What Is Water Retention?
Edema, or also known as water retention, is accumulation of excess fluids in the circulatory system and areas between the body cells. Edema commonly occurs in pregnant women, but anyone can be affected by this condition. Edema causes swelling in different parts of the body, such as face, hands, feet, ankles and legs.
Causes Of Water Retention
Water retention can be caused by many different factors, including body`s reaction to humid weather, hormonal changes during menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause and side effects of oral contraceptives. Furthermore, nutritional deficiencies, heart or liver disorders, hyperthyroidism, kidney and liver disorders, lack of protein, prescribed medications and inadequate intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, are also causes of fluid retention in the body. However, the most common cause of edema are food allergies.
The aging process leads to decreased digestive functions which results with improper food digestion. The food which is not properly digested passes into the intestines where it can cause irritation and inflammation. In this case, it can appear damage of the intestinal walls, causing perforation which allows the food particles to enter the blood.
The immune system responds with releasing antibodies to deal with them, causing allergy symptoms, including fluid retention. Generally, we become allergic to the foods we eat most frequently such as dairy products, eggs and wheat.
All you need to do is eliminate these foods which cause you problems, and the fluid retention will disappear. But, if the fluid retention is caused by other factors, losing weight can be a bit difficult.
Lay Off The Salt
Fast food such as French fries, potato chips, hamburgers, and other food that is rich in salt can cause water retention. Daily body need of sodium is between 2000-2500 mg to complete its metabolic functions properly. Sodium overconsumption can cause many health issues, so you should keep your sodium intake at moderate level and change your diet routines. For instance, you should eat more garlic, ginger, fresh vegetables, chives, cilantro, black pepper, or hot sauce.
Eat More Fiber
Unfortunately, most Americans do not take enough food rich in fibers. These nutrients cleanse the colon and the intestines which allows regular bowel movement and elimination of excess waste and fluids from the body.
So, your diet routine should include fresh vegetables and fruits, such as blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.
Water retention condition does not include only water, but also sodium ions trapped under the skin, and this is why your sweat tastes salty. The temperature in our body is regulated with the process of sweating. So if you are sweating, you have a healthy metabolism.
Therefore, you can seat in a sauna, and keep drinking water or coconut water. Soon you will notice how your sweat is changing from being salty to watery. This means that the retained sodium has been eliminated.
Diuretic is a substance which increases the amount of urine excreted from the body. There are natural and synthetic diuretics. Urine is one of the body`s chief means of eliminating excess water and salt and also contains nitrogen compounds such as urea and other waste substances removed from the body by the kidneys.
Diuretics are prescribed to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and liver disease all of which cause water retention.
Long and unnecessary use of diuretics can cause dehydration of the body which can damage the kidneys and lead to electrolyte imbalance (sodium and potassium) which are essential for heart, liver and kidney proper function. Electrolyte imbalance can be very dangerous because it can lead to heart failure and sudden death.
Foods With Diuretic Properties
Coffee, tea, celery, eggplant, onion, asparagus and watermelon are excellent natural diuretics. Also, herbs like hawthorn, corn silk, and parsley are very powerful natural diuretics. Of these, hawthorn is said to be the most powerful. Dandelion root can be added to this list as well.
About 90% of your daily diet should consist of unprocessed foods, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, seeds, soya, oily fish and non-GMO foods.
Many people believe that they can reduce swelling by restricting their water intake. But, dehydration actually contributes to water retention in your body. Therefore, you should drink plenty of water throughout the day. Also, you can add a few slices of lemon, lime, or orange as citrus is rich in potassium and can relieve bloating.
Potassium-rich fruits such as melons and citrus can reduce water retention because they are loaded with the potassium which balances sodium levels. Therefore, you should start your da with fruit salad or smoothie.
Whole Grains & Nuts
Nuts are delicious and are rich in vitamin B6, a nutrient which relieves PMS symptoms. Try to avoid the salted nuts and make sure the whole grains you consume are low in sodium. Whole grains are loaded with fibers and nuts are rich in good fats.
Fatty fish, salmon, herring, mackerel, tuna and flax are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids which are extremely beneficial for your heart, brain and joints.
Foods to Avoid
If you want to prevent water retention, you should avoid salty, processed and packaged foods which are overloaded with sodium. Instead, you should consume fresh and organic foods which will reduce the risk of bloating and will improve your overall health.