Exercise daily to move and use the muscles in the part of your body affected by edema, especially your legs, to assist in pumping the excess fluid back towards your heart. Elevating the affected body parts while you sleep may be helpful. Reduce salt intake. Salt can increase fluid retention and worsen edema. It is best to avoid eating uncooked (raw), greasy, and pungent food and chocolate. No smoking, drinking alcohol, coffee and cold beverages.