7 Foods To Avoid With Swollen Lymph Nodes

Swollen lymph nodes are often neglected until and unless their symptoms don’t surface and cause any trouble. People with swollen lymph nodes are often advised about re-thinking their food choices. Hence, this article is going to discuss about foods to avoid with swollen lymph nodes.

Foods to avoid with swollen lymph nodes should basically comprise of foods that do not cause water retention and gut problems.

Lymph Nodes

The lymphatic system is the part of the immunity system

The lymphatic system was always considered as unimportant as it is a subset of the circulatory system and the immune system. The most common places where the lymph nodes get swollen include the neck, armpit, groin, in the gut and in between the lungs.

The primary function of the lymphatic system and its lymph nodes includes:

  • Carrying away food lipids
  • Returning the lymphocytes from lymphatic organs into the blood stream
  • Clearing the tissue fluid from interstitial spaces.

One might not realize but the lymphatic system plays a very important role in fighting infection in the body. They produce white blood cells in the body that retain the body’s ability to fight viruses and bacteria’s and other foreign elements that are harmful.

lymphatic system
Having a strong immunity is required for the well being of the body

This might give you a clear idea as to why swelling of the lymph nodes is bad for the body and its immunity.

People having swollen lymph nodes or lymphedema also show signs of weight gain which can be hard to put off. This is due to the accumulation of excess lymph fluid and tissue fluid in the body. That is why diet is emphasized along with foods to avoid for people with swollen lymph nodes.

Also, the foods that cause bloating and gut problems are a part of the foods to avoid with swollen lymph nodes as bloating is also found to be commonly associated with swollen lymph nodes.

It is very necessary to keep in mind that the foods to avoid with swollen lymph nodes should comprise of a diet that does not increase water retention in the body. Lymph Edema means swelling of the lymph. Swelling is caused due to tissue fluid accumulation which is due to excessive water retention.

Having swollen lymph nodes is also a type of cancer- lymphoma. Several foods that may trigger production of carcinogens in the body are also foods to avoid with swollen lymph nodes.

Swollen lymph nodes are caused commonly due to bacterial or viral infections. It is very important to keep in mind the foods to avoid with swollen lymph nodes as they may also lower your immunity system.

Every time someone gets sick or gets a disorder or disease, they are told about the foods which they should eat. Seldom the emphasis is given on which foods to avoid. So, below is a list of foods to avoid with swollen lymph nodes.

Foods to Avoid with Swollen Lymph Nodes:

1) Gluten

gluten rich foods to avoid with swollen lymph nodes
Try going Gluten free

Gluten is said to have some side effects on the body including bloating, cramping and decreased immune response. As a person having swollen lymph nodes would already be subjected to these problems, eating gluten rich foods would further aggravate the issue.

Gluten rich foods to avoid to avoid with swollen lymph nodes are – wheat, oats, barley, rye, breads and pasta. So yes, you will have to pass out on that alfredo pasta for now.

2) Low Fiber Foods

low fiber foods
low fiber foods are to be avoided with swollen lymph nodes

Low fiber foods need to be avoided as they cause decreased bowel movements and lead to constipation. The functioning of the digestive system is co relating with the lymphatic system. Therefore, decrease in the bowel movement would lead to decrease in lymphatic health.

Low fiber foods to avoid with swollen lymph nodes include – canned vegetables, a few dairy products that cause constipation. Other low fiber foods are eggs, chicken, olive oil, mayonnaise, creamy peanut butter and white rice.

Try opting for fresh fruits and vegetables instead. They contain way more nutritional values than the canned ones.

3) High sodium food

Sodium should be included in the foods to avoid with swollen lymph nodes

High sodium foods to avoid with swollen lymph nodes comprises of foods that have large amounts of preservatives in them like pickles, sauces and packaged foods. Eating a lot of salt makes the body and blood acidic.

In order to balance the PH – the body will need more fluids and thus cause fluid retention.

Also avoid excessive consumption of table salts. Remember, excessive iodine is also the cause of hypertension and many other diseases.

4) Processed Dairy

dairy products
Processed dairy products are fermented and high in salt

Processed dairy such as cheese, cottage cheese and buttermilk contain high amounts of sodium in them along with fats. As carrying away of food lipids is a function of the lymphatic system, due to its inability, these foods may cause an increase in fat storage of the body.

Hence, for people who are finding it difficult to lose weight while suffering from lymphedema, processed dairy should be on their list of foods to avoid with swollen lymph nodes as well as for weight loss.

And also if eating dairy gives you intolerance, you should take it as a clear sign from your body that dairy is not welcomed in there.

5) Beer

fermented beverages
Fermented beverages like beer are very high in carbs

Beer is a carbonated and fermented beverage that causes bloating and digestive problems as it has increased sodium quantity and a lot of flavoring. Fermented foods and beverages should be avoided if you suffer from swollen lymph nodes.

Also, try to avoid high carbonated beverages like cokes and soft drinks as they are packed with sugar and empty calories and can make it tough for you to lose weight.

6) Processed meats

processed meats
Processed meats should not be consumed with people with swollen lymph nodes

Here is some bad news for all you meat lovers suffering from lymphedema.

All the processed meat products like sausages, pepperoni, hot dogs, bacon, ham and canned tune contain a large amount of sodium in them.

In fact, these should be at the top of your list of foods to avoid with swollen lymph nodes. Avoiding that pepperoni pizza or those delicious bacon and eggs for breakfast is really going to do you a lot good to your body in this case.

7) Junk Foods and Ready To Eat Foods

junk foods
Excessive binging on junk foods can prove hazardous for the body

Let’s be honest, these foods have never done anybody any favor. One can agree that they taste good and satisfy our taste buds big time but is it really worth your health?

Particular junk and ready to eat foods to avoid with swollen lymph nodes are commercial pancakes and waffles, pretzels, instant cereals, ready to eat bran and microwave popcorn.

It has always been advised to consume as less junk as you can but in case of swollen lymph nodes, these foods are a big no. They also contain hydrogenated oils and fats that is really bad for people who wish to lose weight.

healthy diet
Having a proper healthy diet has many advantages

After cutting out all these foods from your diet, you must be thinking that the only option left is to eat bland and boring food, right? Wrong.

Having a high fiber and low sodium clean diet is not as boring as it sounds. In fact, switching to such a diet would not only help with your swollen lymph nodes but also, your overall health. And then again, health is wealth.

It is crucial to drink sufficient water, increase your physical activities and get some exercise done. It is not just diet but also all these things that would help keep your body healthy in the long run.

All You Should Know About Lymph Nodes And Cancer
Icy Health

Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.


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