Retaining water can make you feel bloated and cause your hands, feet and ankles to swell. Water retention occurs for different reasons, including hormonal changes, the consumption of sodium, high blood pressure or other medical conditions. See your doctor if you experience frequent water retention to rule out an underlying disorder. If your water retention is hormonal or diet related, you may find relief in a few of these natural methods.
Salt is a major contributor to water retention. The Mayo Clinic suggests not salting your food and purchasing low-sodium packaged foods. Read the nutritional labels. Some foods, like cottage cheese, contain substantial amounts of sodium although you may not normally think of them as a high-sodium food. Other high-sodium foods to avoid include fast foods, pepperoni pizza, some canned soups and some salad dressings.
Add more fresh vegetables and fruits to your diet, especially those high in water content, such as celery, cucumbers and watermelon. In addition, drink eight glasses of fresh water every day to flush excess sodium and toxins from your body.
Reduce or eliminate monosodium glutamate (MSG) from your diet. MSG is a natural flavor enhancer, used in seasonings and found in many fast foods. MSG contains sodium.
Gravity naturally draws excess water to the lowest part of the body, usually the feet and legs. Exercise that includes leg movements, such as walking, bicycling or swimming can help pump the excess fluid up and out of your legs.
During competition, you will frequently see competitors elevating swollen feet and ankles to assist in drainage of the fluid from legs. Lie on a bed or sofa and elevate your legs on pillows or cushions to reduce the water retention. Repeat this practice during the day to keep water from pooling in the feet.
Diuretics are substances that remove excess water from your tissues and increase urination. Although prescription diuretics are available, some herbs and supplements also have diuretic properties.
Parsley is a natural diuretic. Eating sprigs of fresh parsley after your meal may reduce water retention temporarily. You may also prepare dried parsley as a tea. Uva Ursi tea may also offer water reduction benefits.
Calcium may help women who experience water retention associated with their menstrual cycle. Vitamin B6 may also alleviate water retention in menopausal women.
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