Edema, or swelling, occurs when unusually large amounts of fluid collect in your circulatory system or your interstitial space — the space between your cells. Edema most commonly occurs in your lower extremities, including your legs, ankles and feet. Certain dietary strategies may be effective in reducing your edema, although you should always review the merits and drawbacks of this treatment approach with your doctor before adjusting your edema diet.
Edema is characterized by fluid accumulation in the body. While there are many different causes and numerous strategies to treat the condition, reducing sodium intake can often help. Sodium holds on to fluid in the body and the more sodium you consume, the greater the fluid retention. In addition to reducing your sodium intake, you might also try adding foods that are rich in potassium, which can help increase the amount of sodium you urinate out. However, if you take a medication that increases blood potassium, you must be careful about your potassium consumption. Of course, it is always prudent to inquire with your health care provider before starting a high potassium diet.
Have you noticed swelling in your feet, hands or other limbs? This condition is medically called “Edema”, which can affect a single part or even the entire body. To help you deal with this condition, we have compiled a list of foods for Edema treatment. Before that, let’s understand what causes Edema. When the local blood vessels get ruptured, they leak fluid into the surrounding tissues, causing inflammation in the area. Several factors like pregnancy, trauma, high sodium diet, obesity etc., can lead to Edema. Listed below is the Edema treatment diet, which comprises of many foods to treat Edema naturally. Check them out.
Even though you are eating fruits and vegetables, there may be other foods in your edema diet that are high in sodium. For example, processed foods, frozen dinners, packaged rice, mixed noodles, chips and many condiments are high in sodium. Even cheese, breakfast breads and cereals, as well as canned vegetables, can contribute to elevated sodium levels. By reading the Nutrition Facts Label on packaged foods you can determine if a product will fit into a low sodium diet. Most health professionals recommend keeping sodium intake under 2300 mg per day, but check with your healthcare provider to see what your individual goals are.
If your ankles and feet are swollen, have puffy eyes and a general feeling of heaviness, then you might be suffering from endema. It usually happens when the body finds it difficult to fight gravity to move blood and fluids back up the legs. Though severe edema may be treated with medicine, but mild cases can be treated with simple home remedies or eating a edema diet.
While several medical conditions or medications may contribute to edema, another risk factor is malnutrition or poor nutrition. Hence, it is important to include dietary changes to reduce edema-related swelling. Following a edema diet and avoiding certain foods that contain high amounts of sodium may help treat edema.
A variety of medical conditions and dietary factors can cause or contribute to edema. Regardless of the cause, the primary dietary method for reducing edema is to limit intake of sodium. The first step in achieving this is to identify which foods are high in sodium and which foods are low in sodium. Increasing the low-sodium foods will not help your edema if you continue to eat other foods that are high in sodium.
- Increased intake of potassium helps the kidneys remove excess sodium and fluid, therefore we recommend edema sufferers to eat plenty of raw vegetables and fruit rich in potassium, especially spinach, lettuce, broccoli, bananas, oranges, apricots and tomatoes.
- Vitamin B6 is recommended in edema. It has a diuretic (excretion of fluid) effect and is particularly useful for pre-menstrual fluid retention. Vitamin B6 (pyrioxine) is known to help in clearing water retention. Brown rice and red meat are good sources of vitamin B6
- Eat plenty of cereal products, yeast, fish, chicken and nuts.
- Drink adequate amounts of barley water.
- Increase the physical activity and eat a balanced edema diet.
- Increasing dietary intake of the omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish and fish oils —eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — generally decrease several markers of inflammation.
- Turmeric and Ginger may inhibit the pro-inflammatory lipo-oxygenase or cyclo-oxygenase pathways
- VitaminB5, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D help the body remove water by increasing kidney function.
Best Foods To Treat Edema
Avocados are the best foods for edema treatment. The fruit has tons of benefits and lowers cholesterol effectively. When it comes to treating edema you can intake avocado with your eyes closed. It contains omega-3 fatty acids and has the ability to burn fat fast.
One should consume cabbage leaves as it has the ability to help the body absorb excess fluid.
Though bitter gourd might not be good in taste but it is good for health and also beneficial in treating edema.
Cucumber and Potato
Just like cabbage leaves, even cucumber and potato too can help the body absorb excess fluid.
Garlic helps to ease the tenderness and pain that come with edema as it is loaded with antioxidants. It also helps the body in resorbing excess fluid.
As the fruit contain high levels of chlorine that stimulate the kidneys to flush out excess fluid and toxins from the body.
