A Healthy Diet to Reduce Swelling, Water Retention, and More During Pregnancy
Eating for two (or more, for the multiple moms) can feel overwhelming with all of the tips and information overload out there. You’re probably already experiencing swelling, water retention, andso much more; but you want your babytoget the best nutrition in the most beneficial way that still supports an easy pregnancy.
Of course, you may already be eating a healthy, nourishing diet for you and baby, but there are certain foods that increase the risk of edema (swelling during pregnancy). Eliminating these kinds of foods, drinks, and seasonings will help reduce swelling, bloating, water retention, and may even keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. Here are some recommendations on what to eliminate and what to increase to reduce water retention during pregnancy.
What to eliminate:
- The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends staying away from any foods that have chemicals, food additives or preservatives, or that are suspected food allergens. This includes soy, corn, dairy (milk, cheese, ice cream, etc.), and wheat.
- Reduce your intake of salt and salty foods. Ask your doctor or OB/GYN how much salt you can have and use sea salt where possible.
- The UMM also recommends eliminating trans fatty acids that show upin processed foods, fried foods, and commercially-baked goods. Also, avoid refined foods like enriched bread products, pastas, and sugary foods.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco, not only for edema but extensive research has demonstrated the link between alcohol, tobacco and low birth weight, higher risk births.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco, not only for edema but extensive research has demonstrated the link between alcohol, tobacco and low birth weight, higher risk births
Eliminating the above foods will help reduce the potential for edema, water retention, and high blood pressure during —and even after pregnancy. But what should you add,eat more of, or increase in your diet to help curb edema and other uncomfortable conditions that occur during pregnancy?
What toeat more of:
- Eat more natural diuretic foods like dark, leafy greens, beets, pineapples, garlic, asparagus, grapes, beets, green beans, and onions. Discuss what toeat with your doctor, especially if you’re taking any medication or diuretics
- According to the UMM, you should also increase your intake of foods that are high in B vitamins and iron. Those dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale, and sea vegetables are super healthy for you and baby. Also incorporate more whole grains, such as rice, quinoa, buckwheat, andoats.
- Consume antioxidant-rich foods. This includes tomatoes, cherries, blueberries, mild bell peppers, pinto beans, raspberries, and cranberries.
- The American Pregnancy Association suggests consuming foods rich in potassium, which helps prevent swelling during pregnancy by keeping fluids balanced. Potassium can be foundin foods like bananas, squash, certain legumes, and sweet potatoes.
These foods offer maximum nutritional benefits for baby while giving you relief from the common pregnancy symptoms, and they’ll help you keep that pregnancy glow naturally without the added water weight, swelling, and bloating.