this day and age of fast food, junk food,
bleached, regurgitated, irradiated, genetically modified,
hormone infused, loaded with
antibiotics, micro-waved, and "phoney" food, diet and nutrition
are still not considered by most physicians and people in
general as a standard prevention of diseases and a treatment
of diseases to support our bodies' immune system and
assist in our healing.
It was not always so. And
it does not have to be so. And I think it is beginning to
As brought to our attention by Michael
Pollan in his book
of Food" most of
what we're consuming today is not food, and how we're consuming
it -- in the car, in front of the TV, and increasingly alone --
this is not really eating. Instead of food, we're consuming
"edible food-like substances" -- no longer the products of
nature but of food science. Many of them come packaged
with health claims that should be our first clue they are
anything but healthy. In the so-called Western diet, food
has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion.
The result is what Michael Pollan calls the American paradox:
The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we seem to
become. And the more weight we gain.
But if real food -- the sort of food
our great- grandmothers would recognize as food -- stands in need
of defense, from whom does it need defending? From the
food industry on one side and nutritional science on the other.
Both stand to gain much from widespread
confusion about what to eat, a question that for most of human
history people have been able to answer without expert help. Yet
the professionalization of eating has failed to make Americans
healthier. Thirty years of official nutritional advice has only
made us sicker and fatter.
So, what should we eat? As stated
by Mr. Pollan, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
Don't eat any food that will not rot."
And may I add to that: "Eat real food--in as close to
nature's wrapper as possible, organic when possible. And not too fast.
If it won't sprout, rot or mold, its not real food."
an Interview with Michael Pollan regarding his theory of
eating real food. It is truly worth
reading and you will learn a lot!
Okay, I see you jumping up and down and
telling me you don't have time for this. You are too busy.
The "kids" won't eat it. You know what? With a few
pieces of inexpensive equipment, you do have the time and energy
for cooking "real food" for you and your family, and the "kids"
will love it!
More to come on easily and quickly
preparing whole, real nutritious food with the help of a few
simple appliances--a crock pot and a rice cooker. All
it takes is a little planning ahead, and you will be
surprised at how easy it is for you and the entire family to
eat healthful, real, whole foods.
In the meantime:
The first thing to do in improving
the healthfulness of your diet is to start reading food
labels, if the food is not in "natures wrapper." Every time you pick up a
packaged food, read the label. The
ingredients are listed in order of the proportion of that
ingredient to the other ingredients in the whole. If
high fructose corn syrup is listed as the first ingredient,
that means that prepared food contains more high fructose
corn syrup than any other ingredient in that packaged food.
If you have a hormonal positive breast cancer, be sure to
watch for all the hidden soy in packaged foods. Avoid
them. And look at the list of all of the chemicals and
things you have never heard of before, and cannot pronounce,
and think "What would my great-grandmother think of this?
Would it have been in her kitchen cupboard and served to her
Maintain ideal weight through a
well-balanced, low-sodium, low fat, high-fiber diet. Obesity
Drink plenty of water, 8-10
glasses per day is recommended.
Drink green tea everyday.
Do not smoke.
Avoid foods containing MSG
(mainly in Chinese and Thai foods).
Get plenty of exercise, fresh
air and sunshine everyday possible.
More to come on supplements, also.
There is no
“special” diet that lymphedema
patients must follow, just because they have
lymphedema. If you have no other medical conditions
involved, your diet will be fairly normal (healthy
diet of course).
The rules on foods to avoid
or consume in moderation are much like the
guidelines given for non-lymphedema people.
- Restrict high fat
foods or high cholesterol
- Limit sodium intake as
it causes fluid retention.
- Limit or avoid caffeine
as it is a natural
- Limit or avoid
Having said that however, I
have always been a proponent of
good nutrition, exercise and weight control. It just
makes sense whether or not you have lymphedema.
I am a
supplements for three reasons:
whether if be mental or physical, depletes your
bodies' reserves. A body with a depleted vitamin
reserve is less likely to heal from wounds
and infections, is less likely to cope with
stress, and is much more vulnerable to further
2. In our modern world of processed, bleached,
regurgitated and fast food products, much of the
nutrient is gone before it reaches your table.
Therefore, it is necessary to help in our
requirements by taking supplements.
Lymphedema and the constant battle with
infections and usage of antibiotics changes our
requirements. Infections and antibiotics both
reserves and it is necessary to take
It is well established that
stress depletes your body of
vitamins and nutrients as
it tries to cope with whatever threat you are under,
physically and mentally. Once these reserves are
depleted, it becomes even more difficult for your
“system” to take care of and rejuvenate itself.
These supplements will help
give it that extra boost needed.
However, having said that,
I also need to say that there is no clinical
evidence to support any claim that
vitamins will cure or
treat lymphedema and this page is for information
are essential for overall health which does improve
our resistance to many of the complications of
lymphedema such as infections.
Before you begin any
vitamin regiment, check
with you doctor to make sure it is safe and does not
conflict with any medication or other condition you
I am also a proponent of
the concept that it is up to the patient to take the
responsibility for taking care of themselves. This
is especially true in lymphedema.
At some point, you must
care enough about yourself and your life to step
forward. You must understand no one else can take
care of you, but you.