Spinach is other great foods for edema treatment. It is one of the healthiest vegetables of all time because of its high content of vitamins and minerals. This food is a rich source of potassium and contains other valuable elements such as iron, manganese, etc. When it comes to vitamins, spinach is enriched with Vitamin C and E which act as powerful antioxidants as well.
This herb is an excellent source of dietary fibres and Iron. Along with that, it contains vitamins such as Vitamin B1 and B2. The high vitamin content in this food improves the fat burning process. Compared to other herbs, this is the richest source of vitamins and minerals and effectively treats edema.
Apricots are loaded with potassium and are a rich source of dietary fibres. This fruit comes with Vitamin A which is one of the bets fat-soluble compounds. This fruit promotes healthy bones and muscles and is often recommended by doctors to people who are prone to cataracts.
Banana is enriched with iron and is used as an effective fruit to boost energy before an exercise. This fruit is easily digested and is suitable for people falling in all age groups. Along with high iron contents, this fruit is enriched with potassium and manganese. Valuable vitamins such as B2, B6 and Niacin are present in this fruit which help to reduce the blood pressure effectively.
Tomato is a rich source of potassium. It reduces the levels of sodium in the body, which leads to water retention. Tomatoes are also acted as blood purifiers to cleanse your body of toxins. This is one of the best foods to treat Edema and daily consumption of tomatoes will reduce edema effectively.
We all are aware of the high potassium contents in raisins. This type of potassium content reduces the swelling and effectively reduces edema. They flush out the fluid and reduce the swelling. They also have anti-inflammatory properties which can bring down the inflammation caused by Edema.
Leafy vegetables are rich in Magnesium, which can reduce swelling in the limbs. They are also wonderful in keeping the body healthy with their high amounts of vitamins and minerals. Leafy vegetables also contain low sodium levels which can reduce the retention of water in the body.
Yoghurt contains 141 mg of potassium along with other proteins and fats. Such potassium is enough to treat edema. By taking natural foods itself, we can treat edema effectively at home without any medications. You can prepare your edema diet plan that includes all these natural foods for better results.
Studies show that people who eat fatty fish like salmon are less prone to Edema than those who prefer eating red meat. Salmon can help in bringing the inflammation down with its high potassium content. Being low on Sodium, Salmon can prevent the accumulation of water in the body.
Eating a mixture of nuts is known to help with Edema. Nuts are rich in Magnesium and low on Sodium. This can prevent water retention in the body. However, you need to avoid taking salted or seasoned nuts, as they are loaded with Sodium. Opt for unseasoned nuts to notice the difference.
Sweet potatoes are known to be one of the top foods to eat for edema treatment. They are laden with nutritional goodness and do plenty of good to the body. Being rich in Vitamin B12, sweet potatoes can help in reducing the swelling and inflammation of your limbs. You can eat them in different forms for better relief.
Olive Oil is one of the most nutritious oils in the world! They are known for their anti-inflammatory properties which can bring down the swelling in the body. This wonderful oil is also known to reduce chronic Edema with regular usage. Including extra virgin olive oil in your daily diet can bring down the symptoms effectively.
If you are looking for natural foods that reduce Edema, try coconut oil. Massaging the affected parts with coconut oil can alleviate pain and swelling. Along with that, you can replace your regular cooking oil with coconut oil for enhanced taste and better health benefits. Make sure you take only organic, cold-pressed coconut oil.
Foods to Avoid with Edema – Edema Diet
- Sodium Is Bad For Edema- avoid adding salt at the table and use a little or none in cooking;
- Avoid highly salted foods, such as chips, nuts, pretzels, corned meat, processed meats, sausages and takeaway food;
- Avoid salty condiments such as packet sauces, soy sauce and
- Restrict the intake of processed and canned foods, as they provide a good supply of sodium.
- Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
- Studies suggest that diets rich in saturated fats, trans fats and high glycemic index foods stimulate inflammation.
Avoiding High-Sodium Foods
Following a low sodium diet means not only increasing low-sodium foods in your diet but decreasing intake of high-sodium foods. One way to do this is to cut back on salt, as just 1 teaspoon of salt contains 2,325 milligrams of sodium. Salt is just one part of the picture, however. According to the FDA, only 11 percent of sodium in the edema diet comes from adding salt to foods during preparation or at the table, while 77 percent comes from eating prepackaged and prepared foods. The remaining 12 percent is naturally occurring in foods that grow in the ground.
