Water plays a significant role in the human body, as up to 70% of our bodies are comprised of the liquid. About seventy-five percent of our muscles are made up of water, and our bones and fatty tissues are comprised of around 50% water. However, there is such a thing as having too much of the fluid in your body, and that is when water retention home remedies can come in handy.
22 Water Retention Home Remedies
Causes and Symptoms
Both the inside and outside of body cells are affected by water, as well as our blood, organs and muscles. Water retention (or fluid retention) involves the excessive buildup of fluid in the circulatory system, body tissues, or cavities in the body. What you eat and various conditions of the body can contribute to the retention of excessive fluids. The most typical causes of water retention include:
A Diet High in Salt – Too much salt in the body is a common cause of water retention, swelling and edema. For some people, salt produces such an immediate response in fluid retention that even a small amount of sodium can be a trigger.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – The hormonal ups and downs of the female body place women at a higher risk of retaining fluid on a monthly basis. Fluid retention typically occurs just after ovulation when progesterone levels are lowered. The dietary changes and cravings that women experience during this time also increase the possibility of fluid retention.
Pregnancy – Since excess fluid is needed by the fetus and placenta, a pregnant woman will experience fluid retention due to the hormonal changes occurring in their body. The hands, feet and ankles usually swell as a result.
Nutritional Deficiency – Nutritional deficiencies, such as an inadequate intake of vitamin B1 and B6 or having low levels of protein in the blood, can lead to fluid retention.
Side Effects of Medication – Certain medications have been known to cause fluid retention as a side effect, such as blood pressure drugs, steroids, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Other causes of water retention include kidney diseases, heart failure, hypothyroidism, liver diseases, metabolic disorders, diabetes and inflammation.
If you stand for long periods of time, you could retain water in the legs. Water retention usually causes the legs, feet and/or ankles to swell. In women, they may experience a bloating effect in the stomach. Other symptoms of fluid retention include:
Swelling and edema
Pain and redness
Joints in affected areas may ache
Skin may pit, as a result of edema
Fluctuations in weight may occur
Home Remedies for Water Retention
In most cases, water retention does not cause serious issues, but at times, excessive fluid in the body can bring dangerous consequences. To get a handle on the situation, becoming familiar with water retention home remedies can help treat symptoms. A handful of suggestions include:
Adding cabbage to your sandwiches, salads and side dishes will provide the body with a food known to help remove excess water from the body. Coleslaw is another good source of cabbage to consider.
b) Lemon Water:
Drinking a glass of water with added lemon juice can encourage the body to flush out excess fluid.
c) Say ‘No’ to Salt:
It is highly suggested to limit the amount of salt you use as a seasoning when cooking or eating your food as a way to avoid retaining water. You will also have to be conscious of foods known for their salty content, such as processed meats, peanuts, and your favorite bag of potato chips.
Offering a mild diuretic effect, adding fresh ginger to your foods can help ease the symptoms of water retention. Drinking ginger tea is another way to supply the body with this beneficial herb.
e) Elevate Legs:
When you are pregnant and suffering from water retention, keep your legs elevated by using a support (like a cushion, pillow or stool) when in a sitting position.
f) Choice of Shoes:
Pregnant women can lessen the discomfort of water retention by wearing flat shoes.
g) Apple Cider Vinegar:
Add a small amount of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water, and sip the concoction to fight water retention.
h) Smaller Meals:
Eating smaller meals throughout the day can help avoid the blood sugar fluctuations that can cause the body to retain water.
i) Parsley Tea:
For women, water retention is a common response to PMS (premenstrual syndrome). To relieve cramps and create a diuretic effect, sip cups of parsley tea throughout the day. Some people will eat small quantities of parsley to jumpstart the diuretic effect.
Whether you take 1,000 mg of a calcium supplement or increase your intake of calcium-rich foods, women can reduce fluid retention during their menstrual cycle by embracing calcium. Try drinking a glass of milk with your meals, enjoying a slice of cheese for a snack, or adding green, leafy vegetables as a side dish for dinner.
k) Get Moving:
Regular exercise and frequent activity will promote the healthy flow of fluids throughout your body.
Eating bananas can aid in the regulation of the flow of fluids in and out of tissues and cells, which can prove helpful for people retaining too much water. Try adding banana slices to your morning cereal or making a banana smoothie.
m) Caffeinated Drinks:
Coffee and cola sodas with caffeine causes a diuretic effect in the body that can help eliminate unwanted fluid.When Use of Caffeine Be aware of your personal tolerance to caffeine. If you exceed your tolerance, you may experience side effects such as feeling jittery, anxious, irritable and nervousness.
n) Green Tea:
When you wish to flush out excessive fluids from the body, try sipping green tea throughout the day. This zero-calorie beverage also provides you with a boost of antioxidants that can enhance your overall health.
o) Cranberry Juice:
The diuretic effects of cranberry juice prove beneficial for a patient wishing to flush out excess water in the body.
Contrary to popular belief, drinking more water will not worsen your fluid retention problem. Consuming more liquid will help flush out the excess fluid in your body. If you are retaining water because of too much salt in your diet – drink a glass of cold water. Drinking more water also helps combat the water retention that occurs when tissues have become dehydrated.
q) Vitamin A and Vitamin C:
With the ability to strengthen capillaries and treat fluid retention, it is suggested to increase the amount of vitamins A and C in your diet. You can start by adding more sweet potatoes, carrots, lettuce, cantaloupe, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, and tomatoes to your meals.
r) Leg Lifts:
When lying down, gain relief from fluid retention by lifting your legs higher than your head.
s) Vitamin B6:
Vitamin B6 (also known as pyridoxine) has a reputation for helping to ease symptoms of fluid retention. Good sources of the vitamin include brown rice and red meat.
To treat puffy ankles caused by fluid retention, apply an ice pack. Don’t have one? Make your own by adding ice cubes to a Ziploc plastic bag. Wrap a thin towel around the bag, and place on the ankles for 5 to 10 minutes. In the summertime, fill a basin with ice water, and soak your legs for relief. Make sure that your ankles are covered. Using an ice bucket or bath method is not recommended for people with diabetes or poor circulation.
u) Bag of Frozen Vegetables:
Placing a bag of frozen vegetables on swollen ankles and other joints can provide soothing relief for people retaining too much water. The flexibility of the bag and its contents are convenient for easily concentrating the coldness on specific regions of the body.
v) Avoid Fried and Processed Foods:
Dietary changes can help fight chronic water retention, especially if you cut down on the amount of fried and processed foods you consume. These foods are full of the sodium and carbohydrates that can cause the body to retain fluid.