Water retention is one of the major reasons for gaining weight. It may even prevent you from losing extra pounds. Feeling puffed and bloated are the main symptoms that indicate that you may be suffering from water retention. If you experience swellings of different parts of the body, such as face, hands, ankles, legs and feet, you probably suffer from this condition.
Water retention, or edema, in medical terms, can be caused by the aggregation of extra fluids in your circulatory system and in the areas between the cells. Water retention can occur in all people, but most often, in pregnant women. It can be prevented by consuming foods that are high in potassium.
According to a research done by the University of Maryland Medical Center, the main causes of water retention are hormonal changes, pregnancy, menopause and body’s reaction to humid weather.
Furthermore, all the causes of water retention are the following:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Poor kidney functionality
- Inadequate intake of certain vitamins
- Liver disorders
- Lack of minerals
- Lack of antioxidants
- Fast food
- Food allergies
As we age, the food in our stomach doesn’t digest properly, since our stomach doesn’t produce as much acid as it used to. Thus, a lot of undigested food passes into the intestine where can cause damage, like inflammation and irritation on the intestine wall.
Consequently, the intestine wall becomes thin and leaky, allowing undigested ‘pieces’ of food to come in contact with the blood. The immune system reacts by sending antibiotics, which can cause allergy symptoms, like water retention.
The foods that are the main factors in causing water retention are eggs and dairy.
At this point, only if you remove them from your daily routine, you can lose weight. However, water retention may be caused by some other factors, so it could not eliminate the problem.
Get rid of water detention
Even though you may think that you can deal with this issue by consuming less water, it is the opposite case, in fact. Actually, the first and the best advice is to drink water every day, all day long, for consuming less water could lead in dehydration, and the body will hold on to water, as it does with fat. For even better effects, you can combine it with a slice of lemon or orange.
You should consume fresh vegetables and fresh fruits, which are fiber and antioxidant-rich, for helping in cancer prevention and water retain. Similarly to water, fiber has cleansing properties and cleanses the colon and intestinal tract, thus removing excess fluids.
For a proper function of the metabolism, your body needs 2-2.5gr of salt on a daily basis. Our advice is to keep sodium in normal range, and replace sodium-rich foods with spices such as ginger, garlic, chives and even fresh vegetables. Moreover, the consumption of foods like fried fries, chips and other foods which contain sodium could cause water retention.
The salty taste of sweat is due to the sodium ions located on the area, which mix with water. Drinking water throughout the day is of great importance, for sweating shows that your metabolism is fully functional. In this way, after a while, you will have a water-tasty sweat. This is an indicator that you are sodium-free, and you have lost a lot of the fluid that causes bloating.
Grains and nuts
Grains and nuts are rich in vitamin B6, a nutrient which will help you in cases of feeling buffed and in PMS. Fiber is another ingredient of grains, and nuts are rich in fats. Moreover, you must avoid those that are rich in sodium and salted nuts.
Melons and citrus are high in potassium that balances sodium levels, so they are also beneficial in cases of water retention. You can add these to your morning diet a fruit salad.
Fish is rich in omega-3 essential oils, which are extremely important for the body, so they must be a regular part of your menu. Incorporate fatty fish, like salmon and tuna at least twice a week in your diet.
In order to maintain the optimal health state of your body, your diet should consist of 15% of any food and 85% of grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, seeds and soya.
The kidney filters water, sodium and potassium to make urine, and low amounts of these are returned to the blood to keep the levels constant. Diuretics are extremely helpful in case of water retention, for they increase the amount of urine. Diuretics also prevent water retention, by regulating blood pressure, and treating congestive heart failure and liver disease.
However, note that extended use of diuretics could cause dehydration, leading to kidney damage and imbalance in the potassium and sodium levels, which are vital for the kidney, liver and heart functionality. At the worst case scenario, imbalance in normal levels of electrolytes could lead to death.
Moreover, there are some foods that contain diuretic characteristics, including:
- Hawthorn (the most powerful)
- Corn silk
- Caffeine-rich like tea and coffee.
To sum up, if you are trying to get rid of or avoid water retention, and maintain a healthy and functional metabolism, you need to consume fresh foods, and limit the daily salt intake. Thus, you need to remove processed and packaged food, which are always sodium-rich and focus on more healthy food items instead.