Water retention happens when there is a build-up of excess fluids in the body. It can also be called edema or fluid retention. It happens within cavities and tissues or in the circulatory system. It could lead to swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, and hands. Several factors could cause this to happen, and most of them are not severe. It could affect people that are not physically active, like those who sit through long flights or people that are bedridden. Also, this condition could be a warning sign of a severe medical issue such as heart failure or kidney disease. It is recommended that you visit your healthcare provider if you experience severe or sudden water retention.
In cases where there is no underlying health issue, and the swelling is mild, there are some tips you can follow to reduce water retention. These are the major ways you can reduce water retention;
Avoid refined carbs
When you eat refined carbs, it could lead to rapid spikes in insulin and blood sugar levels. When your insulin levels are high, your body is forced to retain more sodium as it increases the reabsorption of sodium in your kidneys. In turn, it would result in a higher volume of fluid in your body. Processed sugars and grains like white flour and table sugar are examples of refined carb.
Try taking dandelion
You can also opt to utilize dandelion as it is a natural diuretic, and as such, it could make you frequently pee, which in turn would aid with water retention. A study taken with 17 participants had them take three doses of dandelion leaf extract for 24 hours. Their fluid intake and output were monitored over the next few days, and they found out that they had a noticeable rise in their production of urine. What this shows is that dandelion extract is an efficient diuretic.
Eat more potassium-rich foods
Potassium has a lot of beneficial properties and functions. For instance, it is responsible for sending the electrical signals that help keep your body running. It could also be beneficial to your heart health. Also, it has been found to tackle water retention in two ways by increasing the production of urine and lowering sodium levels. Examples of foods that are high in potassium include tomatoes, avocadoes, and bananas.
Increase intake of Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 consists of several vitamins that are related. These vitamins are crucial for many bodily functions, and they are also needed for the formation of red blood cells. Research has shown that vitamin B6 is effective when it comes to reducing water retention. Meat, walnuts, potatoes, and bananas are some of the foods that are rich in vitamin B6. You can also opt for the purchase of vitamin B6 supplements.
Increase your intake of magnesium
Magnesium remains a vital mineral. It plays an important role in over 300 enzymatic reactions that are crucial for the proper functioning of your body. In addition to that, you can actively reduce water retention by increasing your intake of magnesium. Foods that are great sources of magnesium include leafy green vegetables, dark chocolate, whole grains, and nuts. You can also find it as a supplement.
Consume less salt
Salt consists of sodium and chloride. Sodium binds to the water in your body and is responsible for maintaining the balance of fluids in and out of cells. When you consume meals that contain high levels of salt like a lot of processed foods, your body would be forced to retain water. Processed foods are the largest dietary source of sodium. You must reduce your intake of sodium if you are looking to reduce water retention. Studies have shown that you could increase the retention of fluid in your body by increasing your sodium intake. While this varies in different individuals, it is advisable to cut down on salt where possible.
More ways to reduce water retention
These are some of the other ways you can reduce water retention;
- Drink more water: While this might seem like a counter-intuitive step, increasing your intake of water can help to fight against water retention.
- Move around: Since being physically inactive can lead to water retention, it is only ideal that getting active would help reduce water retention. You can walk around a bit to help reduce the build-up of fluid in areas like your lower limb. Another great method to try is to elevate your feet.