Why Store The Water?
When fluid is not removed from the body but gets stored inside instead. it leads to a condition called oedema. Accumulation of excess fluid in the circulatory system or the body cells and tissues is known as water retention. An oedema can occur in any part of the body or just in one specific area, making an individual feel sluggish, unfit and bloated. Dietary restrictions and a little modification in our lifestyle can help us avoid water retention. Therefore, some form of regular physical activity and exercise are an integral part of healthy living and must be diligently followed. Also, half an hour of exercise daily, plays a great role in controlling oedema and water retention.
- Swelling of hands and feet
- Bloated tummy
- Fluctuating weight
- Stiffness and pain when moving
- Excessive intake of sodium, due to consumption of salty and processed foods. High amounts of sodium makes the body hold water, thus leading to water retention.
- Congestion or blockage of the lymphatic system can also lead to water retention. It is common after surgery and in people with very little or absolutely no physical activity like those in wheel chairs, hospital beds and on long flights.
- It is a very common pre-menstrual symptom that occurs approximately a week before a menstrual cycle due to changes in hormonal levels.
- High levels of hormones like cortisone, oestrogen, progesterone and insulin can make body retain water, causing water retention.
- Intake of contraceptive pills and certain painkillers can also retain water in the body.
- A low calorie diet over months! years can lead to high amounts of protein in the blood which draws excess water from the tissues causing water retention and a swollen tummy in severe cases.
- Deficiency of calcium, magnesium, protein, vitamin Bi, B5 and B6 may lead to water retention.
- It is very important to consult a physician to find out the cause of water retention and to get some prescribed diuretics to treat the condition.
- Herbs like dandelion and dong quai help increase urine output, thus removing water from the body.
- Some essential oils like lavender and rosemary have also proven beneficial when added to bathing water or inhaled using a vaporizer.
Foods That Combat Water Retention
- Include potassium rich foods in your daily diet. Potassium will help balance high sodium levels and hence will help with water retention. Some of foods rich in potassium are citrus fruits (lemon, orange. sweet lime), melons, green leafy vegetables, water cress, tomatoes etc.
- Eat good sources of omega 3 fatty acids. These will help relieve bloating and water retention caused due to hormonal changes. Good sources of omega 3 fatty acids are salmon, tuna, mackerel, flax seeds etc.
- Whole grains and nuts must be a part of a diet as they provide plenty of vitamin B6 which gives relief from PMS. Whole grains like oats, barley, millets, brown rice etc. are low in sodium and rich in fibre. Other good sources of vitamin B6 are pork, poultry, eggs, potatoes etc.
- Reduce intake of sodium by reducing the intake of salty foods, processed foods and other foods high in sodium like sauces, salad dressings, cured meat, fish, cheese etc.
- Eat a diet rich in magnesium as it relieves symptoms of PMS. Good sources of magnesium are whole grains and nuts.
- Avoid eating refined carbohydrates.
- Drink plenty of water, non-sugary juices and herbal teas as they eliminate excess fluid from the kidneys.
- Avoid excessive intake of alcohol and caffeine as they dehydrate the body.
- Eat a balanced diet low in salt, refined cereals and tat and full of fresh fruits and vegetables.