Have you ever heard of “water retention? ” what is it then? Well, the human body consists of approximately 60% water. Water is vital in helping the body function properly and is largely responsible for dissolving nutrients and eliminating waste. When the body fails to eliminate excess water in the form of urine or sweat, it is referred to as water retention (edema.)
Water retention is often temporary and is easily treated, however, it can sometimes be an indication of a serious medical condition. If you are experiencing water retention that lasts more than a week, it is important to consult with your physician in order to determine the cause of water retention and rule out any possible health conditions.
Water retention can also be the result of a medical condition involving organs such as the liver, heart, or kidneys. Some women experience water retention during pregnancy or before their monthly period.
When an area of the body is not functioning properly, the body tends to retain fluid in that area of the body. The body becomes unable to eliminate fluid properly when certain medical conditions are present.
Symptoms of Water Retention
- Swelling of feet, ankles and hands, these areas are commonly affected
- Aching of affected body parts,
- rapid weight gain over a few days or weeks,
- Unexplained weight gain
- Stiff joints
- The skin may hold the indent for a few seconds when pushed in with a finger etc.
6 Ways To Reduce It
Cucumber has been used as a natural diuretic for a long time. Other natural diuretics such as onion, watermelon, tomatoes, dandelion, green beans, parsley etc. may help reduce water retention by making you pee frequently. Note: Some of the natural diuretics may interact with diuretic medications so check with your doctor or nutritionist.
Eat Less Salt
One of the main causes of water retention is eating too much salty foods such as many processed foods. The main component of salt is sodium, which the body dilutes with water if too much of it is present. Salt makes you thirsty, and your body will hold on to (retain) this water. The most common advice for reducing water retention is to reduce the amount of salt in your diet. However, the evidence behind this is mixed.
Be Active Physically
Activities such as bicycling, jogging and walking can also increase the rate at which blood pumps round your body (ankles and legs). Physical exercises actually aid in the widening of the blood vessels. Water retention might also develop on people who stand or sit for long hours, people who lie in hospital beds for long etc., because there is little or no regular body movement, therefore excess fluid from the tissue spaces are not drained. People with desk jobs should take breaks to walk around the office.
Increase Your Potassium Intake
One other way to reduce water retention is by increasing potassium intake by eating healthy foods such as vegetables and fruits( bananas, spinach, fresh mushrooms, coconut water, raisins etc.) These foods contain nutrients that help prevent blood vessels from leaking fluid in the tissue spaces.
Eat Brown Rice
Vitamin B6 has been shown to assist the body when it is suffering from water retention. Brown rice is an excellent source of B6, so make sure you regularly include it in your diet.
Drink More Water
Sounds strange right? Drinking water to reduce “water retention? ” Yes! Water flushes out the system better than anything else Drink 8 to 10 glasses a day; more when you exercise. Note: This advice is only for hormonal related bloating. If the water retention is caused by any other medical condition such as the ones mentioned above, then check with a physician before drinking extra water (it may not be good for you.) Drink water whenever you feel thirsty. Don’t postpone this for other time.
…healthy foods, healthy lives.
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