Fluid retention, also known as edema, occurs when excess fluids accumulate within the body. Water retention typically occurs in the circulatory system or in the cavities or tissues, causing swelling in the feet, ankles, leg, and hands.
While there are many reasons for edema, most of them are harmless. For instance, some women experience it before their monthly period or during pregnancy. In addition, those why are physically inactive are also at higher risk of being affected by water retention.
Unfortunately, water retention can sometimes indicate a more severe condition, such as heart failure or kidney disease. Hence, if you have severe water retention, get checked as soon as possible.
6 Ways To Reduce Water Retention
1. Eat Less Salt
Salt is made of chloride and sodium, which attaches to water in the body and helps keep the balance of fluid inside and outside of cells. Regular consumption of meals containing high amounts of salt, like processed foods, causes the body to retain water. As a matter of fact, processed foods are the richest dietary source of sodium. Reducing sodium intake is the basic step that should be taken when it comes to reducing water retention.
2. Increase Your Magnesium Intake
Magnesium is an essential mineral that takes part in over 300 enzymatic reactions that keep the body functioning properly. Additionally, boosting your magnesium intake may help reduce water retention, too.
It has been scientifically shown that 200 mg of magnesium daily reduced water retention in women with premenstrual symptoms. Other studies done on the topic have come up with similar results.
Solid sources of magnesium include whole grains, leafy, green vegetables, dark chocolate, and nuts. It can be found in the form of supplement as well.
3. Increase Vitamin B6 Intake
Vitamin B6 is a group containing few related vitamins, all of which are needed for the formation of red blood cells, and also participates in many other functions in the body. This vitamin has been found to reduce water retention in women with premenstrual syndrome. Foods high in vitamin B6 include meat, potatoes, walnuts, and bananas.
4. Eat More Potassium-Rich Foods
Just like magnesium, potassium serves many functions in the body and is equally important. For instance, it sends signals that keep the body running properly. Moreover, it also promotes heart health. Studies show that it helps reduce water retention, thanks to its ability to increase urine production and decrease sodium levels. Good sources of potassium include tomatoes, bananas, and avocados.
5. Try Taking Dandelion
Dandelion is a herb that has been long used as a natural diuretic. This means that it helps reduce water retention by making you urinate more frequently.
In a study involving 17 subjects who were given three doses of dandelion leaf extract over a twenty-four period, there was a notable increase in urine produced.
6. Avoid Refined Carbs
The consumption of refined carbs causes rapid spikes in both blood sugar and insulin levels. Consequently, high insulin levels cause the body to retain more sodium by increasing the absorption in the kidneys. Good examples of refined carbs include table sugar, white flour, and other processed sugars and grains.
Other Ways To Reduce Water Retention
While many people swear by the effectiveness of these tricks, note that some of them are not actually backed up by science.
Corn silk: People from different parts of the world use this herb for the treatment of water retention.
Nettle: Yet another folk remedy used to treat water retention.
Cranberry juice: It has been reported to offer diuretic properties.
Fennel: It is also known to have diuretic properties.
Horsetail: It has been scientifically shown to have diuretic effects.
Parsley: Again, it has a good reputation as a diuretic.
Hibiscus: A recent study confirmed that it acts as a natural diuretic.
Garlic: It has been historically used for its powerful diuretic effect.
Move around: Walking and moving around helps reduce water retention in some areas, especially the lower limbs.