What to Eat to Reduce Swelling During Pregnancy

One of the more unpleasant side effects of pregnancy that almost every woman experiences in swelling. We’re not talking weight gain, that’s a horse of a different color altogether. We’re talking about the puffiness that sets in at various times of the day and various stages of your pregnancy. Swelling during pregnancy is totally normal, and usually, nothing to be concerned about. But we know how uncomfortable it can be! Not to mention annoying – it’s not uncommon for your feet to swell so much you no longer fit into your shoes. But luckily, there are definitely some steps you can take to minimize swelling, starting with your diet. Here’s what to eat to reduce swelling during pregnancy, as well as foods to avoid.

Your swelling may be exacerbated by what you’re eating. Here’s what to eat to reduce swelling during pregnancy.

First and foremost, it sounds counterproductive, but one of the best ways to reduce your swelling is by drinking plenty of water! A lot of the swelling you experience during pregnancy is from water retention. Your body retains extra fluid, which settles in your extremities. Drinking lots of water helps flush the body and reduce fluid retention. You should be drinking between 2 – 3 liters of water a day.

PREVIOUSLY: Swelling During Pregnancy is Normal, But When Should You Start to Worry?

Make sure that you’re taking your prenatal vitamins on a daily basis; the right vitamins and minerals in your diet can help combat some of the swelling that happens during pregnancy. In addition to your prenatal vitamins, focus on eating a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats and proteins. Lean proteins like turkey and chicken can help balance the amount of fluid in your tissues.

Potassium-rich foods are also a good way to fight swelling. Foods that are high in potassium, like bananas, sweet potatoes, and avocado, can help keep the swelling down by keeping your body chemically balanced.

These foods can contribute to swelling during pregnancy, so avoid them as much as possible.

Watching your sodium intake is one of the most important steps you can take to keep your swelling down. High amounts of salt can cause you to retain even more fluid. Avoid adding table salt to all your food, and check the labels for sodium content. Additionally, cut down on how much processed food you’re eating. Not only do most processed foods contain high amounts of sodium, they also have trans-fats, which can lead to edema.

PREVIOUSLY: What Foods Should You Avoid During Pregnancy?

Finally, take a look at how much caffeine you’re consuming on a daily basis. Too much caffeine can cause water retention. Plus, the sugar and carbs in lots of sweetened, caffeinated beverages can also contribute to swelling.

If you’re wondering what to eat to reduce swelling during pregnancy, it’s pretty straightforward! Try to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet, lay off the processed, salty foods, and drink plenty of water.

(Image: iStock/nd3000)

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