Sodium can cause swollen legs and ankles, according to Healthline. A diet with a high salt content can worsen edema, which is swelling that occurs when the body retains fluid. Edema is commonly a symptom of some other condition, such as pregnancy, varicose veins or kidney disease.
Staying physically active, reducing sodium and salt intake in the diet, and keeping the legs elevated when sitting are typical ways to relieve and prevent edema in the legs and ankles, notes Healthline, Eating green vegetables and foods high in vitamins A, B, C and E help alleviate swelling. Bilberry, grape seed extract and dandelions are among the herbal remedies that may reduce swelling. Individuals with edema should avoid smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages.