Friday, August 12, 2016
How to Deal with Foot and Leg Swelling During the Summer Months
It is so interesting to me that more often than not when it gets hot outside, my legs begin to swell. I have always wondered—is it the heat that confounds my body or do I end up eating saltier foods in the heat of the summer? Or maybe it is that I need to be drinking more water because of the heat. In researching this conundrum here is what I found: Heat edema occurs when heat causes the blood vesicles to dilate while the person remains in a prolonged upright sitting or standing position. This condition is inconvenient and uncomfortable. It is also very common for a lot of people, particularly those that are older, pregnant, are menstruating or overweight.
When it comes to limiting the salty drinks and foods in the summertime, it seems a little more challenging. We eat more barbecue, potato chips and, of course, indulge in summer drinks like salty dogs or margaritas. I have found by making my own versions of our favorite summer foods I can cut down and even eliminate a lot of the added salt.
Even with knowing all the things I can do to help my swollen feet, I still struggle to keep the swelling down during the course of a day. That is when I decided to research what foods can act as a natural diuretic. It turns out there are many of them and a lot of them suit our summertime eating sensibilities. One of my favorites I discovered is watermelon! Who doesn’t love an ice-cold slice of watermelon in the heat? Other foods that act as a natural diuretic are lemons (think fresh lemonade with stevia), celery (think dip with crudité), tomatoes (think fresh cold gazpacho soup) and asparagus (think cold with a mustard vinaigrette drizzled on top). The best natural diuretic, believe it or not, is water. Lemon water, hot or cold, is a great way to add health and keep the fluids flowing as part of a daily routine.
Once I started designing menus that incorporated foods that are natural diuretics, along with being conscious of moving around more and using a lot less salt, my swelling has been virtually eliminated.
Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!