Swollen Ankles can be avoided

Swollen left ankle from sitting down at your desk all day

Swollen ankles is a common occurrence, especially if you are sitting down all day at a desk or even coming off a long airplane or train trip.

Here are 4 easy ways to get rid of your swollen ankles without using drugs or requiring a Doctor's visit.

Some people (mainly my kids) call Swollen Ankles cankles because there is no definition between the calf and the ankle.

If you suffer from this and every time you mention it to your Doctor,they tell you have water retention and prescribe diuretics, then try these 4 easy steps.

  • Sleep with your feet raised. I use a pillow or a bolster. Just this by itself will reduce the swollen ankles quickly.
  • Walk around at least every hour. You don't need to walk a marathon but try and do 100 steps.
  • Drink Green tea at least once a day first thing in the morning
  • Eat some (or all) of the foods mentioned below.

How I found out what worked to stop my Swollen Ankles.

I suffered from swollen ankles for a long time and the only thing that the Doctors offered was to take a diuretic. A diuretic flushes water from the body and you are always going to the toilet to empty your bladder. This is not a bad thing except that the swollen ankle keeps reappearing.

Since I decided that I didn't want to be on drugs all my life, I went out to find out what the cause was.

What I found was really interesting and simple when it was explained to me.

The problem as it was described to me was that the fluid that drained to the bottom of the lower extremities (legs and feet) wasn't been pumped back to be recirculated through the heart. This pump is a lymphatic pump in the leg muscles and it wasn't working properly.

What is a lymphatic pump?

The lymph fluid is moved through the body in its own vessels. This fluid makes a one-way journey from the feet to the veins at the base of the neck. Since the lymphatic system does not have a heart to pump it, its upward movement depends on the motions of the muscle and joint pumps. 

So if you stop moving those muscles and joints they don't pump the fluids back to the neck veins. This fluid tends to collect at the lowest point in the body. That is the main cause of swollen ankles.

What happens when a lymphatic pump doesn't work?

The lymphatic system clears away infection and keeps your body fluids in balance. If it's not working properly, fluid builds in your tissues and causes swelling, called lymphedema. Other lymphatic system problems can include infections, blockage, and cancer.

Not moving can cause Cancer. That is really scary, especially if you are stuck behind a desk all day.

Why is the Lymphatic system important to reduce Swollen Ankles?

Your lymphatic system is one of the many important cleansing parts of your body, along with your liver. Both of these systems keep your blood healthy, your digestive system humming. It also helps the body detox from harmful substances the natural way that nature intended it to do. However, sometimes bad lifestyle choices or harmful foods can all cause a slow down of lymph. The lymph is a fluid that goes through your body and is part of your cardiovascular system. The lymph affects all parts of the body and is affected by others, such as the digestive system, as well.

View your blood and digestive system as something that needs your help daily. You help by eating beneficial foods and consuming water-rich drinks. This keeps it moving well, as does regular activity. While exercise and even hot showers and massage can all stimulate lymph flow, food choices shouldn’t be ignored. [See below].

Lymphatic system diagram

Can a person live without lymph nodes?

Lymph nodes that have been removed during cancer or other surgery can leave part of the body without a way to drain off the lymph fluid in the affected area. Many of the lymph vessels now run into a dead end where the node used to be, and fluid can back up. This is called lymphedema, and it can become a life-long problem.

What are the first signs of lymphedema?

Signs your lymphatic system may need some assistance include headaches, sluggishness, inflammation, poor digestion, mucus build-up, and general stiffness. 

Lymphedema signs and symptoms, which occur in your affected arm or leg, include:

  • Swelling of part or all of your arm or leg, including fingers or toes.
  • A feeling of heaviness or tightness.
  • Aching or discomfort.
  • Recurring infections.
  • Hardening and thickening of the skin (fibrosis)

Foods that can reduce your Swollen Ankles.

Be sure to avoid dairy foods that slow lymph down, along with processed foods, sugary foods, and foods high in oils. These can all be clogging to the body, while the foods below all possess natural cleansing properties that also energize you. They also keep you moving. Since movement acts like a pump for the lymphatic system, you just can’t go wrong with these foods!

1. Citrus

Citrus is one of the most detoxifying foods you can eat, specifically lemons, limes, navel oranges, tangerines, blood oranges, and grapefruit. These foods all possess powerful enzymes, along with Vitamin C. These support the body and keep digestion flowing. Enjoy one - three servings of these daily, whether that’s the whole fruit as a part of a meal or snack. Also use the juice squeezed into water or onto salads or entrees, or wedges of the fruit used in smoothies. Be sure to buy organic since toxic chemicals can be in the peels. Citrus fruits are also good for your liver, so they’re just overall great when trying to keep your body healthy.

2. Berries

Berries are rich in detoxifying benefits that cleanse the system and also add hydration for healthy lymph flow. Since lymph helps the body filter toxins, it’s important to eat foods with anti-bacterial benefits such as cranberries. Of course other berries are also great, so choose whichever ones you enjoy and eat them daily. The dark red and purple berries appear to have the most anti-oxidants.

3. Greens

All types of greens remove harmful chemicals and toxins from our body that you encounter daily. They nourish your cells to detoxify the way your body wants to. They also provide nutritional support with Vitamins A, C, and K, along with iron, magnesium, B vitamins, and protein. 

4. Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds

These seeds provide magnesium to support the nervous system and healthy fats to lubricate the body and promote lymph flow. They also help scrape the digestive tract from toxins through healthy fibers. This keeps your body from toxic-build up that can block lymph flow due to slow digestion. Toss a few into your next bowl of porridge, use them to bake with, or add them to smoothies and raw trail mix. I use all types of seeds when I bake bread.

5. Chia, Hemp and Flax

Like pumpkin and sunflower seeds, these seeds are full of omega 3 rich fatty acids, which are excellent for lymph flow. Hemp seeds are also a good source of chlorophyll, nature’s best cleanser, so be sure to include some into your daily diet. Their fibre also keeps the body’s processes moving and flowing naturally, and will help your heart stay healthy. Enjoy them in oatmeal or sprinkle them onto a smoothie or entree. Healthy fats like these also help your body absorb nutrients from other foods that the lymphatic system needs to work well.

6. Herbs and Spices

All herbs and spices are amazing for cleansing the body. Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, wasabi and black pepper being some of the best. These foods also contain antioxidants that benefit the brain and can help the digestive system. This benefits the lymph flow. Garlic is another powerful food that also comes with the same benefits.

7. Seaweed and Algae

Spirulina, kelp, nori, wakame, chlorella, and dulse are types of seaweed and algae your body love. They are not just cleansing for the body. Because they are also incredibly nutrient- dense, they provide high amounts of iron, omega 3’s, Vitamin A, protein, magnesium, B vitamins, iodine, and chlorophyll. Try to add a teaspoon of these to your diet if you can.

Spirulina can be used in smoothies, along with chlorella, and dulse, wakame, kelp and nori. They all make great salad and wrap ingredients.

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and even vegetable juices if you have access to a juicer. These hydrate the body and keep things moving along the way your body prefers.

Don’t let your health suffer from poor lifestyle and diet choices. You deserve the chance to feel well as much as absolutely possible, so get up and move daily, try some yoga, get some fresh air, enjoy that hot shower, and fill up on these foods!

Michel Van