Edema is swelling or puffiness of parts of the body and is caused by water that gets trapped in the tissues of your body. Also known as water retention, it usually happens in the feet, ankles and legs.
• Drink at least 8 glasses of fluids, per day. Mineral water, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice and green teas are good choices. The more hydrated the body, the less water it retains.
• Aim to eat six small meals/snacks a day. Do not go longer than 3 hours without eating.
• Enjoy plenty of good diuretic fruits in your regular diet. The best are melons and citrus fruits. They are rich in potassium, which balances sodium and helps to eliminate fluid.
• Include lots of good diuretic vegetables in your daily diet. Choose leafy green, celery, cucumber, watercress, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, carrots and onions. Like fruit, most vegetables are rich in potassium, which helps to maintain a healthy fluid balance.
• Include regular amounts of starchy wholegrain carbs in your daily diet. Some people find they do better on rice, pasta, couscous and potatoes, rather than wheat.
• Include unsalted nuts, seeds, bananas, whole grain unsalted crackers in your snacks.
• Aim to take in 1200-1350 milligrams of calcium, per day, until your water retention eases. Two glasses of 1 percent milk (600 milligrams of calcium) plus one cup of low-fat yogurt (415 milligrams of calcium) will give you most of what you need.
• Substitute salmon, tuna, sardines or any other oily fish for red meat, at least twice a week. Oily fish has numerous health benefits, especially for women who suffer from PMS.