Water retention can happen to anyone and it’s typically not a serious problem. If left unchecked, it can lead to constant puffiness and bloating in the stomach and limbs, also known as edema. General water retention contributes to weight fluctuations from one day to the next. Fortunately, there are many techniques that can reduce bloating, especially if fluid retention is the culprit. The easiest way to help flush excess water from the body is by altering the diet and focusing on eating specific foods.
Why Do People Retain Water?
There are myriad causes that lead to acute water retention, which can go away after making subtle lifestyle changes. Often times, the foods people eat are high in properties that contribute to puffiness, bloating, and general discomfort. According to several studies, eating too much salt causes the body to store excess amounts of water. When the body cannot release water, it builds up and creates distention in the stomach. On the other hand, certain health conditions, including kidney, liver, or heart disease, can cause fluid accumulation in the body. Pregnant women can also experience temporary water retention.
Water is the body’s life force, but retaining too much of it can make you feel bloated, self-conscious and uncomfortable. Try to consume the following foods if you experience water retention.
The average American eats an excess amount of sodium and doesn’t balance it out with proper potassium intake. Potassium is an electrolyte that helps to balance the body’s sodium levels, and bananas happen to excellent sources of potassium. A banana a day keeps puffiness and water retention away. If that’s not a saying yet, it may be one day!
Many cultures have used parsley as a natural diuretic in herbal healing practices. According to several studies, parsley exhibits diuretic and anti-hypertensive properties that may benefit numerous health conditions, especially cardiovascular conditions. Parsley works to eliminate excess fluid without depleting the body of potassium. Additionally, parsley may be an excellent herb that assists with long-term weight management. Pregnant women should avoid parsley because it’s an emmenagogue, which means it may increase the risk of miscarriage.
Similar to parsley, dandelion exhibits diuretic properties that may fight bloating or water retention. Dandelion actually encourages the kidneys to expedite the elimination of water and sodium from the body. Dandelion is also rich in potassium, which helps to balance sodium levels. Even though there are only a few studies about dandelion’s ability to flush water from the body, many anecdotal reports confirm its efficacy.
When it comes to reducing water retention, the best foods you can consume are the ones that contain a diverse electrolyte content. Electrolytes like potassium, calcium, and magnesium have an electrical charge that regulate bodily functions, including water levels. If an electrolyte imbalance exists in the body, fluid levels go awry and the body begins to retain water. Watermelon is a rich source of electrolytes and it helps the body flush out excess sodium and water. It also exhibits diuretic properties that increase urination.
It seems strange that drinking more water is the answer to your problems, but this is indeed the case. Dehydration can also cause water retention because the kidneys attempt to conserve the water by re-absorbing water from urine and other areas. If dehydration is the culprit, drink more water to reduce water retention. Your water intake will vary depending on your weight and level of physical activity. Click here to learn about how much water you should drink daily.
Nutrient-dense whole grains work to enhance the digestive process because they typically have a high concentration of fiber. In the case of brown rice, it offers magnesium and B-vitamins in addition to fiber. These nutrients have demonstrated that they effectively aid with water retention. If brown rice isn’t your favorite whole grain, buckwheat and amaranth are great alternatives that may help you release water from the body.