The condition of accumulated fluids within the tissues and cavities or the circulatory system is called edema or water retention. This condition is leading to swellings in the legs, feet and anckles. This condition is common during or before the pregnancy. It is also common in those who are on long term medications, inactive people, bedridden or people with sedentary lifestyles. This is not a lifethreating condition but it can indicate some more serious issues like kidney disease or heart failure. But in the most cases this condition can be prevented, treated and the swelling can be reduced. If you know the cause of the edeme you will know how to treat it. Here are some of the most common causes of water retention:
- Excessive sodium intake
If you’re consuming high – sodium foods, and if you have insufficient intake of water, your body will press the ‘reserve mode’ and it will start to retain water. The cells can become 20x enlarged with water, in order to diute the salt environment. High sodium foods are not only the salt, but also the canned vegetables, the processed meat and some condiments. There is a salt that is not leading to water retention and it can actually help you to reverse it. You can consume the Himalayan salt ot the Celtic sea salt.
- Vitamin B6 deficiency
Vitamin B6 is responsible for balancing the water in the body. So if your body is lack of vitamin B6, you may suffer from water retention. A study that is done by the Journal og Caring Sciences has founf out that the woman who have suffered from water retention due to premenstrual syndrome found extremely beneficial the intake of vitamin B6. This vitamin is more effective in reducing the symptoms than any other supplements. This vitamin is water-soluble, which means that it needs numerous cofactors to work, and the best is to take it in natural way, not by using supplements. Foods rich in Vitamin B6 are the chicken, tuna, turkey, dried fruits, sunflower seeds, unpeeled potatoes, pistachio nuts, lean beaf and bananas.
- Potassium deficiency
This mineral is responsible for the proper function of the body cells, tissues and organs. Potassium is an electroyte that the body needs for balancing the water. The consumption of foods that are high in salt, the excessive sweating with the exercising and not taking foods that are high in potassium can lead to a depletion of it, which will contribute to edema. The potassium deficiency can also lead to some other health problems, like weigh gain, cramps and muscle spasms. If you reduce the sodium levels and if you increase the urine production with this mineral, you will effectively reduce edema.
Foods that are rich in potassium are all the fruits, but the highest amount are in the honey melon, rock melon and watermelon. Instead of taking supllements the best for you is to increase the potassium levels by consuming more fruits and vegetables.
The lack of water is leading to dehydration of the body. When the body is dehydrated it reacts with retaining the water in order to survive. Regular consumption of water and juices that are high in potassium will reduce the edema and dehydration. So you should drink a lot of water and also you should avoid soda drinks and coffee because they will additionally dehydrate your body.
- Magnesium deficiency
One of the most common symptoms of magnesium deficiency is the water retention. Magnesium is very important for your body, and it is needed for every body function. The low levels of magnesium will impede numerous functions in the body and that will contribute to water retention. One stydy is saying that 200 mg of magnesium will lower the water retention in woman with premenstrual symptoms. You can increase the intake of magnesium with eating magnesium rich foods or with taking some high-quality magnesium supplement in order to reduce the edema.
Magnesium rich foods are avocados, dark chocolate, dark green vegetables, peas, yogurt, whole grains, spinach and dried fruits.
- Excessive consumption of processed foods
The processed food is rich in sodium and sugar, an it can also involve some artificial food additives that are toxic for your liver and kidneys. The sugar rich foods will lead to rapid blood sugar and insulin spikes which will lead to water retention in the cells. So you should avoid consumption of processed food. Also you need to detox your body. You can do it with consumption of juices. That is in order to preserve the optimal condition of your liver and also to prevent some other serious health issues.
Also there are some herbs that are beneficial in the case of water retention. These herbs have strong diuretic properties. Those herbs are: horsetail, corn silk, dandelion, hibiscus, nettle, garlic, parsley and fennel.