Water retention is a common ailment that can typically be treated with easy lifestyle changes, explains WebMD. Puffiness, swelling and bloating are the usual symptoms of the body holding too much water.
Water retention does not mean you’ve drunk too much water. The World Health Organization recommends adult men drink 3.7 liters or 15.6 8-ounce cups of water per day and adult women drink 2.7 liters or 11.4 8-ounce cups of water per day. Yet, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 30 percent of people do not drink enough water, reports LiveStrong.
If you are suffering from water retention, you are more likely to have too much sodium in your bloodstream or to move too little, says water-retention.net. Water retention may also be caused by various medications, hormone changes or heart and kidney problems. For these reasons, drinking less water is not a viable solution to water retention. In fact, this can be a dangerous move toward dehydration.
Instead, try these home remedies to treat water retention. If your symptoms persist, see a doctor.
- Raise your feet. WebMD recommends lying down with your feet raised above the heart. This helps move fluid out of the feet and ankles. Be sure, however, to counter this treatment with exercise to keep the fluid flowing.
- Replace salt with herbs. A major cause of water retention is excess sodium. To treat water retention and prevent it from returning in the future, OL Women recommends developing the habit of replacing all salt with tasty, nutrient-rich herbs like oregano, rosemary, thyme and chives.
- Cut out sweets. Diabetics are at a higher risk for water retention. This is because water retention is partly caused by insulin’s inability to flush the body of sodium. OL Women, therefore, urges people to cut out all sugars from their diets while they are treating themselves for water retention and to reduce sugar intake in their everyday diets.
- Bananas, dates and spinach. This is a recipe for a delicious potassium-packed smoothie. Throw in some strawberries, apples, raspberries or bell peppers for an even bigger potassium punch. OL Women says potassium deficiency is yet another common cause of water retention. Potassium is also important for its role in reducing blood pressure.
- Parsley tea. Diuretics are important for flushing out excess water. But instead of coffee, which can further dehydrate, opt for homemade parsley tea. This delicious home remedy should be drunk three to four times daily and can be made by simply pouring boiling water over sprigs of fresh parsley. OL Women says parsley tea has the added benefit of removing toxins.
- Cranberry juice. Like parsley tea, cranberry juice is a natural diuretic that helps flush excess water, says Times of India. Be careful to opt for 100 percent natural cranberry juice, and limit your intake or dilute with water, as cranberry juice can be high in sugar.
- Garlic. Potent, taste-enhancing garlic is a miracle worker against water retention. It helps cleanse the body of toxins and relieves water retention. For best results, Times of India recommends eating a clove or two on an empty stomach in the morning. If the smell of raw garlic first thing in the morning is nauseating to you, try blending raw garlic in a healthy potassium-rich smoothie.
- Walk, swim, cycle. Exercise is an absolute necessity for treating and preventing water retention, says OL Women. This is because sweat rids the body of not just excess water but also excess sodium and other toxins, while movement keeps fluids in motion. Make exercise part of your daily routine. Find an activity you enjoy, like gardening, dancing or playing a sport, and stick to it. Even just 30 minutes of walking after dinner can make a difference.