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What Diet to Take if You Have a High ESR & High Lymphocytes?

author image Ireland Wolfe
Ireland Wolfe has been writing professionally since 2009, contributing to Toonari Post, Africana Online and Winzer Insurance. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Master of Arts in mental health counseling. She is also a licensed mental health counselor, registered nutritionist and yoga teacher.
What Diet to Take if You Have a High ESR & High Lymphocytes?
Oranges and other citrus fruit are high in antioxidants. Photo Credit: Liquidlibrary/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

ESR, or erythrocyte sedimentation rate, is a medical test that measures how much inflammation occurs throughout your body. A high lymphocyte count indicates an increase in white blood cells. There are many reasons that you may have a high ESR and lymphocycte count, and cancer and inflammation can cause both counts to be elevated. Consult your physician about any diet recommendations for your specific condition.

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Your doctor may perform an ESR, also known as an sed rate, if you are experiencing certain symptoms of inflammation. Although the test cannot diagnose conditions, a measurement of ESR can establish a baseline to determine if your illness or symptoms are worsening. Your physician may use the test to monitor cancer, autoimmune disorders or inflammatory diseases. Lymphocytosis, or a high lymphocyte count, can indicate an infection, cancer of the blood or an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation.

Cancer Diet

If your levels are elevated because of cancer, you may want to add foods to your diet that are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants attack free radicals, cells that cause damage to your body. Foods high in antioxidants help to prevent cancer but may also inhibit cancer cell growth. Foods rich in antioxidants include fruits and vegetables, such as avocados, cruciferous vegetables, carrots, peppers, raspberries, citrus fruit, grapes, kale, mushrooms and tomatoes. Other foods that may help to fight cancer include soy products, sweet potatoes, nuts, figs and flax and spices such as rosemary, garlic and turmeric.

Inflammation Diet

Some people have high ESR and lymphocycte levels because of inflammation. There are foods that can help to reduce inflammation and other foods that you should avoid. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in the oil of fatty fish, can help to decrease inflammation in your body. Olive oil contains a type of antioxidant called polyphenols, which help to reduce or prevent inflammation. Foods high in antioxidants can also protect against inflammation. Avoid food that is high in saturated or trans-fats. You should also avoid simple refined sugars because they can make inflammation worse.


There are many reasons why you may experience a high ESR and lymphocycte count. Talk to your physician about your specific condition to determine your best diet. You will need a blood test to determine if your levels are high. Although the upper limit for each of these tests varies from doctor to doctor, generally, you have lymphocytosis if you have more than 2,900 lymphocytes in a microliter of blood. Acceptable ESR counts also vary by age and gender.

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