A build-up of fluid in your body, known as oedema, is a common cause of swollen feet and legs. It can be caused by a number of things – illness, standing or sitting for too long, pregnancy and certain medication. It can also be made worse by your diet.

Salt is a major culprit of oedema. That’s because salt attracts water in an effort to dilute the amount in your body. It won’t let go of the water until the balance has been restored. Processed foods such as chips and French fries are notoriously high in salt. When cooking, try to refrain from adding salt. Try using herbs, spice or lemon to flavour your food. Refined foods can also cause your body to hold onto water. If you can, try to avoid white bread, white past and white rice. Bakery goods, energy bars and flavoured yogurts can also contribute towards oedema. Instead, try to eat whole foods with no added sugars such as whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Natural diuretic foods can help your body release retained water and reduce swelling. Examples include asparagus, parsley, beets, grapes, pumpkins, leeks and onions. Also increase your intake of potassium, which helps regulate fluid balance in your body, by eating tomatoes, winter squash, melon and bananas.

Salt Try reducing the amount of salt in your diet