Does your feet look puffier lately? Water retention is a very common condition and affects almost each one of us at some point or the other. If you haven’t been moving around for a long time, if there is a change in your hormone levels or if you’re in the middle of your period, your body might be holding on to more water than usual. More serious causes of water retention include renal failure or heart disease.
While these diseases need proper medical attention, you can use several natural remedies to cure cases of mild water retention. Since water retention also causes weight gain, you might even notice a drop in the scale once you start. Here are seven important foods that can flush out excess water from your body.
Dandelions are very high in potassium that can act as a natural diuretic. A big reason why many of us suffer from water retention is that we eat a diet that is too high in sodium and too low in potassium. While sodium makes your body hold on to water, potassium encourages it to release excess fluids.
Drinking dandelion tea can make you pee more often and reduce water retention. But the most effective way to use dandelion as a diuretic is to take concentrated dandelion supplements. If you’re pregnant/breastfeeding or have ragweed allergy, it’s best to avoid dandelion.
Asparagus has been used as a natural diuretic for centuries. This plant contains an amino acid called asparagine which is especially effective in treating water retention due to menstrual cycles and rheumatism. After eating asparagus, you might notice that your pee smells funny. This is because after you eat asparagus, it gets broken down into sulfur compounds that cleanses your body of toxins and makes you pee more frequently.
Parsley is a popular medicinal herb and had extensive uses in traditional medicine. A herbal tea made by steeping fresh parsley leaves in boiling water was often used as a natural remedy to treat water retention. Studies on the diuretic effects of parsley conducted on rats did find that rats urinated more frequently after ingesting parsley.
While studies on humans haven’t been conducted yet, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to support parsley’s diuretic powers. But like all foods, moderation is the key! When eaten in much larger amounts, parsley can cause abdominal cramps. If you have kidney disease, experts suggest avoiding parsley.
Caraway seeds are small, brown seeds that look very much like cumin. In Eastern traditional medicine, caraway seeds were often used to soothe digestive issues and reduce water retention. Studies conducted on rats found that after being fed caraway extracts, rats urinated a lot more frequently than usual. The lack of studies on humans, however, means that we don’t know just how much caraway is required to reduce water retention.
You can start using caraway seeds by adding it as a spice to your meals or boiling it with water and drinking the tea along with the seeds. Caraway seeds aren’t recommended during pregnancy and for breastfeeding mothers.
Both green and black tea have strong diuretic properties that can help reduce water retention. However, it’s important that you drink it black and with no sugar as dairy and white sugar can aggravate water retention. Interestingly, studies have shown that tea is most effective as a diuretic when a person doesn’t drink it on a regular basis.
Drinking tea every day can make you develop a tolerance for it which can affect its diuretic properties. So if you’re a coffee drinker, it’s best you switch to tea on days when you feel extra puffy.
Horsetail is one of the most powerful natural diuretics known to us and is available in the form of a tea and as a supplement. One study found that taking horsetail supplements were as effective as certain commercial diuretics. But while horsetail can dramatically reduce water retention in the short run, it can cause harmful side effects if you use it for too long. Horsetail can also be dangerous if you already have kidney disease or diabetes.
Cucumbers are almost entirely water themselves, so it isn’t surprising that eating them will make you pee more. Cucumbers contain sulfur and silicon which can help your kidneys function better and remove excess uric acid from them. They are also very high in potassium which helps your body release water.
You can even use cucumbers topically to reduce symptoms of water retention. If your eyes get puffy when you have water retention, placing cool slices of cucumber over them can reduce the swelling.