best and worst foods for swollen legs

Best & worst foods for swollen legs

A combination of swollen legs and ankles is so common that the phenomenon even got a special nick-name:  “cankles” .

“Cankles” are calves joining knees with ankles  without any change in leg size.

Swollen legs neither look pretty nor are a sign of good health (do you know what these 9 body signs indicate?).

The causes of swollen legs usually lie in lymphatic and venous stasis, which, in turn, are due to chronic imbalance between body water and minerals.

Nutritional directions for swollen legs

Let’s say you have a party to go to and you have already picked your favorite outfit. All nice, but it happens that the dress is not long enough to hide your swollen legs. What’s worse is that as the party goes on and you are dancing into the night, your feet may swell out of your shoes. What do you do to prevent such disaster?

You can do it in two ways, via:

  • beauty shortcuts: for that you can use dandelion tea or this special formula for excess water, or
  • proper self-care AKA improving your health; that can take longer, but the results are going to be permanent

Swollen legs are a sign of poor health, which usually comes from poor self-care due to misinformation. Cankles don’t happen on their own, so here is a test for you: 

Are you well-informed ?


Balancing water and minerals is an enormous topic, so I will need to dedicate several posts to explain what causes such changes and how to permanently bring the balance back.

Today however, I want to focus on foods that can temporarily remove excess water from the body and thus slim down the unsightly “cankles” for “the wedding tomorrow”.

Two day cure for swollen legs

Your party preparation needs to start at least 48 hours before. This is how long it would take you to remove your swollen legs (in a healthier fashion). As an added bonus the tips below may also flatten your stomach and slim your thighs.

It will take some focus and determination, but 48 hours is worth the trouble. The steps below will not only make you healthier, but also will teach you how your body should feel after two nice days of anti-inflammatory effort.

First, let’s get rid of the foods that bring excess water into the body and cause ankle swelling.

1 – Remove sugar to remove puffiness

Sugar loves water and will make your body hold much more than it’s healthy share. So, where is sugar coming from? The obvious source is sugar in your daily tea and coffee. Although you may be already planning to give it up, you need to know that those may be the least important sugar sources for you.



Hidden sources of sugar

Pop and treats

A much bigger load of sugar comes from the following: pop, syrups, jams, cookies, brownies, cakes, pies, muffins, waffles, and chocolate. These can really contribute to swollen feet. To remove excess sugar get yourself treats that are free of it like these soft and chewy keto-brownies. 

Snack bars, energy bars, and fruit bars

They often contain added sugar, glucose-fructose, honey, or corn syrup; check the labels carefully to identify any sweeteners promoting swollen legs.

69 Pleasures kindle coverA typical cereal bar contains 4 added cubes of sugar and additionally the body will convert the cereals into another 4 cubes, giving your body a jolt of 8 sugar cubes consumed as a snack. These 8 sugar cubes can really add to body puffiness. Fortunately, zero-carb snacks are readily available. See this one: perfect near zero-carb yum-healthy snack

Fruit juice, ice tea, lemonade, flavored water, sports drinks

Juices are notorious for their sugar content. A bottle of ice tea can contain as much as 8 cubes of sugar in a medium cup. To compare a regular coke will contain 10 cubes of sugar in the same amount.

What about fruit juices? Surprise! A bottle of unsweetened apple juice will have exactly the same amount of naturally occurring sugars as coke from added sugar. I am not sure if those extra vitamins from the juice are worth all that sugar and your swollen legs. Maybe instead you can get some ice tea mix sweetened with stevia. 

Dried fruit

Although dried fruit is healthier than candy dried fruit carries a surprisingly large amount of sugar. Sunsweet sweetened cranberries have an equivalent of 9 cubes of sugar in 1/3 of a cup. A mini box of raisins has an equivalent of 3 cubes of sugar.


Yogurt is naturally sour, so to help with taste manufacturers add sugar. For example the average yogurt contains approximately 10 cubes of sugar in a 8oz cup. Some is naturally occurring some is added. Although choosing yogurt without sugar will sure help your swollen legs, do not fall for artificially sweetened variety which isn’t any healthier.

2 – Remove Starch

Starch is nothing, but a pile of glucose molecules link together. Think of starch and flour as sugar that does not taste sweet. 

You can easily identify starchy foods yourself: bread, pizza, pasta, muffins, bagels, rolls, buns. These are easy to remember, because everyone talks about them.

However, there are some starchy foods you may not think much of: pitas, wraps, flatbreads, tortillas breakfast cereals, muesli, oatmeal, kasha, couscous, and barley.

How much starch converts to sugar? All of it! A medium bagel will convert into 14 cubes of sugar, a single pack (50g) of unflavored dry oats will convert into 9 cubes of sugar, and a burrito-size tortilla into 11 cubes of sugar. Yikes! See if switching to near zero-carb wraps would temporarily alleviate your starchy temptations. 

Your swollen legs will love any non-starchy solution, but they may be best off if you bring delicious non-starchy meals into your kitchen permanently. Refer to 69 Pleasures for guidance. This super-simple cookbook will give you 69 non-starchy mouth-watering recipes

3 – Remove Salt

Every time you eat salty foods you will get thirsty and your body will ask for water. The more water inside you, the bigger the potential for swollen legs. As I mentioned at the beginning it will take a few days to get rid of that water, so if you do not want to have swollen legs you will need to also remove salty foods at least two days before your party.

Extra salt in your diet does not really come from the salt shaker, but from processed foods. Here is a short list of the most salted foods: bacon, ready-made soups, cold cuts, kielbasa, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, canned meals, take out foods, and condiments.

Daily recommended intake for sodium is 1,500mg/day. If you get more than that the body will hold extra water. Half a cup of cottage cheese has 500mg of sodium, Pizza Hut Personal Pan pepperoni pizza 1,500mg, 2 slices of bacon 750mg, and 1 tbsp of Creole mustard has 500mg. Be on the lookout as sodium easily adds up, and with it the water in your legs.

Ok, here are water purging quickies for swollen legs

If you remove sugar, starch, and salt you are already half way to a slim body and thin ankles instead of swollen cankles. The other part of the success lies in the addition of foods that will help you with mineral balance and speeding up water removal. There are seven special foods that do just that. I listed them on a downloadable chart that you can print and post on your fridge. The chart also contains two special juice recipes that help in the fight against swollen legs.


Now you are ready to put on that dress, party without swollen legs and feel light on your feet. And if you like this state of lightness enough you may tell your friends that you have a party every day, so you can have an excuse to eat better and look gorgeous every day. 


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