As we discussed in a previous post, it’s key to check nutritional labels before you make a purchase that could send your sodium levels through the roof. Nobody wants that swollen feeling you get when you retain too much water, so here are a few ways to avoid that pesky excess weight…
Up your sources of magnesium. Often overlooked, magnesium is a very important mineral that keeps the body functioning properly. By increasing your intake of foods that are high in magnesium you will up your chances of reducing that water retention. Leafy, green vegetables and nuts are a great source of magnesium, and you always have the option of taking it as a supplement.
Avoid refined carbs. When you consume refined carbs such as white bread, pastries, white pasta, white rice, and fruit juices, your blood sugar and insulin levels spike, causing your body to increase the reabsorption of sodium in the kidneys, which leads to sodium retention. In turn, the volume in your body increases and you feel swollen like a sponge.
Drink more water. As contradicting as this sounds, not drinking enough water is actually a reason for water retention. Water helps the liver by converting fat into usable energy and if you don’t consume enough of it, your kidneys will have to bear the brunt of the work and as they do so, they’ll be overcome with concentrated fluids. In turn, the liver will be required to do extra work, which causes bloating and water retention.
Add dandelion to your diet. Used as a natural diuretic in folk medicine for years, dandelion is an herb that is known to help you urinate more often, reducing water retention in the body.
Up the potassium. This important mineral often gets overlooked, however; it is actually classified as an electrolyte due to its ability to be highly reactive in water. When dissolved in water, it creates positively charged ions that allow it to conduct electricity, which is important for many of the mechanisms in the body. When it comes to water retention, potassium helps by increasing urine production and decreasing sodium levels. Avocados and tomatoes are great sources of potassium.
Keep in mind that while water retention is usually a minor discomfort in most people, it can also be a symptom of severe medical conditions such as heart failure or kidney disease. Always seek medical attention right away if you find that your water retention comes on fast and furious.
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