately believe in personal choices and encourage you to make your own healthy choices.  


Our members at one time or another have discussed about every diet going but we have not specifically concentrated on a Plant-Based diets.  Personally, I hate the word diet and would prefer to concentrate on healthy living, and to me it is the minor changes in life that make a difference.   I am more of a Pescatarian because I love fish, I am not vegan, but I do love to eat from a colourful plate of vegetables.

Lacto Vegetarian Diet Image

Lacto Vegetarians

Dairy Foods - exclude eggs, meat, poultry & seafood

What is a Plant-Based Diet?

A plant-based diet includes fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, plants including vegetables and wholegrains.  When talking to different people there are various answers as to why people chose a plant-based diet.  There are those who are concerned about animal welfare, others are concerned with the environmental impact of producing food and some may feel social pressure to change their eating habits.  If you are new to plant-based diets what would be in your shopping list?

  • Fruits: Berries, citrus fruits, pears, peaches, pineapple, bananas, etc.

  • Vegetables: Kale, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, peppers, etc.

  • Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, etc.

  • Whole grains: Brown rice, rolled oats, quinoa, brown rice pasta, barley, etc.

  • Healthy fats: Avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, unsweetened coconut, etc.

  • Legumes: Peas, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, black beans, etc.

  • Seeds, nuts, and nut butters: Almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, natural peanut butter, tahini, etc.

  • Unsweetened plant-based milks: Coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, etc.

  • Spices, herbs, and seasonings: Basil, rosemary, turmeric, curry, black pepper, salt, etc.

  • Condiments: Salsa, mustard, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, etc.

  • Plant-based protein: Tofu, nutritional/protein sources or powders with no added sugar or artificial ingredients.

  • Beverages: Coffee, tea, sparkling water, etc.

Supporting your Immune System

Do foods increase swelling?

Our support group members often ask; “Do the foods we eat make our lymphoedema swelling worse?"


There is no simple answer to this. We do know a plant-based diet helps to support your immune system, keep your cells healthy, your body in balance and helps to fight off infection.

You will have your own ideas on how best to look after your lymphoedema. As always it is a personal choice. However, L-W-O Community recommends you keep a food diary, this will help you identify if there is a pattern of increased swelling after one or more foods.