Taking supplements in addition to reducing your salt intake and increasing your consumption of foods rich in potassium and Omega-3 fatty acids will help reduce ankle swelling. Supplements are much more effective when used in conjunction with -- not instead of --- proper nutrition. Nutritional supplements that work to reduce inflammation should help ankle swelling. The University of Tennessee Medical Center states, "Swollen legs may be a sign of heart failure, kidney failure or liver failure." Therefore it is important to seek medical attention for ankle, foot and lower leg swelling.
Ginger, a good source of potassium and vitamin B6, has strong anti-inflammatory qualities. Ginger can be grated and added to cooked vegetables, soups and stews. Dr. Richard M. Fleming MD, author of "Stop Inflammation Now" writes, "Studies have shown that ginger can be effective in reducing the pain of arthritis, an inflammatory illness."
Tumeric, a relative of ginger, has potent anti-inflammatory properties. Tumeric is a common spice used in curry that you can add to a wide range of dishes. Tumeric contains a phtyochemical named curcumin that has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidation qualities.
Nettle, a plant that has been found to suppress inflammation, has been used by Native Americans for centuries. Dr. Fleming MD writes, "Researchers have reported that nettle is as effective at reducing inflammation as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but doesn't have theses medications side effects." You can use Nettle as drops added to water or juice, or steeped in water to make tea.
Flaxseed contains a high quality of anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids. You can add crushed or roasted flaxseed to your food as a condiment. Flaxseed helps to reduce inflammation, strengthen your immune system and destroy disease causing free radicals.
Vitamin B is a water soluble vitamin that has eight subcategories, all of which are readily available in foods. If it has been discovered through vitamin deficiency testing that you have a vitamin B deficiency then you should take a multivitamin that contains vitamin B-complex and folic acid. Vitamin B and folic acid supplementation may help decrease your lower leg edema.
Antioxidants include vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium, and beta carotene which is a form of vitamin A. Registered Dietitian Roberta Larson Duyff of the American Dietitian Association states about antioxidants, "They significantly slow or prevent the oxidative, (damage from oxygen) process and so prevent or repair damage to our body cells." These powerful agents are readily found in numerous nutritious foods. Research about antioxidant supplements and leg edema is preliminary but adding a dietary supplement that contains antioxidants at their Recommended Daily Allowance has potential to reduce inflammation.
- "Stop Inflammation Now"; Rich M. Fleming MD; 2004
- "The Inflammation Cure"; William Joel Meggs MD PhD; 2004
- "American Dietetic Association: Complete Food and Nutrition Guide: 3rd edition"; Roberta Larson Duyff MS, RD, FADA, CFCS; 2007
- University of Tennessee Medical Center: Foot, Leg, and Ankle Swelling
- Colorado State University: Water-Soluble Vitamins