Water retention actually is fluid retention or excessive build up of fluid in body tissues, the circulatory system or cavities in the body. Edema is the swelling caused by the excess fluid which are trapped in the body. The swelling most commonly is noticed at the hands, arms, feet, ankles and legs.
Swelling usually appears at women during pregnancy, but also at people who are physically inactive, people who take lots of medicines in longer period of time, people who are leading sedentary lifestyle or during a long flight.
Regardless of the fact that edema causes are not life-threatening, it is important to mention that it may be a symptom of kidney disease or heart failure.
If there aren’t any underlying conditions, there are many ways in which you can avoid water retention and reduce the swelling.
Causes of Edema
- Excessive Intake of Sodium
Nutrition that is high in salt and not consuming enough water will make your body use its reserves, and that can lead to retaining of water. Did you know that water makes the cells expand to 20 times?
At this point it is important to highlight that salt is not the only product that contains sodium. It also is contained in processed foods like processed meat and some condiments and canned vegetables.
On the other hand, Himalayan or Celtic sea salt have the ability to can reverse the damage caused by the table salt.
- Deficiency in Magnesium
Magnesium deficiency may be another cause for water retention. Namely, magnesium is a mineral essential for almost all functions in human body, so if there is lack of magnesium in your body, it can obstruct the proper function of your body, which eventually will result in water retention.
According to recent study, taking 200mg of magnesium a day significantly can reduce edema in women who are experiencing premenstrual symptoms. Additionally, consummation of foods high in magnesium or taking a magnesium supplement also will relieve this condition.
Foods rich in magnesium are: spinach, dried fruits, dark chocolate, nuts, yogurt, dark green vegetables, avocados, nuts, whole grains and peas.
- Vitamin B6 Deficiency
Vitamin B6 controls many aspects of water balance in human body, which means if your body has vitamin B deficiency, it can result in edema.
According to a study published in Journal of Caring Sciences, women who had edema which was caused by premenstrual syndrome, managed to improve their condition by taking vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is water-soluble vitamin that requires many cofactors in order to function, and the best option is to get it with consummation of whole foods.
Foods that are rich in vitamin B6 are potatoes with skin, chicken, pistachio nuts, tuna, turkey, lean beef, bananas, dried fruit and sunflower seeds.
- Potassium Deficiency
The mineral which is essential for the proper function of the body cells, organs and tissues is potassium. It is particularly important for maintaining normal water balance in the body.
By consuming too much salt and avoid eating foods high in potassium, you can reduce the potassium levels in your body, which may lead to water retention. Potassium deficiency may cause cramps, muscle spasms and weight gain, as well. Additionally, this mineral can reduce the sodium levels, and this will reduce the water retention.
It is contained in most fruits, but fruits abundant with potassium are watermelon, rockmelon and honey melon.
If you are not drinking enough water you will face with dehydration, which actually makes your body enter in its survival mode and it will retain water. That is the reason why it is extremely important to consume plenty of water and juices rich in potassium. Keep in mind that coffee and soda drinks will dehydrate your cells even more!
- Excessive Consumption of Processed Foods
Processed foods are high in sodium and sugar, but they also contain artificial food additives which act as toxins and in same time put a load on your liver and your kidneys. Foods abundant in sugar, and particularly artificial sweeteners may cause a rapid increase in blood sugar and insulin levels.
It is very important to reduce the consumption of processed foods. Great way to detoxify your body is to eliminate chronic ailments and make sure your body is in excellent shape.
Beneficial Herbs for Reducing Edema
Below there is list of herbs which are extremely beneficial for reducing water retention thanks to their powerful diuretic properties: