IntroductionExcess amount of water which is retained in the body makes us feel bloated. We, therefore, appear a couple of pounds heavier. Clothes start feeling tighter around the body. This all can be very achy and uncomfortable. Water retention often gives us that swollen and puffy look, especially around the face, feet, abdominal region etc. It is also known as fluid retention and the extra weight which we gain because of water retention is known as water weight. It occurs because an extra or unnecessary amount of water gets retained in the body. Some of the factors responsible for retention of water in the body are excess consumption of sodium, lack of exercise, certain medications, liver, heart and kidney diseases etc. Whatever may be the cause, it needs to be diagnosed and addressed as quickly as possible. However, in case of non-threatening edema, by following certain tricks and home remedies which are mentioned, we can easily get rid of water retention from our body.
Reduce salt intakeSalt is an essential mineral required by our body as it regulates the fluid levels in tissues. If our diet contains more amount of sodium in it then we need to cut back on all those foods which add up to sodium level or else simply stop sprinkling extra salt in every food that we eat. Fast and processed foods are especially loaded with more amount of salt and thus eliminating them from our diet will do the trick. We need to eat a well-balanced diet which will make sure that we do not exceed our sodium intake of the day. Tissues of the body get clogged when salt is consumed in an excess amount. This will result in swelling or edema.
Epsom salt bathEpsom salt bath relaxes the whole body through the process of reverse osmosis. It is a form of magnesium which is an essential mineral. Using Epsom salt helps the body to get rid of excess water which is stored in the tissues. As a result, bloating reduces. It also helps to get rid of accumulated toxins from the body. It is a great technique to relax sore muscles and calm down the nerves as well as the whole body. 1 tbsp of Epsom salt should be added to a bucket of warm water. Soak feet in it for 15 minutes. Or else, around 2-3 tbsp of Epsom salt can be added to warm water in a bathing tub. This Epsom salt bath calms down the whole body as well as help to get rid of excess retained water from the body. This can be done 2-3 times a week.
Increase potassium intakeThe right balance of potassium and sodium in our body will make sure that fluid levels are well maintained. Thus, it will indirectly help to get rid of fluid retention from the body. It directly does not act as a diuretic agent whose function is to instantly eliminate water retention. Potassium deficiency is a major cause of fluid retention as potassium makes sure that sodium levels are maintained in the body. In its deficiency, sodium level rises and as a result, fluid retention occurs. Increase the intake of all those foods which are high in potassium level like bananas, oranges, potatoes, meat, milk, curd, cabbage, raisins, spinach etc.
Hydrate well to reduce water retentionAt first, it may sound strange. However, it is true that drinking more water helps to get rid of the excess water from the body. Drinking water in insufficient amount leads to dehydration and body sees it as a dry spell. Thus, it tends to store water which leads to fluid retention in the body. It is therefore essential to supply the body with adequate amount of water so that body does not store any excess amount. Also, drinking more water means urinating more and through urine, an excess amount of salt will get passed out. This will further help the body to get rid of bloating and all those problems which are very well associated with the retention of water and salt. It helps us to drop some extra kilos from our body. It also helps in flushing out of accumulated toxins from the body which will, in turn, result in rejuvenating effect which follows cleansing. Drinking early morning a glass of warm water with lemon juice in it has proved to be quite beneficial to health as well as reduces fluid retention.
Increase magnesium intakeTaking 200-400mg of magnesium supplement daily has proved to be beneficial in reducing bloating, especially in case of women who tend to bloat before and during menstruation. This supplement should be avoided if an individual suffers from heart-related diseases. Either a magnesium supplement can be taken on a daily basis or else foods which are rich sources of magnesium can be included in our daily diet. Foods like green leafy vegetables, grains, dark chocolate, nuts etc are rich sources of magnesium and thus should be made a part of our diet.
Exercise reduces water retentionExercise helps the body to flush out retained water as well as sodium in the form of sweating. This will help the body to lose that water weight which causes bloating. Fluid retention in the extremities like legs, feet, and ankles is due to sedentary lifestyle and also because of those jobs which require seating for multiple hours. Gravity will draw retained fluid to the lower extremities and this is why edema in feet and ankles is experienced. A small walk throughout the day will make sure that blood circulates well and fluid does not get pushed down to the lower areas of the body. One needs to exercise daily and it is better to follow a proper exercise regime. A daily walk of around 30-40 minutes is also very beneficial. Activities like running, jogging, cycling, and aerobics are all very beneficial. Swimming for half an hour is considered to be best when it comes to losing retained fluid. Water pressure during swimming forces retained fluid outside of the tissues and into the bladder. This way, swimming is a great sport to get rid of water retention.
Stop eating unhealthy Eating unhealthy is one of the major cause of fluid retention in the body. Stay away from packed and processed foods as much as possible as these foods hardly contain any nutrition and are packed with lots of salt. Avoid sugary foods and drinks. Stay away from coffee and alcohol too as they are dehydrating substances which will ultimately cause the body to retain more amount of water. Foods prepared with white flour should be avoided. Refined carbohydrates increase blood sugar level as well as cause spike in insulin level. High insulin level in the body will hold up sodium which in turn will cause retention of water. This is why we need to consume low carbohydrate and low sodium diet.
Eat healthily to treat fluid retentionIn order to get rid of fluid retention, we need to clean up our daily diet. Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet, especially those which have a large amount of water content in them and those which act as natural diuretics. Foods which act as natural diuretics are watermelon, cucumber, asparagus etc. Eat a well balanced nutritious diet. Fruits and vegetables which are high in vitamin C and E should be included in the diet as these vitamins help in the removal of a large amount of water from the kidney by getting rid of wastes. Fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber content. Also, include oatmeal, multi-grain foods and all those foods which are rich in fiber content. Fiber helps in the removal of an excess amount of water from the body and also flushes out the toxins.
ConclusionThere are many causes for the accumulation of the excess amount of water in the body. The cause may vary from a high level of sodium intake to the low amount of magnesium or potassium rich foods in our diet plan. It may be due to a sedentary lifestyle or due to the diseases associated with vital organs. Underlying cause needs to be diagnosed and once the root cause is eliminated, water retention does not recur. There are many ways by which we can get rid of the excess amount of water from our body and also help it clean out by flushing accumulated toxins from it. A simple method is to keep the body hydrated and avoid all those foods which dehydrate it. Include all those foods which hydrate it and acts like natural diuretics. Lower intake of sodium, and increase foods which are rich in magnesium and potassium. Follow an exercise regime and we need to make sure that body is indulged in at least 30 minutes of physical activity of any type. Taking Epsom salt bath or soaking feet in warm water in which Epsom salt is added is another great way to get rid of excess water which is retained in the body. To know more such tips to get rid of the excess amount of accumulated water from the body, go through How to get rid of water retention: Part-2.
Useful article! Do not forget to walk around after lunch and dinner. Exercise regularly so that excessive water gets drained in the form of sweat.