Oedema is retained fluid that causes swelling, particularly in your hands and ankles, during pregnancy. There are a number of things which contribute to this, including mineral deficiencies, too much sugar and salt in your diet and by your hormone levels changing. Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to reduce the likelihood of oedema, by thinking about what you eat and drink in pregnancy.

Drink plenty of water

This may seem odd, but being dehydrated can cause water retention! So, make sure you drink plenty of water.

Eat foods that are natural diuretics

Diuretics help your body to get rid of water. Foods which are natural diuretics include

  • Artichokes
  • Blackcurrants
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Parsley

Chose pink Himalayan rock salt

It contains less sodium than table salt and more than 80 minerals and elements including potassium and magnesium. It is now readily available in supermarkets.

Avoid processed and packaged food

Processed food typically contains more sugar and salt than home-made equivalents, so try to avoid eating too much of it.

Drink natural diuretic teas

Herbal teas, such as dandelion leaf tea or nettle tea will help release fluid and reduce oedema. But it’s not advisable to drink too much herbal tea, see Foods to restrict in pregnancy for more information.

Information provided by specialist nutritional therapist: Rosie Letts Nutrition.

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