So while reducing the salt shaker habit will decrease sodium intake, it is important to limit eating processed foods as well. Flavor your food with herbs and spices instead of salt, and avoid foods that come prepared with seasonings or sauces, such as seasoned pasta or rice in a box.
How to Reduce Salt Intake?
You should reduce your sodium intake to reduce water retention. You can start by eliminating salt while preparing your food.
Always read food labels and incorporate more low-sodium food products in your edema diet. Low-sodium foods usually contain less than 140 mg of sodium per serving.
Avoid high sodium foods such as microwave popcorn, instant hot cereals, commercial pancakes and waffles, ready-to-eat bran and oat cereals, salty snack crackers, and pretzels.
Avoid eating canned vegetables as they contain high amounts of sodium. You should carefully read the nutrition facts labels on the can to avoid salty foods.
Canned legumes might also contain high levels of sodium, so prepare your own food using dried beans to limit your sodium consumption.
Convenience foods contain high amounts of sodium and should be avoided by people who are trying to control edema. Furthermore, you should completely avoid fast foods if you have edema and request your food be prepared without salt at restaurants.
Some high sodium foods to avoid are commercial pancakes and waffles, ready-to-eat bran and oat cereals, instant hot cereals, microwave popcorn, salty snack crackers, and pretzels. These processed grains usually contain a side of sodium that is unhealthy and contribute to swelling and chronic edema.
Some canned vegetables contain high amounts of sodium. You should carefully read the nutrition facts labels on the cans to avoid salty foods. You should also avoid frozen vegetables that contain added sauces. Check the label for all pre-packaged vegetables to make sure no extra sodium is lurking.
Vegetable and tomato juice also have high amounts of sodium and should be avoided entirely if you have edema. Although drinking freshly-squeezed vegetable juice is healthy, most canned and packaged vegetable juices have high levels of added sodium. Never consume a beverage with added sodium if you suffer from edema on a chronic or periodic basis.
Just like canned vegetables, processed meats also contain significant amounts of sodium. You should avoid consuming luncheon meats, sausage, bacon, hot dogs, ham, and canned tuna.
Canned legumes might also contain high levels of sodium, so prepare your own stuff using dried beans to limit your sodium consumption. You should also avoid salted nuts and choose unsalted nuts instead.
Processed dairy foods contain significant amounts of sodium, so it should be avoided if you have edema. You should also avoid buttermilk and eat only fresh dairy products. Check the ingredient label on dairy products for sodium. Even yogurt and ice cream can hide surprisingly high levels of sodium. Any form of chemical processing can also contribute to swelling and bloating, so the more processed a dairy product, the more likely it is to cause problems with edema.
They contain high amounts of sodium and should be avoided by people who are trying to control edema. You should avoid foods such as frozen meals, soups and rice, and pasta mixes. Furthermore, you should completely avoid fast foods and request your food to be prepared without salt at restaurants.
Seasoning and Condiment Blends
These items can also be a source of sodium in your edema diet, so avoid seasonings that contain salt. Check the label to see if it has garlic salt or celery salt. You should also keep away from other high sodium condiments such as catsup, prepared salad dressings, and soy sauce.
Some carbonated beverages contain sodium in addition to carbonation and massive amounts of sugar. At the best of times, carbonated beverages should only be consumed as a rare treat, but if you suffer from edema, you should avoid all beverages containing added-sodium at all times. Carbonation can also contribute to gas and abdominal bloat.
Beer is a carbonated beverage made from fermented carbs. Beer not only leads to bloating and digestive problems, but it can also contain high levels of added sodium and flavoring. Avoid beer and other salty beverages if you suffer from edema symptoms.
Restaurants are notorious for loading their foods with salt. Not only do fast-food restaurants add tons of unnecessary salt, but more expensive restaurants also fill their foods with sodium and added salt. One dish at a restaurant can often contain more sodium than the average adult’s needs for an entire day. If you choose to eat out, watch carefully for salt and ask any restaurant to cook their dishes without salt or choose dishes that are naturally low in sodium (you can ask for a nutrition and ingredient breakdown at many popular restaurant chains to see exactly how much salt is in each menu item).
Trans fats are a type of fat common in processed foods that the body cannot process. Over time, too many trans fats in the edema diet lead to a build-up of fat that causes serious problems such as chronic inflammation, narrowing blood vessels, and even heart problems and tissue damage. If the tissues in your blood vessels are damaged, this can cause chronic edema and swelling. Eliminate all trans fats (also called hydrogenated oils or partially hydrogenated oils) to reduce the chances of seeing edema