Water retention, or oedema in medical terms, is a common problem that leads to weight gain. It can be a major hindrance in day-to-day activities.
Causes of water retention:
Hormonal fluctuation during the menstrual cycle.
Pregnancy and menopause.
Excessive intake of foods rich in salt and sugar.
Insufficient intake of B-complex vitamins and proteins.
Ailments like kidney disease, lung disease and arthritis. Many other diseases and drugs also cause water retention.
Natural treatment options.
Nature has naturally endowed certain foods with diuretic properties. Diuretics help to flush out water and toxins through the urinary tract. They can be classified into natural diuretic foods, potassium-rich foods and herbs with high water content.
Natural diuretics include:
A glass of cranberry juice.
Two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar mixed in a glass of water taken 3-4 times a day.
Tea made of potassium-rich dandelion leaves acts as a powerful diuretic and also replaces the potassium lost through urine
Saunf or fennel seeds are believed to have a cooling effect.
Water-rich foods such as watermelons and cucumber are rich in sulphur and silicon that stimulate the kidneys.
Asparagus contains a chemical alkaloid called asparagine that boosts kidney function.
Lettuce leaves aid in better metabolism and flushing of toxins.
Tomatoes are rich in Vitamins A and C and help the kidneys flush out waste.
Horseradish, raw ooions and radishes are powerhouses of sulphur compounds, that rev up your metabolism to flush out toxins.
Coconut water cools the body and help maintain the electrolyte balance Potassium-rich foods.
Potassium-rich foods release excess fluid. These include bananas, tomatoes, yoghurt, apricots, strawberries and papayas. However, these should be had in moderation as excessive potassium can lead to muscle pain and irregular heart beat if you have a kidney problem.
Other lifestyle tips
Minimise salt and sugar intake.
Avoid processed foods high in preservatives.
Follow a 30-minute exercise regimen or a go for a brisk walk thrice a week.
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables to make up for the loss of vital nutrients lost in urine.